Death in the Grand Canyon

The 2001 book Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon details 500 fatalities.

It’s a dangerous place to travel.

Library Journal:

Flagstaff, AZ-based authors Ghiglieri, a biologist who leads river trips in the Grand Canyon and abroad, and Myers (Fateful Journey: Injury and Death on Colorado River Trips in Grand Canyon), a medical doctor who has treated hundreds of Canyon injuries, have compiled a fascinating chronicle of deaths and dangers in Grand Canyon National Park.

The book is arranged by category falls, dehydration, floods, the Colorado River, air crashes, freak accidents, suicides, and murder and at the end of each chapter is a chronological list with names, descriptions, and causes of the accidents. The authors show that most of the deaths, whether of tourists, prospectors, or experienced adventurers, occurred when people failed to pay attention to warning signs or did not use common sense; others are attributed to high testosterone levels.


… Falls, fatigue, extreme temperatures and horseplay at national parks throughout the country lead to nearly 3,600 search-and-rescue operations each year, according to 2007 figures. The park service also responds to 16,000 emergency medical calls a year for anything from abrasions to twisted ankles, heatstroke and cardiac arrest, said Dean Ross, park service branch chief of emergency services in Washington, D.C.

Rangers at the Grand Canyon perform more rescues than at any other park, including 300 helicopter rescues a year, Ross said. …

Grand Canyon a challenge for hikers of every level

If you plan to hike there, be prepared (tips).


I got lost and exhausted in similar terrain in 2005, Colca Canyon, in Peru. Eventually I hired a local villager to carry my pack and lead me to a “hotel” in the canyon.

There’s no Search and Rescue in Peru. …

More advice on avoiding heat emergencies by Steve Howe in Backpacker – THE FRYING GAME

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