A search by more than 100 people was begun to locate the group after their bus driver reported to police in Yichang they had not returned to the bus near the Three Gorges Dam in Hubei province Sunday evening.
Rescuers succeeded in communicating with the well-equipped group by 6:50 p.m. Sunday. They returned by 8:00 p.m., the China's Xinhua News Agency reported Monday.
The 23, which included 10 veteran hikers, finished their 15-kilometer (9.31-mile) tour and walked out of the Longjinxi scenic spot near the dam on their own, Xinhua said.
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