Two bodies found in Washington waterfall after hikers get swept away over the weekend

Kaaterskill Falls
The search for the missing men quickly turned into a recovery mission (Image credit: DACowley / Getty Images)

The search for two missing hikers who were swept away by a Washington waterfall over the weekend has yielded two bodies, according to Washington state officials

On Saturday at around 4:15 p.m., Snohomish County Sheriff's Department announced on social media that a search was underway for two subjects who had fallen into the water at Eagle Falls in the Skykomish River in Index. The two were reportedly part of a group of four that had been hiking near the falls, which are a popular beauty spot and have been the site of many casualties over the years.

On Sunday morning, SCSH reported that they had recovered the bodies of two males. While they are awaiting formal identification of the bodies by the Medical Examiners Office, it is presumed they belong to the missing hikers.

In an interview with the Seattle Times, Lieutenant Glenn DeWitt warned that the falls are currently very dangerous and slippery due to springtime conditions.

“The current is very swift. The water temperature is still very cold and we’re talking hypothermia.”

The falls, which drop 25 feet, are always in the shade and the water is always very cold as a result.

Meanwhile, in Angeles National Forest, the search is ongoing for a woman who slipped while attempting a river crossing and was swept away by powerful currents on March 13.

Big Thompson River Flowing in Rocky Mountain National Park

Rising water levels make waterfall hiking a popular activity in the spring, but can make trails more dangerous than usual (Image credit: RondaKimbrow)

Waterfall safety

Rising water levels make waterfall hiking a popular activity in the spring, but can make trails more dangerous than usual. It's important to wear proper footwear, like hiking boots, even if the trail is short and easy, and observe the following tips from the SCFD:

  • Always wear a life jacket. Never go near moving water without one.
  • Beach logs, riverbanks and rocks near the shore are usually slippery. A fall can knock you unconscious.
  • Consider bringing a whistle. It could help alert nearby people.
  • Keep kids within arm’s reach. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among young children. 
  • Don’t dive in. Two-thirds of catastrophic neck injuries occur in open water and the sea.

Learn more in our article on waterfall safety.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.