20-Year-Old Hiker Involved in Fatal Fall at Angel’s Rest Identified

by Lauren Boisvert

A hiker who tragically died after an accidental fall from a cliff at Angel’s Rest Trail has been identified as 20-year-old Kriss Arturo Garcia from Tualatin, Oregon. Angel’s Rest is located off the Columbia River Highway, slightly northeast of Bridal Veil Falls in Multnomah County. The trail is 8 miles to a lookout that offers a view of the Columbia River Gorge.

Garcia’s body was found on Wednesday, August 24, and recovered on Thursday, August 25. A hiker noticed Garcia’s body at the bottom of a cliff and called 911. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office ruled Garcia’s death an accident, per KPTV out of Portland.

According to Oregon’s State Parks website, the Angel’s Rest Trail shows signs of scarring and rough terrain from the Eagle Creek Fire in 2017. Because the area has been previously ravaged by fire, Oregon State Parks warns visitors to stay on the designated path. Additionally, they warn hikers to watch their steps as they hike. The recovering environment is susceptible to erosion and landslides, according to the website. Visitors should also steer clear of cliff edges.

Hikers Seek Shelter in Cave During Canyonlands National Park Flooding

Canyonlands National Park, and much of Zion National Park as well, recently experienced a monsoon-like flood of torrential rain that left many hikers stranded in the parks. A group of hikers who were also paddling along the Green River in Canyonlands had to take shelter in an alcove above the river when the rains hit.

Friends Kayleen and Matt Castelli, Michael and Kathryn Heckendorn, and Darius Nabors were all paddling along the Green River. Then, the rain and floods started coming. “We saw dark clouds and then lightning off in the distance, kept checking in with each other then made the receipt to get out about a mile down,” said Matt Castelli to KSL News out of Salt Lake City. “We hurried into an alcove that was a hundred feet above the river.” 

The group made a makeshift shelter in the alcove out of their boats and gear. The torrential rains and flash flooding created muddy brown waterfalls above them. “We started seeing waterfalls in places we didn’t even know there could be waterfalls,” said Castelli.

They had to stay in the alcove for about 2 hours until the rains let up. They then hiked out on Sunday, August 21, and made it through the ordeal with no injuries. The group was lucky, but the same can’t be said for everyone who was caught in the flash flooding. While this story ends in success, some others ended tragically.

Hiker Jetal Agnhihotri was horrifically swept away in the floods in Zion National Park. Her body was found three days after KUTV out of Salt Lake City reported on a video that surfaced showing multiple people being swept away in flood waters.