National Park Service searching for missing teenage boy, woman at the Grand Canyon

Posted at 11:44 PM, Apr 16, 2017

Authorities are searching for two hikers who went missing in a backcountry area of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.

A teenage boy and woman were reported missing by other members of their hiking group Saturday night near Tapeats Creek and Thunder River at the park.

According to officials, the hikers were last seen attempting to cross Tapeats Creek. It’s believed they lost their footing and were swept away by the rushing water.

The 62-year-old woman is described as being 5-foot, 5-inches, 145 pounds with blonde hair and green eyes. She was last seen wearing khaki zip-off shorts, a blueish-green button down shirt and water shoes, officials said. She was also carrying a handmade backpack with hiking poles attached.

The 14-year-old boy is described as being 5-foot, 8-inches, 105 pounds with black hair. He was last seen wearing black Nike shorts and a long-sleeved white Columbia T-shirt and navy blue sandals. He was also carrying a backpack.

The National Park Service is continuing their search and rescue operation. The Arizona Department of Public Safety attempted to locate the missing pair with a helicopter but were unsuccessful. 

According to information about hiking at the Thunder River/Tapeats Creek confluence, NPS says the area is known to be potentially hazardous in the spring.

"[I]ntermittent high creek levels are more likely after mid-March with the peak flows often in May," a description of the area reads. "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. This option is narrow and exposed and should be used only as a last resort, but when Tapeats Creek is in flood it may be the only possibility."

It was not immediately clear if the area was experiencing high water at the time the pair were swept away.

No additional information was immediately available. Anyone who knows about their whereabouts is asked to call the National Park Service at 928-638-7805.