California hiker dies after falling 500 feet at Sequoia National Park

Second hiker flown to hospital after falling 30 feet

A California man died after he fell about 500 feet from a mountain ridge in Sequoia National Park on Monday.

The 56-year-old San Jose resident was hiking with two other people when he fell from near the summit of Mount Russell on the eastern edge of the park, according to the National Parks Service. Officials hadn't released his identity Wednesday.

A second person, a 45-year-old Milpitas woman, fell 30 feet, officials said.

The third member of their group used a satellite emergency locator beacon and called 911. 

A California man died after he fell about 500 feet from a mountain ridge in Sequoia National Park on Monday.

A California man died after he fell about 500 feet from a mountain ridge in Sequoia National Park on Monday. (iStock)

A rescue helicopter from Yosemite National Park responded and its crew was able to rescue the injured woman and flew her to a hospital, officials said. She was later flown to another hospital in Reno, Nevada, for surgery.

A Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks team returned to the area on Tuesday to retrieve the man’s body. 

EXPERIENCED HIKER FOUND DEAD FROM APPARENT FALL IN COLORADO

Established in 1890, Sequoia National Park is the U.S.’s second oldest national park – after Yellowstone. The park is best known for its giant sequoia trees, including one said to be the largest tree in the world. 

Park officials said they responded to eight separate search-and-rescue incidents over the three-day Memorial Day weekend at the start of what they expect to be an unusually busy summer. 

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Anyone planning a visit should prepare carefully. Officials said people should understand they may need to be self-sufficient in an emergency and know that rescuers may not be able to reach them quickly,

"Understand your own limits, take care of the people in your party and always be prepared to turn back," they advised.