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Rangers Narrow Search Area in Grand Canyon National Park For Missing Hiker


Grand Canyon National Park rangers have narrowed their search for Robert Williams, who has been missing in the canyon since Tuesday. Photo via NPS.

The search for a missing hiker in Grand Canyon National Park has been narrowed down to an area in Hermit Basin, which is located west of Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim.

The search for Robert A. Williams, 69, of Surprise, Arizona, was launched on Tuesday when family members reported him overdue from a weekend trip to the canyon. Although no backcountry permit was found on file, on Wednesday, May 27, Mr. Williams' car was found parked behind the Verkamp’s Visitor Center on the South Rim, indicating that he might still be in the park.

With no specific itinerary to work from, searchers spread themselves across the three trails easiest to reach from Mr. Williams parking spot—the Hermit, Bright Angel and South Kaibab trails. Investigators also asked, through the media, for the assistance of anyone who was hiking in the park over the holiday weekend and might have seen Mr. Williams.

In response to this request, the park received information which helped them to narrow their search to one area in the park—the Hermit Basin area, located approximately eight miles west of Grand Canyon Village.

Searchers on the ground are currently focusing their efforts on areas of the basin that are less traveled. A dog team and spotters in a helicopter are also being used in the search effort as weather allows.

Investigators continue to hope that anyone who hiked in the park over the holiday weekend and believes they might have seen Mr. Williams will contact the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center at 928-638-7805.

Mr. Williams is described as a white male, 5’5” tall, and weighing approximately 165 pounds. He has grey hair and brown eyes. He was last seen carrying a dark green Gregory backpack.


Hey Kurt:

The search and rescue crews are dealing with temps in the 100's inside the canyon. I hope Mr. Williams is found o.k. The canyon can be a deadly place if you are not prepared for the extreme climate.

Has there been any updates on this story?

I have been through a lot these last six years and I think I have a pretty good idea of what hell is...but not knowing where a loved one is...that has to be the worst. Especially if it's your beloved grandpa, as an earlier writer wrote. Silence kills. There is no closure. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Yes, what is the status of the search, has it been cut back, slowed down, any add'l information or leads that can be shared with the public?

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