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Fatal Hiking Accidents

This is by no means an all inclusive list of hiking related deaths. It is just a sampling. Chosen maybe because I may have been in the area or one day hoped to visit there, or maybe the story just caught my eye. If you know a hiker that has been killed in an accident and you would like us to include the on this page, e-mail us the information

Although hiking doesn't seem like a dangerous sport, and statistically hiking and backpacking are both very safe sports, each year there are numerous fatalities from related accidents. Falls seem to be common with hypothermia and drowning also causing numerous deaths. Being under or unprepared is also common in hiking related fatalities. These deaths often seem far more easily preventable than something like a fall. 


  1. Death Valley, California - August 28th 2002, Brett Kedish, 32, began a hike to Stovepipe Wells sand dunes with his wife around 10 a.m. that morning. The air temperature in the shade was 113 degrees. His wife returned to the car after an hour and later reported him overdue. He was found but later died from heat exposure.
  2. Pinnacles NM, California - September 23 2002, Glenn & Betsy Hannon begun their hike at the Moses Spring parking lot at 8:30 am. The mid-day high temperature hit 106 degrees, and the Hannons had only a soda and a small snack over the course of the day. Both had medical emergencies, Betsy later died of dehydration.
  3. Big Bend, Texas - October 12 2002, Christopher Sheets, 29, died on a rugged 14 mile section of Marufo Vega trail in the Dead Horse Mountains, apparently died of dehydration.
  4. Grand Canyon, Arizona - November 28 & 29th 2002 two separate incidents of hikers falling to their death.
  5. Lake Mead NRA, Arizona - June 18 2003, two hikers died of heat exposure.
  6. Grand Teton NP, Wyoming - June 21st 2003, Nicole Bloom, 23, died in a fall while hiking up Middle Teton via the Southwest Couloir.
  7. Big Bend, Texas - June 21st 2003, Joseph H. Gottschalk, 52, fell 100 feet to his death while hiking to the south rim.
  8. Death Valley, California - July 7th 2003, Robert Hudson failed to return from a hiking trip his body was found at the dunes and he later died from heat exposure.
  9. Big South Fork, Tennessee - October 29th 2003, Robert Hayes, 28, fell while camping on the Yahoo Falls loop trail.
  10. Brice Canyon, Utah - August 12th 2004, a 58-year-old Dutch national who was hiking the Bristlecone Loop Trail struck by lightning near Yovimpa Point, elevation 9,000 feet.
  11. Denali National Park, Alaska - August 16th 2004, Bethany Pate, 19, fell while hiking on Mt. Healy. died of head injuries.
  12. Longs Peak, Colorado - September 4th 2004, Sudheer Averineni, a 26-year-old Indian national, The Keyhole route was still classified as "technical" due to snow and ice conditions, his body was found on the summit the next day. 
  13. Smoky Mountains, Tennessee - May 29 2005,  Dr. John Bolinger, 56, collapsed 3 miles from trailhead and never regained consciousness.
  14. Death Valley National Park, CA - July 23, 2005, Kinhluan Nguyennogoc, 50 was found on a day when temperatures reached 117. Heat is thought to be major cause of death.
  15. Stine Rossel - 32, was hiking in New Hampshire's  White Mountains, she died when a log that she had been sitting on broke and rolled over the top of her and her husband.


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