2 rock climbers found dead near Tahquitz Rock in Idyllwild

A man climbs Tahquitz Rock
A man climbs Tahquitz Rock in Idyllwild. On Wednesday, two climbers were found dead near the popular destination.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Two rock climbers were found dead near Tahquitz Rock in Idyllwild after they were reported to be injured, authorities said Thursday.

The Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department said it responded to the scene after a bystander in the area reported the accident around 12:25 p.m. Wednesday. Rescuers struggled to access the area, and when they arrived, they discovered the climbers, according to the department.

The two were both dead, the department said.

Escobar was one of two hikers who died while climbing Tahquitz Rock near Idyllwild on Wednesday.

Sept. 29, 2022

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department later identified the two as Gavin Escobar, 31, a Long Beach firefighter, and Chelsea Walsh, 33, both of Huntington Beach. Escobar was a former tight end with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, the department said.

A spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department, which is leading the investigation into the deaths, said there did not appear to be evidence of foul play.


About 0.2 inches of rain fell in the Idyllwild region around the time of the accident, but the Sheriff’s Department said it was not clear if the weather was a factor in the deaths.

Tahquitz Rock, with its steep granite cliffs, is a popular destination for rock climbers across California. Climbers have died in the past in the area, also known as Lily Rock.

Two San Fernando Valley climbers fell 200 feet to their deaths on the rock in 2000.

Anna Parsons, 21, broke bones throughout her body and had her left foot amputated, but it was “nothing short of a miracle” that she survived, her sister said.

Aug. 30, 2022

Times staff writer Robert Lopez contributed to this report.