Monday, 30 September,2021
On 9/29/2021 at approximately 1:36 PM, our office received information of a hiker that had fallen or had been swept over the Lower Lewis River Falls, in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, 33 miles east of Cougar, Washington. The reporting party had to drive to find cellular service and advised the incident occurred 28 minutes prior to making the initial call for help.
A Search & Rescue Deputy responded immediately along with North Country EMS, Volcano Rescue Team, and the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office Dive-Rescue Unit.
Divers located the hiker, deceased, in 14’ of water, just west of the main pool. The deceased, Benjamin K. Jones, 25, of Vancouver, had been in the area with friends on what they called their “Waterfall Wednesday” hiking trip. Jones was last seen on a ledge, just west of the falls, when his party lost sight of him.
Witnesses at the bottom of the falls observed a person in the water yelling for help. They attempted to reach Jones; however, he went under and did not resurface.
This tragic accident is a reminder to use established overlooks and stay on trail when visiting the Falls.