12:54 PM PDT, June 7, 2021
A 26-year-old woman canyoneering in Zion National Park’s Mystery Canyon fell to her death on Saturday. The female climber’s body was recovered by search and rescue teams the following day, park officials said.
Visitors said the woman, who had been canyoneering by herself, fell 50 to 80 feet. Crews closed portions of the park near Mystery and Oderville Canyons to search for the missing climber, CBS News reported.
The Temple of Sinawava shuttle stop, including access to Riverside Walk and The Narrows, were also closed, park officials said.
A helicopter was deployed to the site in hopes of rescuing the woman, but rescuers were unable to pull her out “due to the steep, narrow canyon walls,” according to the park’s release.
Once medics were able to reach the woman, whose name was not immediately identified, she died a short time later, the release said.
The woman was said to have been “canyoneering” — the practice or sport of following a body of water through a canyon by walking, swimming, rafting, climbing, rappelling or other similar means.
Park officials injuries told CBS News that the woman’s injuries were consistent with a “high-elevation fall,” park officials said.
The National Park Service and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the death., CBS affiliate KUTV reported.
According to the Zion National Park website, canyoneering is an outdoor activity that combines route finding, rappelling, problem-solving, swimming, and hiking. The park website explains how narrow the canyons can be, “with dozens of different canyons to explore, some barely wide enough for a human to squeeze through.” A wilderness permit is required for all canyoneering, the park wrote.