You are here

Woman Dies in Fall From Angel's Landing


    Climb to the top of Angel's Landing in Zion National Park and you'll have an incredible view of Zion Canyon and the surrounding cliffs. You'll also risk a spell of vertigo if you get too near the edge and glance into the void.
    In fact, reaching the top of the landing can be unnerving at times as you have to climb up some steep, and narrow, stretches of rock. The Park Service is well aware of the exposure on these sections and has anchored heavy chains into the most precarious spots so you have something to hang onto.
    Over the years five people have died in falls from Angel's Landing....the most recent death occurred yesterday morning with a 29-year-old Las Vegas woman fell 1,200 feet to her death. No word just yet on how Bernadette Vander Meer came to fall off the cliff.


This is too creepy: yesterday I was looking at all these Angel's Landing pix because we're going to be near Zion in mid-September. My wife says "You're NOT going up there" after seeing some video some people took. Suddenly the Narrows Trail looks much more attractive.

When I was 8 years old in 1962 we went up Angel's Landing on Christmas Day. There was snow and ice at the top. When we went up the last bit my father slipped on the ice and the chain and pipe came out of the rock, leaving him dangling for a few seconds until my mother grabbed him. It left a lasting impression.

The last person to fall off angels landing was my cousin. She was young and had a great life, she had a great voice and was very much loved my everyone who knew her. It is terrible that she is gone, she was an avid hiker and she still fell and lost her life? And I really do think it should be shut down? Or at least have very severe warning about how dangerous it is, even to the point that maybe everyone past a certain point should wear a safety belt connected to the chain link? Five life's have been lost on this trail? I could understand it if maybe everyone who has fallen off was not used to hiking or had hardly ever been on a hiking trail? but my cousin Bernadette had been hiking from a very young age she new about the dangers. And yet she lost her life? just seems like sometimes we need to protect people from them self's? I really do think if there were mandatory requirements about safety on that trail such as safety harness's she would be alive today.

Yes, someone died, so, shut the trail down. Save the people from themselves. Maybe we should be strapped into our easy chairs and have the pictures of Angel's Landing piped into our TV sets. That way, we'll only die of heart attacks.

Hey "Mooks" or whatever your name is, have some respect for the deceased and her family. I don't believe you would have posted such a heartless comment if it was your cousin that fell to her death.

I doubt "Mooks" intent was to offend. His point is valid though. And to further his point natural areas are inherantly dangerous places. The Park Service does not have the responsability to identify, warn and protect all persons from all dangers. Would you want to visit Grand Canyon if they had handrails and signs warning of falls every six feet? Part of the attraction of Angels Landing is the challenge of topping. I doubt anyone who has gone there failed to recognize the danger involved. Park Managers have to make difficult decisions about how to make areas as safe as possible without detracting from the natural beauty. I think they typically err in the favor of safety which also increases their liability. Kudo to those who make the tough decicions.

On August 22nd, 2006, we were at the north rim of the Grand Canyon. We were stopped at the lookout point before Angel's Window. A young women had fallen about 1000 to her death and they had closed the road leading up to Angel's Window. From where we were we could look up and see the overhang of Angel's Window. We could see the rangers gathered up there looking down and about 30 minutes later a helicoper arrived. I am a little confused - we were at the north rim of the Grand Canyon, we had just driven 41 miles from Jacob's Lake. It was about 1pm in the afternoon. Did two ladies fall - one from Angel's Window in the Grand Canyon, one from Angel's Landing in Zions?

I was an interpretive ranger at Zion in 2000 and climbed Angels Landing only once. I had to do it in uniform so that I wouldn't chicken out and head back down (I could imagine children mocking me: "Mommy, mommy, look at the scared park ranger!"). So the entire time, I clug to the chains. There is risk involved, and I'll never do the climb again. However, people are at greater risk of heat exhaustion (one guy made the climb in 110 degree weather with only 12 ounces of water) and car accidents. By the way, it's "Zion" not "Zions." There is only one.

Add comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

Recent Forum Comments