Waterfalls near the Grottos area. Photo Credit: mark byzewski (Flickr).

A 24-year-old hiker was seriously injured after falling into the Ice Caves found near Aspen, Colorado over the weekend.

According to the official release from the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office, the male hiker fell about 30 feet into the water and rocks from the top of the Grottos landing in the Ice Caves. He was hiking with friends and family at the time of the accident.

Search and rescue crews were alerted of an injured hiker suffering from an isolated right leg injury and other “internal” injuries at about 11:10 a.m. on Saturday.

The hiker, needing to be rescued after becoming too injured to walk on his own, was tended to by an off-duty trauma surgeon on vacation from the Minneapolis area and another passerby until search and rescue crews could arrive.

Upon the arrival of official rescue crews, ropes and a “litter basket” were used to extract the injured hiker from the caves. He was then taken to Aspen Valley Hospital for additional treatment.

Thanks goes out to the responding agencies including the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, Aspen Fire, Aspen Ambulance, and Mountain Rescue Aspen.

The Grottos Trail is a 0.6-mile loop located off Colorado State Highway 82 over Independence Pass. The popular hiking area is found approximately eight miles east of Aspen, featuring ice caves and breathtaking waterfalls naturally formed by the Roaring Fork River.

Caution is always encouraged at Colorado's waterfall spots, as terrain can get wet and big drops may be present. Wear footwear that allows you to maintain secure footing and stay on official trails and routes.

Editor’s Note: Help fund search and rescue missions across the state of Colorado by purchasing a CORSAR card at ihelpsearch.org. This is not an insurance card. By purchasing a card, you are helping reimburse teams for costs incurred in providing help to lost and injured hikers, climbers, mountain bikers, hunters, ATV riders, skiers, snowboarders, and more.


Breanna Sneeringer writes about news, adventure, and more for OutThere Colorado as a Digital Content Producer. She is an avid adventure seeker and wildflower enthusiast. Breanna joined OutThere Colorado in September 2018.


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