recreation area

Hiker Dies After 40-50 Foot-Fall Near Grand Junction, Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO – A tragic incident unfolded in the picturesque but perilous terrain of Bangs Canyon on Wednesday morning, as a 41-year-old female hiker succumbed to injuries from a significant fall. The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that they, along with Mesa County Search and Rescue volunteers, were dispatched to the Rough Canyon Lemon Squeezer area following a distress call at approximately 10:20 am.

SummitPost describes this route as dangerous and claustraphobic. They write, “this route is tricky… think of it as a combination of caving, bouldering, and scrambling.” 

Upon arrival, first responders found that the hiker had fallen around 50-60 feet in a hazardous section of the canyon. Despite the swift and valiant efforts of the Grand Junction Fire Department to administer life-saving measures, the hiker’s injuries proved fatal.

The Mesa County Coroner’s Office has taken over the investigation to determine the exact cause and manner of death. The identity of the deceased will be released following the notification of next of kin, respecting the family’s privacy during this difficult time.

Bangs Canyon, known for its rugged beauty and challenging trails, is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure in Grand Junction, Colorado. However, this tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the inherent risks associated with hiking in such demanding environments.

Safety Tips for Hikers

In light of this tragedy, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and local search and rescue teams urge the public to prioritize safety while exploring Colorado’s wilderness. Here are some essential tips for hikers:

  • Plan Ahead: Research your route and ensure it matches your skill level.
  • Stay on Marked Trails: Venturing off-trail can increase the risk of accidents.
  • Hike with a Buddy: Always let someone know your plans and expected return time.
  • Carry Essential Gear: Include a map, compass, whistle, first-aid kit, and sufficient water.
  • Be Weather-Wise: Check forecasts and prepare for sudden changes in weather conditions.

Additionally, hikers are encouraged to support the Colorado Search and Rescue (COSAR) Card program. Purchasing a COSAR Card provides vital funding for search and rescue operations across the state, ensuring that teams are equipped to respond when adventures take an unexpected turn. For more information or to purchase a card, visit the COSAR Card website.

This incident is a somber reminder of the respect and preparation the great outdoors demands. The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and the broader outdoor community extend their deepest condolences to the family and friends of the hiker. As we mourn this loss, let us renew our commitment to safety and responsible enjoyment of Colorado’s natural wonders.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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Hi, I'm Alex!

In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

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