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Missing hiker describes night in the wilderness

Snowbird resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon. (Credit: Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah hiker who spent the night in the wilderness says she took shelter beneath trees as a thunderstorm pelted the ground with hail.

Dawn Rhode tells KUTV that she got lost after attempting to follow a stranger on an unfamiliar trail during her Thursday hike in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

The 41-year-old says she eventually and ran out of food and her dying phone wouldn’t hold a call, but she had a blanket and a small personal alarm she used to ward off animals.

Authorities launched a search and rescue effort, but she was found by chance by other hikers who weren’t looking for her.

She was badly sunburned, dehydrated and scratched up, but otherwise healthy.

Rhode said she was thankful for the search effort and will carry additional supplies and avoid unfamiliar trails next time.