News Release

Fatality in Needles District at Canyonlands National Park

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Date: July 20, 2022
Contact: Kaitlyn Thomas, 202-763-3440

Moab, Utah – On the evening of Sunday, July 17, 2022, Canyonlands National Park staff received a report of a missing male subject who was overdue after attempting a short hike from Elephant Hill in the Needles District. A joint search and rescue team comprised of Canyonlands and Mesa Verde National Park Service staff and San Juan County personnel was assembled to locate the individual.

At approximately 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 19, a body matching the description of the individual was located near the trailhead. The body was then transferred to the San Juan County Medical Examiner’s Office. An investigation into the incident currently is being conducted by San Juan County.

No additional information on the fatality is available at this time.

Before hiking in the summer months, visitors are strongly encouraged to plan ahead and prepare for extreme heat. All hikers should ensure they are drinking plenty of fluids, eating snacks, traveling in the early morning hours, resting during the heat of the day, and dressing appropriately for the weather.

More information about hiking safely in Canyonlands can be found at

Last updated: July 20, 2022

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Moab, UT 84532



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