Two Women Deceased, One Girl in Hospital After Camping Trip Turns Fatal

Marilyn Ortega and Linda PenaYesterday, family members of two women and one girl who had been camping at the KOA near Trinity Lake off of Hwy 3 began sharing photos of them on social media requesting the community’s help. The women had left their campsite on Wednesday apparently and hadn’t been seen since. The family had just learned that they were missing.

This evening, the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office posted the following press release on their Facebook page confirming that the two women were found deceased apparently as the result of exposure in the area of the Trinity Alps Wilderness area and the juvenile girl had to be evacuated to a hospital where she is in stable condition.

We have confirmed the basic facts with a family member and received permission to post the photos and names of the adult women.Press release from the Trinity County Sheriff's Department



  • How terrible. My condolences to their families, and prayers for a complete recovery for the girl.

    • I fear this girl will be messed up for awhile.
      ie. PTSD, Survivor’s guilt, and other things real or imagined

  • My heart goes out to the families.

  • Always be prepared. Whenever you’re out of sight of your vehicle, bring a synthetic sweater, a space blanket bivy, and a lighter. Less than $50 (no, you don’t need the latest and greatest North Face), and the difference between life and death. I can’t imagine that they were that high up, this was entirely preventable.

  • It’s really unfortunate that the KOA never reported them missing and they were lost for six nights. A quicker response would have rescued them all. If something seems odd or suspicious, it never hurts to report it. The KOA rep even said he supplied them with hiking maps to five locations last Wednesday and that they never returned to their camp which was still full of all their belongings. I cannot imagine the horrific ordeal they went through lost in that wilderness and at that elevation. My sympathy and prayers go out to the young survivor and their families.

    • What an idiot from Loa that person needs to get fired

    • Six nights!!!! Holy cow. That koa host is a moron…. ive been lost in the woods. The since of panic and self degradation is only experienced if you’ve been there. A gun. Theres more scarier things out in those hills then loins n bears,also makes a great signaling device.A flare. WILL start a fire,also makes a great signaling device. Very sad story of the time they had to endure.

      • REALLY a moron it not the host’s responsibility to keep track of these or any of the people staying at their facility. In fact its none of their business what there guest are up to as long as it’s not something illegal on their property. It’s a very sad thing that this happened and my condolences to the the families, but give me a break. The KOA host is in no way at fault Buzzard[edit].

    • I agree. One would think KOA would know they were missing a bit quicker then 6 days. Won’t be staying there any time soon.

    • Totally agree! Let’s blame somebody else for having to be responsible for two grown ass adults who were either unprepared or just victims of a tragic incident. How dare this employee not keep track of everyone he or she comes into contact with!!! I’m sure every person he or she comes into contact with is willing to tell them where they’re going, how long they’ll be there for and any other private information they’re asked.

  • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

    Stretch for TCSO without ANY forensic ability to make that statement.

    All forensic material is sent to Shasta.

    Very sad, but it can snow in early July at certain microclimates, it’s still Spring.

    Very sad reading this, very sad.

  • My deepest sympathies for their loved ones. This is so tragic. I hope the girl will heal in every way.

  • So very sad, condolences to the family and friends. May they rest in peace and may all healing possible come to the young woman.

    In reading the comments, i hope koa will change their protocol so folks whose camps have belongings but no people for a few days get attention quickly. Maybe a way to leave your potential hiking route with someone and have them check your camp that nite.

    In no way do i mean to be disrespectful in saying that its a good idea to carry extra supplies on day hikes. The weather is unpredictable to say the least, especially high elevation this year. We had someone get injured miles from camp and it was a huge blessing we brought gear/food for overnite. An air horn isnt a bad idea. Those hand warmers packets can really help as well.
    A few months ago a woman was rescued off of the lost coast and she had a certain phone or something that relayed her need for help and location. Does anyone know what that item is called?

  • More people go missing in Alaska than any other state..usually a hiker or some jogger doesnt bring a good jacket..even in summer..all it takes is a cold snap…the quick temp drop does it .sorry for this familys loss

  • So heartbreaking to read this. May the families of the deceased be comforted in their terrible loss. Thank you to the Sheriff deputy for going out once the women were reported missing. I am glad the families had kin who reported them missing. Hard to fathom how long they would of remained lost in the wilderness if no one missed them.

  • I would bet they got caught in an unexpected June snow storm and couldn’t find their way out. Blessings to those poor women.

  • I’ve hiked up in that area numerous times, and I’ve personally seen how the weather can change from one day to the next, even in June…. one day rain, the next day snow, then the next having 80 plus degree weather.
    I’ve also learned how quickly one can lose a well defined trail by deciding to step off of it , in search of a short cut, and how difficult it is to find it again.

    In my initiation to hiking this area for a week long trip, I was well prepared and guided by experienced individuals with numerous trips into this area, even then, I had lost quite a few pounds in weight at the end of the hiking trip.

    My condolences to the families of the two deceased women.

  • Thinking allowed

    My sympathies to the family members for their loss and wishing the survivor a fast recovery.

  • Still snow up there.

    KOA hosts weren’t negligent, it’s common for campers to disappear for days at a time in the trinities. And it’s none of their business, I personally change my mind frequently about how long I’m out, and would hate undo concern. If you want a camp site host to keep an eye out, kindly tell them your estimated return date and to contact authorities if you’re not back by a predetermined day.

    • Yep, that is rule one in hiking alone which is how I hike 90% of the time. It’s also wise to do that if your in an inexperienced group. It’s very very very sad that these two lives were lost and beyond heartbreaking that someone had to spend time waiting with her deceased or dying loved ones. BUT I’m very tired of people always blaming others, it’s not the camp hosts fault and how do y’all think she/he feels being martered over this? They likely feel undue guilt as it is. Sometimes people make mistakes that lead to their own death, such is life. My mother and grandmother both causes their own deaths at young ages, I’m speaking from experience, not judgement. Wether it’s the Lawson case, cancer, a car wreck or something like this, sometimes you just have to accept that a person you loved made a mistake and now they are gone. Love your missing loved one without attacking others.

      • Thank you much, i truly appreciate your words and sentiment. We are far from flawless as humans and its good to remember that even the best most experienced folks make mistakes. Think of those climbers on everest who lost their lives after a few bad choices, they were extremely experienced.
        This winter blew trees and branches over many established trails, so take your time in backcountry. Really be prepared for anything. Brush up on your paper mapping skills with the compass. Carry a wild foods book and waterproof matches and extra clothes always.
        Ive been humbled by the trinity mountains multiple times, more than any other backcountry experience. It gets remote real fast, which makes it such a great backpacking area, but you have to be careful. And even then theres no guarantees. Its too bad we no longer have local classes teaching navigating by the stars.

        So sorry these folks had to go through days of being lost and frightened, its heartbreaking. Many blessings to all.

  • I was out that way last weekend. It got into the low 30s at night. The poor girl. Hope she recovers fully and can maintain a normal life after hoing through this.

  • So sad and yet so amazing the adolescent survived. I’m sure those 2 angels never left her side.

  • >”Whenever you’re out of sight of your vehicle, bring a synthetic sweater, a space blanket bivy, and a lighter.”

    +1 on that.

    >” is the best way to go”

    Not sure. I read the site. Experimental. Only offers a 1/2 mile range to ‘searchers’. IMHO: They didn’t need really need ‘searchers’… they needed to let people know they were in trouble.

    IMHO: Better stuff. SPOT, In-Reach… and of course conventional ‘Rescue Beacons’. They have GPS, and work off satellite network mostly ‘worldwide’.
    Lots of places in the back-country, there are no cell phone towers.

    They violated a basic safety rule in the wilderness… let people know where you are going… and when you should return.


  • So sad this to happen. Prayers for peace,comfort and healing to all the families and friends. Hope this is a reminder to KOA to be a little more on their toes when someone doesn’t come back. 😰💜

  • Condolences to the families. K.O.A didn’t notice they were gone 6 days.3 women camping alone and weren’t checked on?? We used them and they did rounds 2 times sad

  • Laura Jaffe-Stender

    I was up at Carter Meadows Summit (the trail head for the Trinity Alps Wilderness) on Sunday, June 11,2017 in the morning. There was in fact fresh snow. I imagine that the upper elevations got several inches. My deepest condolences to the family.

  • Didn’t another woman die the same way out there a few years ago?

  • Condolences to the families. Does any one know where these ladies were from?

  • Rest in paradise young ladies…

  • What exposure to the element’s. Snow? ??? Kim I skipped the usually crap off point to reply.
    I’m really concerned. I hope all the blessings these families need and deserves.
    Thanks Kim for sharing
    God bless

  • I knew one of these women…. should they have been more prepared? Yes!
    That’s still no excuse for people being mean….. they had family and loved ones. Let’s all be kind!

    • Thank you for this comment. I’m sorry for your loss. It seems that people forget that these are real people with real loved ones. Somewhere along the way there has been a strong change in the hearts and minds of people. With the widespread of social media people tend to blurt in writing without thinking of the affect of what they write may have on others. Its easy being critical of others when your not looking into their face. Usually you would never make these kind of comments in the presence of others but social media makes people invisable so some pretty cruel things are easily written about something without having compassion, respect, or responsibily. So sad

  • shawn the fisherman

    How many nights of freezing your ass off before you head down the mountain? Had no idea what they were in for.. Stupidity can be fatal folks. Dumb way to die.

    • Till we hear the whole story no one will know. It could very well be that one of them was injured and couldn’t proceed and the other 2 were not going to leave her behind.

    • Chase Rebensdorf

      I was linked to this article by a member of the deceased’s family. You are a horrible person for listing this where they could read it.

    • Chase Rebensdorf

      Also, if this comments section is indeed moderated, how did this get through? Shame on the “moderator”.

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