Florida man dies in 70-foot fall at Crater Lake National Park

Park warning: Climbing in caldera prohibited


A 20-year-old Florida man died Tuesday after falling up to 70 feet from a rocky cliff edge along West Rim Drive in Crater Lake National Park, officials said Wednesday.

The incident occurred at about 5:45 a.m. Tuesday. The man, whose name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, had scrambled down inside the caldera just west of Rim Village.  

Witnesses said the man walked onto a rocky point when rocks he was standing on broke loose and he fell about 50 to 70 feet.

 Rangers rappelled down the cliff and confirmed the man had died from injuries sustained in the fall.  

The incident remains under investigation.

Park staff reminded visitors that climbing or hiking within the caldera is prohibited due to extremely hazardous conditions encountered inside the collapsed volcano.  Patches of late snow can also contribute to hazards in the caldera and on other high elevation slopes.  

The majority of the higher-elevation hiking trails are still partially or fully snow-covered and should be avoided, they said. 

Visitors also are cautioned to observe warning signs, be aware of footing on rocky, pumice slopes, and never approach the edge, even in areas that may appear traveled by others. 

Due to heavy spring snow, hikers on backcountry trails may encounter patches of snow, fallen trees and other debris well into July and August.  

The Watchman and Garfield Peak trails remain closed due to heavy snow and dangerous conditions.  The Cleetwood Cove trail to the lake is open.

In late May, a 22-year-old man slipped on snow and tumbled 1,000 feet into the caldera.

He survived and was rescued by a helicopter.

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