A former student conservation aide and park ranger for the National Park Service fell to her death Saturday while hiking with companions southwest of town in a steep canyon area.

A memorial service for Emily Jackson, 26, of Paonia, Colo., has been planned by friends and former co-workers for 10 a.m. Saturday morning on Squaw Butte in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. The family will hold memorial service and burial in Albuquerque, N.M., Thursday.Jackson was killed on impact when she lost her footing and fell approximately 200 feet off a vertical cliff in Kane Springs Canyon, according to sheriff's officers.

Sgt. Doug Squire, Grand County deputy sheriff, said Jackson was hiking with three companions Saturday afternoon about eight miles down Kane Creek Road.

"She was looking for an access route down off the ledge. It was steep. She just lost her footing and went down the slope and then it went vertical and she went off," Deputy Sheriff Steve Brownell told reporters.

The other hikers drove to town to report the accident. Twelve members of the county Search and Rescue squad and deputy sheriffs retrieved the body from the bottom of the canyon, Squire said.

Jackson, who worked in the Needles District as a park ranger last spring, was in Moab visiting friends. Andy Nettell, ranger in Needles and Jackson's former supervisor, said Jackson was "a well-liked person, always laughing . . . and obviously she fell in love with this area."