Garfield County officials urge hikers to be prepared after death in Bryce Canyon National Park

Aug 28, 2023, 7:55 AM | Updated: Oct 18, 2023, 2:25 pm

Fairyland Loop in Bryce Canyon National Park. A woman was found deceased after a hike....

Fairyland Loop in Bryce Canyon National Park. (National Parks Service)

(National Parks Service)

GARFIELD COUNTY, Utah — Local officials are asking hikers to come prepared after an Arizona woman went missing in Bryce Canyon National Park and was found dead.

Garfield County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Joseph Adams said they believe the woman, Jeanne Howell, 64, was likely an experienced hiker.

“She was supposed to meet up with her family on Saturday, but she got there a day early and wanted to do a solo hike,” Adams said.

Officials say Howell was wearing a Garmin GPS tracking device, which allowed search and rescue teams to find her. While her death is still under investigation, Adams said weather was likely a contributing factor.

With the Labor Day weekend approaching, officials are urging hikers to be prepared, especially as monsoon season continues.

Adams said to always have a plan. Make sure someone who’s not hiking with you knows what trial you’ll be taking and what time you’re hoping to be back.

“If you’ve planned for a couple of hours hike, you should overpack,” he said. “Bring more than enough water, more than enough food, enough that can sustain you in case you are (out) longer than you anticipate.”

Terri Bush of Brigham City visited Bryce Canyon on Friday and hiked the Fairyland Loop Trail for the first time.

“It was really beautiful in the morning. Mostly blue skies, just a handful of clouds,” she said. “I had read in the forecast that there was possibly going be rain later in the day.”

The rain did eventually come. Despite getting soaked, Bush said she remembers feeling glad she wasn’t caught in the lower areas of the trail. So, when Bush read about Howell, who was found dead a mile east of the trail, she felt “sick.”

“I would go back and hike again, but knowing it had been where we had just been was really shocking and sad,” Bush said.

Adams encourages hikers to stay on the designated trails. He also said hikers should make sure they have weather alerts turned on.

“Make sure that you’re checking the weather, and if you are getting flash flood warnings or severe storm warnings, make sure you take those seriously and plan accordingly,” Adams said.

For more tips, click you can check out the Trails Foundation of Northern Utah website.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Outdoors + Recreation

FILE: A houseboat is seen against the backdrop of Lake Powell’s “bathtub ring,” a light-color...

Tammy Kikuchi

Twenty-one people treated for carbon monoxide exposure while boating at Lake Powell

The group was exposed to carbon monoxide while boating near Face Canyon when the headaches, dizziness, and nausea began.

17 hours ago

After statistics in recent years showed an increase in bicycle crashes police and the Bicycle Colle...

Mike Anderson and Mary Culbertson, KSL TV

After an uptick in crashes, Utah police, advocates plead for change

After statistics in recent years showed an increase in bicycle crashes police and the Bicycle Collective are asking cyclists to stay safe.

1 day ago

Fruita Campground (left) and Devil's Garden Campground are listed as two of the top ten most diffic...

Allessandra Harris Gurr

What to know about camping at Fruita Campground or Devil’s Garden

Camping at Fruita Campground at Capitol Reef National Park and Devils Garden Campground at Arches National Park is popular and difficult.

2 days ago

Emery County's Search and Rescue Team and Department of Public Safety officials worked to rescue a ...


Three rescued from Zero Gravity slot canyon

A family was rescued from the Zero Gravity Slot canyon by Search and Rescue team after one man was “wedged between canyon walls."

2 days ago

The state law doesn't require people of all ages to wear a life jacket while they’re out in the w...

Michelle Lee

Be mindful of these summer water safety tips

Let’s Get Moving Host Maria Shilaos spoke with Cassidy Hadden, Utah Drowning Prevention Coalition Chair of 2024, to learn water safety tips.

5 days ago

The Unified Fire Authority received a call on Saturday about a helicopter having to emergency land ...

Kennedy Camarena

Helicopter emergency lands in Herriman

A helicopter pilot had to perform an emergency landing in a field in Herriman, Utah on Saturday after a mechanical failure occurred.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

Garfield County officials urge hikers to be prepared after death in Bryce Canyon National Park