Sedona woman dies in Bryce Canyon

Undated photo of two hikers along the 8-mile Fairyland Loop Trail. (Courtesy Bryce Canyon National Park)

Undated photo of two hikers along the 8-mile Fairyland Loop Trail. (Courtesy Bryce Canyon National Park)

GARFIELD COUNTY, Utah – Bryce Canyon National Park announced the death of a hiker within one of its canyons Friday, Aug. 25.

Jeanne Roblez Howell, 64, of Sedona was overdue from a 2 p.m. hike on the Fairyland Loop trail. It was a stormy afternoon. She was reported missing by 7 p.m.

“A search of the area was conducted in cooperation with the Garfield County Sheriff’s office and the Utah Department of Public Safety,” the park announced. “The body of Mrs. Howell was discovered at 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 26 within Campbell Canyon, approximately a mile east of the Fairyland Loop. She was pronounced deceased at the scene by a Garfield County medical examiner.”

An experienced and enthusiastic hiker, Howell was a math teacher at Verde Valley School. Head of School Benjamin Lee said the school was in the grieving process with the community and her devastated family.

Her son Benjamin also posted the news on his Facebook account, adding, “My mom was the most unique person in all the best ways. She brought all the love and happiness with her wherever she went. She was dedicated to everything she did. She was genuine in everything she did. She truly was the best of us and we will never be the same without her.”

During the afternoon of Howell’s hike, heavy rain was reported in the northern end of the park, with flash flooding along Fairyland Loop, which is an 8-mile trail.

“This is a tragic event, and our deepest sympathy goes out to the victim’s friends and family,” said Allana Olbrich, acting Bryce Canyon superintendent, “I also want to express the park’s appreciation for the support we’ve received from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and the Utah Department of Public Safety.”

Bryce Canyon National Park is in southern Utah off Highway 89.

--The Verde Independent

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