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Minnesota hiker falls from cliff to his death near Yosemite waterfall

Vernal Fall in Yosemite National Park.

Story highlights

  • Kenneth Stensby, 73, of Minnesota was found dead at the base of Vernal Fall
  • Staff at the hiker's hotel alerted authorities when he did not return as expected
  • Three California hikers were swept over the 317-foot waterfall in 2011

Rangers at Yosemite National Park in California recovered the body of a Minnesota man who fell to his death from a cliff near a waterfall, park officials said Tuesday in a news release.

Kenneth Stensby, 73, of Edina, Minnesota, left a note with the concierge of his hotel on Sunday saying he was going to the top of Vernal Fall and planned to return around noon, officials said. The hotel staff contacted rangers around 5 p.m. when Stensby had not yet returned.

Park officials conducted a search on foot with a dog team and a California Highway Patrol helicopter, and Stensby's body was found at the base of the 317-foot waterfall around 6 p.m. Monday, the release said. It was recovered Tuesday afternoon.

Three California hikers died in 2011 when they were swept over Vernal Fall after climbing over a guardrail into the Merced River about 25 feet away from the waterfall.

2012: Boy drowns, another missing in Yosemite river

2011: Bodies of missing hikers swept over waterfall recovered