Hiker Falls 500 Feet to Her Death While Climbing Yosemite’s Half Dome

This August 2011 file photo shows Half Dome and Yosemite Valley in a view from Glacier Point at Yosemite National Park. (Photo: AP)

An Arizona hiker fell to her death while ascending the iconic granite peaks of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park on Thursday, the National Park Service reports. 

Danielle Burnett, 29, of Lake Havasu City, was scaling the steepest part of the popular trail when she fell more than 500 feet down steep and rocky terrain.

Burnett was dead when park rangers arrived on scene, according to park officials.

It’s unclear what caused the fall. The incident remains under investigation.

Half Dome rises nearly 5,000 feet above Yosemite Valley and is one of the park’s signature sights. Each summer, visitors vie for one of 300 spots released in a daily lottery to complete the 14-mile trek to the top of the iconic dome and back.

The cable trail was first erected in 1919 to help hikers complete the demanding climb. Since then, thousands have scaled the granite cliff for one of nature’s grandest views.

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SOURCE: USA Today; Visalia Times-Delta, Joshua Yeager