A Texas man reported missing on Dec. 22 was spotted by hikers late Wednesday on one of the most challenging established trails in the Grand Canyon's South Rim and rescued the next day. Martin O'Connor, 58, was seen on the New Hance Trail, which leads down the canyon to the Colorado River, before he was evacuated by a National Park Service helicopter around 10am Thursday, per NBC News. It's unclear how long O'Connor had been in the canyon. Believed to be traveling alone, he had stayed at Yavapai Lodge in Grand Canyon Village from Dec. 17 to Dec. 22, per CNN.
O'Connor, who was cleared and released by emergency services, was found about three miles from the head of the trail, which is recommended for experienced hikers only. Unsure of O'Connor's whereabouts during the time he was missing, Grand Canyon National Park spokeswoman Lily Daniels says he had "limited resources" and rescuers "were amazed at how well he was doing," considering nighttime temperatures in the area had dipped into the 20s. "We're really glad to be able to reunite him with his family," Daniels adds. "It's a great ending." (This follows several tragic deaths at the site.)