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Home National & State Parks Grand Canyon Hiker Dies in Accidental Fall at Grand Canyon National Park

Hiker Dies in Accidental Fall at Grand Canyon National Park

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A 300-fall down the side of Owl Eyes Canyon in Grand Canyon National Park claimed the life of a female hiker Feb. 26, 2012.

The woman was identified as 24-year-old Ioana Elise Hociota of Tempe, Ariz.

According to park rangers, the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center received a report on Sunday that a female hiker had fallen in Owl Eyes Canyon.

nps_shorthaul_nrOwl Eyes Canyon is located on the south side of the Colorado River, across from the Tapeats Creek and Deer Creek areas; approximately 30 miles northwest of Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim.

Rangers quickly dispatched the park's helicopter to the area, where an aerial search discovered a body below a cliff in the Supai rock layer.

Rangers then responded to the scene via helicopter where they began their investigations and prepared the body for transport to the South Rim where it was transferred to the Coconino County Medical Examiner.

According to Hociota's husband, while she and her hiking partner were not using an established trail, they had hiked in the area several times before, had acquired a backcountry permit from the National Park Service, and were carrying a satellite phone.

When they missed a regular check in call on Saturday evening, the husband told rangers that he was alerted that there might be a problem.

On Sunday, he traveled to their designated pick-up point where he met her hiking partner, learned of his wife's fall and immediately notified park rangers.

Initial investigations indicate that the fall was accidental. The investigation is being conducted by the National Park Service with the assistance of the Coconino County Medical Examiner.

No additional information was available at this time.

Nearly 5 million people visit Grand Canyon each year. Rangers respond to a variety of reports of hikers falling off trails and slipping down the sides of canyons, some of them fatal.

Hiking in the Grand Canyon is so demanding that even people in excellent condition often emerge sore and fatigued. Rangers urge hikers to use caution and be prepared.

For information and tips about hiking the Grand Canyon, visit the park's "Hike Smart" Web page at
www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/hike-tips.htm .

 
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