Hiker dies from fall in Zion National Park

Foreground image: Overcrowding has led to safety concerns on the Angels Landing Trail, which includes drops of 1,000 to 1,500 feet, Zion National Park, Utah, date unspecified, photo courtesy of Lisa Landreth | Background image: Zion National Park seen from Grafton, date unspecified, photo by John Teasdale | St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The body of a man, about 45 years old, was discovered by hikers at Zion National Park along the West Rim Trail Friday morning.

Four visitors hiking Refrigerator Canyon along the West Rim Trail came upon the man around 8:20 a.m. The man’s body was cold and showed visible signs of trauma, according to the statement released by park officials Friday afternoon.

The hikers immediately called 911 to report the discovery and officers from the Springdale/Zion Canyon Department of Public Safety were dispatched to secure the area. Upon arrival police closed the West Rim Trail at the Grotto to allow responders to tend to the scene.

The park’s search and rescue team assembled to recover the man’s body, the statement said.

The preliminary investigation shows that “the injuries sustained were consistent with a high elevation fall, possibly from Angels Landing Trail,” the park release states.

The hiker’s identity and cause of death are still under investigation, according to the statement. Officials with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office will conduct the investigation.

Jeff Bradybaugh, superintendent of Zion National Park, released the following statement.

“We are extremely saddened by this incident, and are concerned with everyone’s safety in the Park.”

The West Rim Trail at the Grotto was reopened at 12:30 p.m. Friday.

More information will become available after the investigation is complete.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by Zion National Park and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.


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  • utahdiablo March 3, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    So Sorry to hear that yet another Hiker has died, and to read “overcrowding at Zion” in the photo caption?…Naw, say it ain’t so…can’t wait to be on a standing room only mandated shuttle with everyones butt in your face! Fun times ahead folks…get there at Zion by 6 am and you may just find a parking spot, just one mind you….hey maybe do more advertising…just a darn shame this has to happen…Time for a lottery or reservation to visit Zion, Arches, and soon Bryce

  • canyondad March 4, 2017 at 8:17 am

    It seems unhelpful to lead this story with an image about overcrowding when that was very likely not a contributing factor. That the hiker was found early in the morning and had not yet been reported missing would seem to indicate that he had been on the trail very early and alone.

  • DB March 4, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    I’m thinking the man fell the day before and wasn’t noticed until the next morning. You’ve got to get up REALLY early to make it to Refrigerator Canyon by 9am, let alone Angel’s Landing. BTW, I don’t think the state of Utah needs to spend our money to promote our National Parks anymore. They’re overloved as it is. I suppose the nearby towns get some financial benefit, but jeez…

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