Utah Teen Rescued on Red Mountain Trail After Spending Night in Freezing Temperatures

by Jennifer Shea

Rescuers on Saturday found a 15-year-old boy who went missing while hiking the Red Mountain Trail north of St. George, Utah. 

The teenager, Britton Kelsey, had spent the night in freezing temperatures and had symptoms of hypothermia, The Spectrum & Daily News reported. 

Kelsey had been hiking with one group of family members on Friday when he decided to slow down. He dropped back to join a second group of family members that were walking somewhere behind the first group. But the second group said they never came across the boy, according to the Associated Press.

Kelsey’s family reported him missing at about 3 p.m. on Friday. He was wearing a blue sweatshirt and gray athletic shorts – clothing that was perhaps suitable for a day hike, but not much help when temperatures in the area plunged into the 20s.

Multiple rescue crews combed the area where Kelsey went missing until just after midnight Friday. They brought in helicopters with cameras able to detect body heat, The Spectrum & Daily News reported.

On Saturday, two large groups of volunteers joined the search effort. They managed to find shoe tracks that matched the shoes Kelsey had on. They then followed those tracks to a canyon, where they found Kelsey. Volunteers located him at about 2 p.m.  

Rescuers treated the boy at the scene for hypothermia. He then traveled by helicopter back to the Red Mountain Trailhead, where he rejoined his family and was further treated by medical workers.

The Red Mountain Trail runs for about 5 miles round trip, per the Salt Lake Tribune. It is lightly tended and is considered to be a backcountry hike.

The Washington County Sheriff Search and Rescue crew posted some photos from the search on Facebook. They had six rescue teams out between Friday and Saturday, they said.