Evert was on a day hike during a week-long rafting trip down the Colorado River when the National Park Service says she lost her footing and fell at least 100 feet Thursday afternoon.
"She was doing what she loved," friend and climbing partner Ardis Rohwer said.
Evert joined the Colorado Mountain Club more than 40 years ago and has been an active member and volunteer ever since, participating in countless hikes and trips.
"My aunt was an amazing woman who was still, at 77, downhill skiing, cross country skiing, bicycling and hiking," her niece Megan Wilhite, who was living with her aunt, said.
"I feel like she inspired people every day, whether she was 35 or 75 or 77," Wilhite said. "She just got people excited to be outdoors."
Evert had made it to the summit all of Colorado's 14ers, and she had also taken hiking trips around the world, including Pakistan and Nepal.
She was hiking up the Tabernacle Route Thursday, which climbs the canyon above the Colorado River, when she fell. The National Park Service continues to investigate the accident.
The trip was sponsored by the Colorado Mountain Club in association with local river guides.
Before she retired, Evert was a math teacher at Englewood High School. Friends say she inspired people both at school and through the Colorado Mountain Club to enjoy the outdoors.
"Throughout the years, [she was] just very active, and dedicated, and committed to helping other people learn about and experience the mountains," Colorado Mountain Club Education Director Brenda Porter said.
Evert's family and friends are still working on the details of a memorial for her.
For more information on the Colorado Mountain Club, visit www.cmc.org.
(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)