Yosemite Hiker’s Death Announced Week After She Went Missing

by Jennifer Shea

Alice Yu Xie turned up dead in Yosemite National Park the same day she was declared missing. But it took authorities a week to announce her death to the public.

Yosemite Hiker Went on a Day Trip

The 41-year-old hiker was a Chinese national. She had journeyed to Yosemite from Mariposa on a Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System bus on Jan. 14, Fox News reports. 

Xie was under 5 feet tall and weighed less than 100 pounds, with neck-length black hair. She brought with her a small neon green backpack.

On Jan. 15, Xie was reported missing. According to a Facebook post from Yosemite National Park, authorities believe she went on a day hike to the Upper Yosemite Fall overlook. 

That same day, a search team discovered Xie’s body at the base of Upper Yosemite Fall. Authorities did not immediately release a cause of death.

Officials have notified the hiker’s family of her death. But they offered no explanation as to why they delayed the announcement of Xie’s death for about a week.

A Difficult Hike

The Upper Yosemite Falls hike takes anywhere from six to 10 hours, according to Yosemitehikes.com. It’s a steep climb – 2,600 feet to the top of Yosemite Falls. It’s also a tough climb, rating an 8 out of 10 on the difficulty meter. At the viewpoints, the dropoffs are sheer and sudden.

Furthermore, two other people who disappeared in Yosemite National Park remain missing, per the National Park Service. Sandra Johnsen-Hughes went missing on July 4 of last year. The 54-year-old went camping alone in the Sierra National Forest and crashed her car. Witnesses present at the crash scene told authorities that she had refused help. Then searchers found Johnsen-Hughes’ sleeping bag and campsite abandoned. 

Meanwhile, on Sept. 17, 2016, 74-year-old Peter Jackson texted his son that he planned to hike to Yosemite. Searchers found his campsite undisturbed at the White Wolf Campground. But Jackson was nowhere to be seen. However, in 2019, someone found his backpack between Aspen Valley and Smith Peak.