Woman, teen swept away while hiking in Grand Canyon National Park; search continues

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Jackson Standefer, 14 missing hiker (Source: WDEF) Jackson Standefer, 14 missing hiker (Source: WDEF)
View up Tapeats Creek  from Upper Tapeats camp, which is below confluence with Thunder River) (Source: Bob Ribokas via Kaibab.org) View up Tapeats Creek from Upper Tapeats camp, which is below confluence with Thunder River) (Source: Bob Ribokas via Kaibab.org)
This photo shows Tapeats Creek flowing into the Colorado River. The missing hikers were swept away upstream of the this location. (Source: Bob Ribokas via Kaibab.org) This photo shows Tapeats Creek flowing into the Colorado River. The missing hikers were swept away upstream of the this location. (Source: Bob Ribokas via Kaibab.org)
(Source: AllTrails.com) (Source: AllTrails.com)
A narrow section of the Tapeats Creek Trail (Source: Bob Ribokas via Kaibab.org) A narrow section of the Tapeats Creek Trail (Source: Bob Ribokas via Kaibab.org)
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Two hikers, one of them just 14 years old, have been missing since they were swept down a creek at Grand Canyon National Park over the weekend.

The 62-year-old woman and the 14-year-old boy were last seen crossing Tapeats Creek below the confluence with Thunder River. According to other members of the hiking party, they lost their footing and went into the water.

NPS received an alert from a personal locating beacon Sunday evening. A Department of Public Safety helicopter flew to the area and connected with the other hikers.

The woman, whose name has not been released, is 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighs about 145 pounds, and has blond hair and green eyes. She was last seen wearing khaki zip-off shorts, a blue/green button down short sleeve shirt, and blue water shoes.  She was carrying a homemade blue backpack with a maroon fleece and hiking poles attached.

The teenager, reportedly an eighth grader from Tennessee named is Jackson Standefer, is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 105 pounds. He has black hair. He was last seen wearing black Nike shorts, a long-sleeve white Columbia T-shirt with "Columbia" written on the sleeve and navy blue Chaco sandals. He was carrying a new sage green backpack. 

NPS crews are searching for the hikers. In addition, backcountry hiking grounds river rafters have been alerted and asked to keep their eyes open. Anybody who sees the hikers should call the NPS at 928-638-7805. 

It's not clear how experienced the hikers were or if they were prepared to spend the night in the elements. 

According to an NPS information sheet about the Thunder River Trail and Deer Creek, “this little corner of Grand Canton is exceedingly popular among seekers of the remarkable.”

The Thunder River and Tapeats Creek Trail is a 22.5-mile trail. AllTrails.com describes it as "only recommended for very experienced outdoorsmen ...."

There is a designated campsite about 1/4 mile below where the Thunder River and Tapeats Creek meet. That is one of two main areas where hikers headed for the Colorado River can cross the creek. 

But it's not without its hazards.

"Snowmelt or heavy rain may make creek crossings impossible," according to NPS. "Spring warming trends and intermittent high creek levels are more likely after mid-March with the peak flows often in May.  During periods of high water hikers must use a sketchy, seldom used trail that stays west of the creek all the way to the river. "

It's not clear how high the creek was. 

[NATIONAL PARK SERVICE: Thunder River Trail and Deer Creek]

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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