62-Year-Old Hiker Stranded for 3 Days Shares Story of Survival

by Jennifer Shea

A 62-year-old hiker spent three days and two nights stranded in Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park before search crews found him.

Phoenix resident Mark Langenbach had planned to hike in Bryce Canyon and then Zion National Park, Channel 12 News reported. He was hiking Bryce Canyon alone and got lost after taking a wrong turn on a simple four-mile loop. 

Hiker Stranded in Chilly Conditions

Langenbach survived the ordeal but had to spend several days in a hospital in Utah. Officials told the St. George News that Langenbach was missing his shoes and seemed confused and disoriented when they found him. 

“I just didn’t like being cold,” Langenbach told Channel 12. “I didn’t panic. It just didn’t cross my mind that I wouldn’t come out.”

Langenbach was wearing only a T-shirt, pants and a hat throughout his time there. By comparison, Utah Department of Public Safety Trooper Landon Middaugh was wearing three jackets when he set out with the search crew to hunt for Langenbach.

“It was pretty chilly,” Middaugh told Channel 12.

Helicopter Rescue

Langenbach admitted he had become more disoriented as the days wore on. At one point, he said, he hallucinated about the presidential candidates.

In the meantime, his wife Jeanine had grown worried when he missed his scheduled check-in. She contacted the park on Wednesday, Oct. 21, the day he went missing.

The search crew had spent the day looking for Langenbach by helicopter when, finally, at the end of the day, they noticed a backpack. They found the hiker around 6 p.m. along the Under-the-Rim Trail close to Yellow Creek.

A helicopter transported Langenbach to the park’s visitor center, where he received a medical assessment, KUTV reported. 

Garfield County Sheriff Danny Perkins told KUTV that Langenback was “a little hypothermic” and dehydrated but otherwise fine. He was then reunited with his family.