21-year-old hiker dies after falling from waterfall in Big Sur, California

Salmon Creek waterfall at Big Sur in California
Kenneth Taylor, 21, is believed to have fallen from the top of Salmon Creek waterfall in Big Sur, and sadly did not survive (Image credit: Getty Images)

A 21-year-old hiker has died after apparently falling from the top of a waterfall in  California.

Kenneth Taylor was a junior mechanical engineering student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a talented photographer. He was due to graduate next year.

The accident happened at Salmon Creek, a popular hiking spot in Big Sur, with a 120ft waterfall. His body was found in a pool at the base of the waterfall at 7.45pm on April 6.

Local police from the Monterey County sheriff's office said no foul play was suspected.

Taylor, was an experienced hiker and had been a trip leader for ASI Poly Escapes, an outdoor pursuits shop, and one of the founders of the Alpine Club at Cal Poly. He was originally from Richland, Washington and was also a member of the Surfrider Foundation.

Staff at ASI Poly Escapes described him as a "person of incredible technical skill, and even more incredible kindness, unmatched wittiness and a passion for adventure that could inspire anyone".

His death was announced to fellow students by Cal Poly president Jeffrey Armstrong. The Taylor family asked students who attended a memorial for him on Friday to wear a flannel shirt in his memory, to reflect his great love of the outdoors.

The university is offering counselling services to students affected by this death.

Salmon Creek is on the Big Sur Highway 1 on the West Coast, roughly 28 miles north of Cambria.

Rosee Woodland
Senior Staff Writer

Rosee Woodland developed a taste for adventure at a young age, growing up in a home where camping was the default holiday, and good weather was a vacation bonus rather than a necessity. After bike-packing the length of France in her mid teens with her family, she started to undertake solo forays in her 20s, usually without the benefit of much technical gear at all. Happily, the years she later spent as a mountain biking journalist eventually gave her an appreciation of decent kit! These days she loves a water-based adventure, and is an outdoor swim coach, and a keen free diver. She has a soft spot for Northern Ireland's Mourne mountains, and can also be found hiking and kayaking in Pembrokeshire and the South West of the UK.