Hiker found dead after suspected fall at Utah’s Zion National Park

Posted at 7:44 AM, Nov 22, 2019

(CNN) — A search and rescue team recovered a body Thursday below Angels Landing, a 1,488-foot tall rock tower in Utah’s Zion National Park.

The body is consistent with the age and gender of a hiker who was reported missing Wednesday, the National Park Service (NPS) said in a news release.

The hiker is believed to be a 19-year-old woman from Maine, NPS spokeswoman, Eleanor Siebers, said Thursday. NPS investigators suspect the woman fell to her death.

The woman’s friend reported that she fell Wednesday night, according to CNN affiliate KUTV. Officials said it was too dark to conduct a search, but by Thursday morning her body was recovered.

Approximately 330,000 visitors hiked Angels Landing last year, according to Alyssa Baltrus, another NPS spokeswoman.

Not counting this latest incident that remains under investigation, there have been nine fatalities on Angels Landing since 2004, Siebers said. There was one fatality in March 2019 and one fatality in 2018, she said.

Positive identification will most likely be confirmed Friday, Siebers said.

Angels Landing was closed earlier this week due to rockfall but was reopened on Tuesday, according to KUTV.

Zion National Park remains open and operating as normal, though at least 1.75 inches of rain has fallen on the park since Tuesday night.