A man and a woman died Friday morning when they fell into the bowl-area near Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. A younger man also fell and was injured.
Park officials heard about the fall around 7:30 a.m. The trail was then closed and reopened Friday around 3 p.m., after officials cleared the area, Chief Ranger Scott Brown said.
It’s unclear if weather played a role in the accident — the first deaths not related to medical issues on the trail in years — although it had been raining and snowing in the park, Brown said. Those conditions can make the trail leading to the arch slippery.
The deceased were identified as a 65-year-old man and a 60-year-old female, and a 30-year-old man was injured. All were from California and appear to be related, Brown said.
Delicate Arch is a popular tourist attraction and is the largest free-standing arch in Arches National Park, with a light opening 46-feet high and 32-feet wide, according to the park website. Visitors can see it from a viewpoint within the park, or hike the 3-mile round trip trail to get a closer look.