UC Berkeley police responded to a report of a hiker who had gone missing from his group near Signpost 15 on Grizzly Peak Boulevard at about 6:30 p.m., Capt. Margo Bennett said.
When police arrived, the hiking group of four told police the fifth member of the group had trekked to a different area had not returned, Bennett said. Police searched the area and found the man down the hillside.
Bennett said police learned from the group that the man and another hiker had started to climb a large rock in the area. The second hiker had left the man to return to the group, but the victim stayed by the rock, she said.
Bennett said it appears the victim fell from the rock. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The man's name has not been released, but police said he was in his mid-20s.
The members of the group said they had been drinking prior to the apparent accident, the captain said.
"It's never a good idea to drink and do any physical activity," Bennett said.
The apparent fall occurred on UC Berkeley property in the hills, but none of the group members are affiliated with UC Berkeley, she said.
Berkeley fire was called to assist police. The incident remains under investigation.