Alumna dies after fall during Grand Canyon hike

An ASU alumna fell 300 feet in Owl Eyes Canyon and later died Saturday while hiking on an unmarked trail in Grand Canyon National Park, a National Park Service official said.

Park officials were notified Sunday after Ioana Elise Hociota, 24, of Tempe, Ariz., missed her scheduled check-in with her husband Saturday, National Park Service spokeswoman Shannan Marcak said.

Owl Eyes Canyon is located on the south side of the Colorado River, across from the Tapeats Creek and Deer Creek areas, approximately 30 miles northwest of Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim.

Hociota and her male hiking partner were experienced hikers, Marcak said.

“She was well-equipped, they had a satellite phone and took a lot of safety precautions,” she said. “They understood what it took to be safe out there, but unfortunately this tragic accident occurred.”

Hociota and her partner had a backcountry permit from the National Park Service.

The park’s helicopter discovered her body below a cliff in the Supai rock layer, Marcak said.

The fall is believed to be accidental and the Coconino Medical Examiner will investigate Hociota’s death.

Hociota graduated from ASU in 2011 with two Bachelor of Science degrees in mathematics and biology, according to her LinkedIn page.

No other information is available at the time.


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