The Unforgiving Grand Canyon
In spite of its incredible grandeur, the Grand Canyon can be an unforgiving place. Between the swift waters of the Colorado River, the steep, rugged trails, and the convection oven-like temperatures that can strike in the summer months, the canyon can be a very dangerous place to venture.
That was evidenced earlier this summer when a 19-year-old woman apparently fell into the river during an overnight hike. A woman's body was found in the river almost two weeks after Iryna Shylo was reported missing, and the other day medical examiners confirmed the body was her's.
Last week another canyon visitor died while walking along the Bright Angel Trail below the South Rim. The 64-year-old Florida man was hiking alone when he collapsed about a mile beneath the rim near the Coconino Switchbacks. The cause of death has not yet been announced, nor have the man's name or home town.
Finally, rangers have discovered the skeletal remains of a man missing in the canyon since last September. The remains, found last week in a drainage off the Bright Angel Trail below the South Rim, have been identified as those of 46-year-old Randy Rogers of Phoenix.
Rogers had been staying at the Mather Campground when he vanished last fall. A large-scale search employing ground teams, helicopter overflights and dog teams was conducted at the time.
As these incidents, and the death of a woman in Zion National Park earlier this week, demonstrate, national parks can be pretty dangerous places. Be careful out there.