Hiker who died after falling 40 feet from Hole in the Rock and identified as a native of Phoenix


Joel Brotherton. Courtesy Karen Rose

Authorities say a man has died who hiked Papago Park and fell nearly 40 feet from the Hole in the Rock Trail on February 6.

The wanderer was on the Hole in the Rock Trail, which is a heavily hiked trail because of the view of the valley above. He fell 30 to 40 feet after firefighters. Witnesses said he got off the trail faster than the other hikers around him.

“While gravity can help you get this trail faster, you are on the right footing. Make sure you are in control of your pace,” the firefighters said.

He was rushed to the hospital in extremely critical condition, and Phoenix Fire officials said Sunday morning that he died from his injuries.

On February 8, the family identified the wanderer as 33-year-old Joel Brotherton. His mother says he was a singer and songwriter who grew up in Phoenix.

“Joel was born and raised in Phoenix. He attended Lookout Mountain Elementary School, Mountain Sky Junior High School, and Thunderbird High School. He played the guitar, sang, loved the outdoors, and had a large family that loved him very much. He was intelligent, passionate, and creative. And very funny, “said his mother, Karen Rose.

The hiker dies after falling nearly 40 feet from Hole in the Rock

A man has died after falling nearly 40 feet on the Hole in the Rock Trail on Saturday, February 6th.

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