Andrea Norton, who was a student at Briar Cliff University, was with a group of students from Sioux City, Iowa, on Saturday when she attempted to post for a photo at Hawksbill Crag and fell 100 feet to her death, according to Newton County Sheriff Glenn Wheeler.
She was raised in Hot Springs, South Dakota, by parents Mark and Tamara.
According to university newspaper the Observer, emergency crews responded to the scene just before 3:30 a.m., and Monfries had suffered serious injuries to her head and pelvis. She was a triple major in biology, environmental science and global studies.
Sheriff Wheeler said Norton's death was a reminder of how risky these popular spots like Hawksbill Crag can be.
EXEMPLARY: A spokesman from Briar Cliff University described her as an exemplary student (Pic: Facebook) "Andrea was a passionate environmental science major, exemplary student and dedicated athlete".
Local officials said the area where Ms Norton died was considered one of the state's most photographed hiking areas, although several people have died there in recent times. "Hawksbill Crag is a spectacular location that thousands of people visit and enjoy each year".
"But one stumble or misstep is all it can take to turn a great day into a tragic one". Her volleyball team expressed its condolences. "Everybody talks about that light" in her whether or not they knew the meaning of her names.
"She maintained her fierce love for life, her friends and her family".
Norton was a member of Briar Cliff's women's volleyball team, wearing number 22. The school is working out arrangements with Norton's family for a memorial service in the near future, a BCU spokeswoman said Sunday afternoon.