Second Hiker Dies Hiking Grand Canyon

Today, we have a sobering story from the Grand Canyon National Park, where a hiker tragically lost his life while attempting to reach the south rim. This incident underscores the risks associated with hiking in such extreme environments, particularly during the summer months.

On Sunday, a 50-year-old man from San Angelo, Texas, died after hiking back to the rim following an overnight stay at Havasupai Gardens. Around 2 p.m., the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center received a report of an unresponsive hiker on the Bright Angel Trail, about 100 feet below the trailhead.

Despite the immediate efforts of bystanders performing CPR and the rapid response of Xanterra Fire and Security and National Park Service (NPS) medical personnel, all attempts to resuscitate the man were unsuccessful.

The NPS, in coordination with the Coconino County Medical Examiner, is investigating the incident. This marks the second fatality of a Texas hiker in the national park in the past two weeks.

On June 29, 69-year-old Scott Simms of Austin collapsed while attempting to reach Phantom Ranch via the South Kaibab Trail. He was found semiconscious around 7 p.m. but later became unresponsive. Despite the best efforts of bystanders and NPS paramedics, Simms could not be revived.

Simms collapsed on the River Trail, about halfway between the Silver Bridge and Black Bridge near Phantom Ranch, where temperatures on exposed parts of the trail can soar to 120 degrees in the shade. These extreme conditions pose significant risks to hikers, highlighting the importance of preparation and caution.

An NPS review of deaths in national parks from 2014 to 2019 revealed that hiking is the second-deadliest recreational activity, trailing only driving. Drowning caused the second-highest number of unintentional deaths, following motor vehicle crashes. This data highlights the inherent dangers of outdoor activities in national parks, particularly in challenging environments like the Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon, with its breathtaking vistas and rugged trails, attracts thousands of hikers each year. However, the extreme conditions and demanding terrain require proper preparation, awareness of the risks, and respect for the environment. Hikers are urged to carry sufficient water, stay hydrated, avoid the hottest parts of the day, and be aware of their physical limits.


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