Stampede Trail Hiker Loses Life Crossing Teklanika River


A female hiker lost her life in the Teklanika River along the Stampede Trail near Healy on last Thursday AST reports.

According to the trooper report, they were notified just before midnight on Thursday by 24-year-old Piotr Markielau that his wife, 24-year-old Veranika Nikanava, had been swept away and drowned in the river.

At the time of the incident, recent rains had caused the river to swell and the current was extremely swift. The husband told troopers that he and his wife were attempting to cross the river when she was swept under. 

Markielau said he was able to locate Nikanava 75-100 feet downriver, but by that time she was deceased.

Volunteers and troopers responded to the scene via ATVs to conduct a body recovery. Her remains were sent to the State Medical Examiner’s office in Anchorage.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

The Stampede Trail and its crossing at the Teklanika River have become a popular hiking destination after the release of the movie, “Into the Wild” depicting Christopher McCandless and his death there.