A view of Santa Elena Canyon from July 28, 2012. (Robert Hensley/flickr)
Big Bend National Park in Far West Texas is known for its remote and rugged terrain, with a geology found nowhere else in the state. It attracts hikers and bird-watchers to its mountain trails, as well as rafters and canoeists to the Rio Grande. The ruggedness of the park was on display this week, when a man fell to his death.
The Santa Elena Canyon Trail is just under two miles, round trip. On Wednesday afternoon, a man died there. David Elkowitz is the public information officer: “Sadly, on May 18th about 2 pm, a 20-year-old male name Brett Leondike from LaVernia, Texas, suffered a fatal fall.”
The trail concludes in one of the most popular places in Big Bend National Park, at Santa Elena Canyon, which rises 1,500 feet above the Rio Grande.
“The fall was approximately 100 feet,” said Elkowitz. “I don’t recall a fatality by falling for many many years, if ever. It’s an accident, I assume, although the cause is under investigation.”
This comes less than a week another fatality, when a 37-year old male from San Angelo, Texas, died on a hike with his wife and parents in the southwest portion of the park.