Investigators believe that a 13-year-old girl found dead in Zion National Park on Monday fell from Angel’s Landing.
The girl was found in Refrigerator Canyon, along the West Rim Trail. John Marciano, spokesman for the park, said Tuesday that the investigation is ongoing, but “all fingers point to the fact that she fell from Angel’s Landing.”
Marciano said the girl was hiking with extended family and decided to turn back before they did. She was hiking alone when she fell, Marciano said.
While investigators haven’t found an eyewitness, multiple people reported hearing the fall just before 5 p.m. The body was discovered shortly after.
Marciano said family has been notified, but police have not released the girl’s name to park staff. He said she is from a southern Utah town.
The trail closed following the discovery of the body, and reopened at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Fatal falls from Angel’s Landing happen with some frequency. The last one came in March, Marciano said, adding that safety of the park’s guest is paramount to the staff.
“I think we’ve done everything we possibly can,” Marciano said. “Every time there is an incident like this, we continue to investigate how we can make the trail more safe.”
Previously, the park installed chains for hikers to hold onto along portions of the trail.
Marciano said park staff will look at the circumstances surrounding the girl’s death, such as how light it was at the time of the fall or if there was ice on the trail, in evaluating further safety implementations.
Marciano called the death a tragedy, and said it takes a toll on everyone, including the volunteer park staff who recovered the body.