by Joe Dorish on 22/04/09 at 7:02 am
The Grand Canyon is truly one of the great wonders of the world and over five million people a year visit this scenic wonderland. But every year some of those visitors die in the Grand Canyon.
This article explores the many different ways tourists die while visiting the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon is truly one of the great wonders of the world and over 5 million people a year visit this scenic wonderland. But every year a few of those visitors die in the Grand Canyon.
First, the vast majority of people who visit the Grand Canyon each year survive the trip. Since roughly 1880, over 600 people are believed to have died while visiting the Grand Canyon. That works out to only 4-5 deaths per year. A very small percentage of the annual visitors.
So how do people die in the Grand Canyon?
It is believed well over 50 people have committed suicide in the Grand Canyon, primarily by leaping over the cliffs. I have written extensively about the phenomena of people ending their own lives in beautiful places. While most suicides are not committed in public places when they are many times people will choose some of the most beautiful spots on the planet to end their lives. This phenomena leaves behind other victims, and in the Grand Canyon that would include the rangers and other park workers who have to deal with the aftermath.
One time a friend and I had hiked down into the Grand Canyon by one trail and were hiking out another trail. We were moving fast passing many people and suddenly a park ranger came out of nowhere and passed us. He was not running but walking very rapidly up the path and soon he was out of sight. After we had finished our hike we sat in the lodge with pitchers of beer and water and talked about how fast the ranger had been moving. Another ranger heard our conversation and came over and told us that the ranger was rushing to help an old lady along the trail who had suffered heat stroke. The ranger told us that lots of people in the park needed their help on a daily basis.