Man found dead at the bottom of 75-foot drop off Gooseberry Mesa

The location of the Gooseberry yurts offer sweeping views of Southern Utah's desert. Apple Valley, Utah, April 13, 2016 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

APPLE VALLEY — A man was reported dead Monday afternoon and is suspected to have fallen 75 feet off a cliff on Gooseberry Mesa.

Views of Zion National Park from the road to Gooseberry Mesa, Apple Valley, Utah, April 12, 2016 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Washington County Sheriff’s Sgt. Nate Abbott told St. George News that just after 1 p.m. Monday, a group of individuals riding on some of the mountain bike trails in the Gooseberry Mesa area came across a bike and a man who appeared to have crashed on his bike and fell off the edge of a cliff.

“It appears he fell about 75 feet,” Abbott said. “And then succumbed to his injuries right there.”

The man was on a trail north of Apple Valley which overlooks Hurricane on Gooseberry Mesa. There are several trail systems in this area, but the trail the man was reported as having been on before the fall was one that follows the top of the mesa.

Abbott said the man’s bike did not end up at the spot where he landed.

The people at the scene called 911 to report it, and because of the remote location and the limited access, the Washington County Search and Rescue team was deployed. The high-angle team was used to recover the body, and at approximately 5 p.m., the man’s body was transported out to a point where the mortuary could pick him up.

Detectives then worked on identifying the individual.

“He’s not from our area,” Abbott said, adding that it appeared the man was here visiting.

At the time of this report, authorities are still working to notify the next of kin.

The man was reported as having been alone.

“We believe that the fall is what caused his death,” Abbott said. “Because of the location, the terrain – it was a pretty significant fall.”

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