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Falling

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

There are many hikes in our area that traverse basalt cliffs or climb to scenic viewpoints with dropoffs. The trails are normally wide enough, yet every year people die in tragic falls. In one recent tragic case, a man married for decades found his wife had died after falling 230 feet near Cape Horn.

Here are a few thoughts to keep you safe on cliffside trails.

  • When passing, look ahead and pause on a wider section of trail, allowing the most room to pass other hikers.
  • Children will need extra attention, including held hands through dangerous sections.
  • Dogs should be leashed and held tightly, giving others a lot of room to pass. Playful dogs should be left at home.
  • Give backpackers with large packs the right of way.
  • Some people suffer extreme fear of heights. Comfort hikers in your party and let obviously scared people pass on the inside.
  • Be alert for changing weather conditions. Ice or mud can be deadly.
  • Look for loose stones or rolling rocks.
  • Photographers should be extra careful. Don't block the trail with tripods or gear. When you're looking through your camera, moving around to find that perfect shot, don't step over the cliff edge.
Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.