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About Jon Francis

Jon Francis was smart, young and strong. He was a gifted and ultra-fit athlete.
A long distance runner who earned all state, all American and High School National Champion Honors.  
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Jon was an experienced wilderness camper, hiker and mountain climber.
He was also my son.
Raised in Minnesota, Jon moved out west to Utah and Idaho where he served as a youth minister and a bible camp counselor. And he continued and deepened his love affair with nature - God’s creation.
At just 24 years old, Jon died in a mountain climbing accident while descending from the summit of The Grand Mogul, in the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho.  


The family led search to find Jon’s remains and bring him home took us over a year.


We desperately needed to resolve our unresolved loss and to understand what led to his disappearance and tragic death.  Why did an intelligent, strong, and experienced young man die in the wilderness?  What happened? 

The “accident reconstruction” as our Search Manager called it was painful but necessary.  Most accidents are not an Act of God. Most accidents happen because people make mistakes.


You know the reasons:

  • Errors in judgment

  • Risk taking

  • Lack of knowledge 

  • Inadequate preparation

  • Overconfidence

  • Impatience

  • Impaired Judgment



We diligently documented the search and our lessons learned.  This would become a National Award Winning Memoir- Bringing Jon Home - The Wilderness Search for Jon Francis.


To honor Jon’s memory and to bring some good from his loss, we created the Jon Francis Foundation.


One of our top missions is PREVENTION

We pass on our hard-earned knowledge to others to prevent injury, loss and death in the wilderness. 

Since 2007, we have spoken - live - to over 3,000 people about wilderness safety. 


We invested our time and energy into a video in the hope that we can reach many more thousands of adults and children and help keep you safe in the backcountry.   


The video contains valuable information that will give you the knowledge and preparation necessary to go out, enjoy the beauty and benefits of the wilderness, and return safely.


Getting lost or injured will ruin your trip. Not returning will cause others pain and unnecessary suffering.

Watch our Prevention Videos.

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