Man dies after pair of hikers fall near waterfall in San Bernardino National Forest


A man died at Big Falls in the San Bernardino National Forest on Sunday, after he and another hiker fell near the waterfall.

Two hikers slipped and fell about 20 feet from the falls, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. A helicopter rescue team found a woman performing CPR on the male hiker on the lower falls, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, the Sheriff’s Department said.

The deceased hiker was later identified as Richard Deharo, a 43-year-old from Hemet.

The other hiker — a woman who was identified as Annalea Deharo Majors, a 43-year-old from Riverside — was flown out of the area and transported to Loma Linda University Medical Center. The woman was awake and speaking with rescuers as she was flown away from the hiking trail, but no further information about her condition was available, according to Mara Rodriguez, public information officer with the Sheriff’s Department.


A novice hiker trudged up Mt. Whitney to feel closer to her brother, who summited the peak just days before he died on another mountain.

June 30, 2022

Big Falls is a popular, short trail providing views of one of the tallest waterfalls in Southern California.

U.S. Forest Service officials have closed the upper section of the Big Falls trail to visitors in recent years following a string of injuries. Visitors are banned from going past a viewing platform at the northern end of the Big Falls trail toward an observation area at the top of the falls, according to an order released by the U.S. Forest Service that is active through June 17, 2023.

The area at the top of the falls, once dubbed “Blood Rock” by locals and authorities, was the site of more than 60 injuries in 2015, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

Mariposa County’s sheriff said it was “maddening” that a Michigan man had to be rescued from the remote trail where a family died of heat-related illness last year.

July 7, 2022

In May, Robert Carey Jr. from Calimesa died while hiking near Big Falls after the 33-year-old fell nearly 80 feet. Authorities found his body at the bottom of the falls after his family had reported him missing.

The two hikers in the most recent fall incident appeared to have fallen from the middle section of the falls rather than the upper section, according to the Sheriff’s Department. The two were hiking in an area that was closed to the public, Rodriguez said.