Trail Runner Recounts Experience Stranded in Little Cottonwood Canyon

Jul 7, 2019, 7:21 PM | Updated: Feb 14, 2023, 4:19 pm

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah – Dawn Rohde said she was grateful to be back home after spending the night stranded in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Rhode went for a trail run at the Red Pine trailhead around 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning. She intended to run to the Maybird area.

She said she had looked the trail up in the hiking app on her phone, but did not realize she had to download the map before leaving cell service.
She lost the trail after encountering more snow than she expected and could not find her way back.

“I actually ended up going in a circle because I saw the footprints, like I’m going back up to the lake, this is not right, so I have to go back down,” Rohde said.

Rohde searched for the trail, then had to ride out rough weather.

“I was at the top of the mountain when the thunderstorm came, the rain and the lightning and then there was hail,” she said.

As Rohde searched for the trail, she said she came to a cliffside where she lost her footing and slid down several feet. She decided to hunker down for the night.

Friday morning, Rohde said she could hear people in a nearby campground but could not reach it because of a rushing river.

She decided to start hiking down along the river and came across a man and his daughter on the other side. The man went to find help and returned with Rohde’s neighbors, who had hiked up to find her.

A search and rescue helicopter hoisted Rohde off the mountain and back down to the trailhead where her husband, David, was waiting.

Rohde said she was thankful she had an emergency blanket in her pack, but said she will carry more food from now on. She also said she’ll never hike an unmarked trail alone again.

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Trail Runner Recounts Experience Stranded in Little Cottonwood Canyon