A Banning woman who fell 30 feet from a waterfall in the San Bernardino National Forest onto rocks below was recovering today from major injuries.
Lea Hernandez, 35, fell about 6 p.m. Saturday in the area known as Big Falls, which comprises several large waterfalls within the San Bernardino National Forest in the unincorporated community of Forest Falls.
According to San Bernardino County sheriff's Cpl. Mike Gilley, Hernandez and other hikers entered an area closed off to hikers. During their climb, Hernandez fell about 30 feet onto rocks, sustaining major injuries, Gilley said.
A sheriff's rescue helicopter was dispatched to retrieve Hernandez, but could not land due to the terrain, described as a ``narrow canyon with tall trees'' by Gilley.
An air medic nurse was lowered about 130 feet from the helicopter to hoist Hernandez safely out of the area and fly her to a hospital.
The Big Falls area has been closed to hikers numerous times over the past several years for similar fall incidents.
The Upper Big Falls area past the Big Falls trail remains closed to visitors until Oct. 7, following a closure order issued by the U.S. Forest Service last fall.