Grand Canyon Death

Lookout Studio on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon

Death becomes almost common in certain parts of the year here at Grand Canyon National Park. We get sent emails from NPS press releases about accidents that happen within the park on a regular basis. Living in such a large national park though, it does come with its consequences. i cant even begin to imagine how the life of a ranger is in this place. It must be a freaking nightmare. One of the worst parts about this is it always happens during the busiest part of the day in the busiest location of the entire south rim. Lots of people see death happen here. If you’re going to end your life please think of the other people on this earth that have to deal with the aftermath. Park Rangers, actual human beings have to go down and retrieve you. They have to risk their own lives on a daily basis. Repelling 200 feet down the side of a cliff might be exciting in some parts of the world, but not when you are going to pick up the aftermath of a death. People have to witness the end of your life, actual children see it happen. When we tell people to come down from the rock wall ledge, or say, hey you really shouldn’t be trying to stand between those two enormous elk to get your picture taken with them, or really please stop feeding the squirrels by hand unless you want rabies. We really do mean it. This is a dangerous park, the signs are all over the place, read them.

A rescue helicopter flies in to locate a person 200 feet below the Grand Canyon

6 Comments Add yours

  1. concernedcousin says:

    “If you’re going to end your life please think of the other people on this earth that have to deal with the aftermath”. If you are going to post an AWFUL article please think about the family that may read it and see it. We are dealing with the aftermath FAR more than anyone who had to see it. WE are the ones who have to look into the eyes of his two young children and explain that daddy is not coming home. Who have to watch as they grow up without a father. ” I really don’t understand how people get to this point in their head where they think its ok to end their own life. i just really don’t get it.” He was mentally ill, and for you to be passing judgement and posting pictures of my cousins body is offensive. i would appreciate if you could PLEASE take this down. I think you forgot this was a real human being with a family and friends who should have to see this come up on Google when they are just trying to figure what happened and why.

  2. concernedcousin says:


  3. I am truly sorry for your loss and your families. I am also sorry that no one could help him or stop him at this moment in his life.

    There is no way on earth i would have taken pictures of your cousins body, or any body for that matter. That is a picture of a helicopter. We all cried when the helicopter came out of the canyon. Believe me when i say we weren’t on the rim taking pictures of the aftermath. it was awful and horribly sad.

    We hear and see death here a lot. And that was more what the rant was about. The mentality of what the rangers in this park must go through when having to deal with these things when they happen. And the fact that it was something horrible witnessed by so many innocent young people who were visiting the canyon.

    I will edit out the details of your cousins death that were posted here. If you want to know more about what happened that day i would be willing to share with you the few things i know offline.

  4. concernedcousin says:

    thank you for editing.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think you guys are both making good points here. As a Grand Canyon resident and someone who works on the rim daily, it is excrutiatingly painful to hear tourists ask questions as though it’s a tv show they happened to be here for the filming of, instead of as you’ve both said, a real life human being pushed to this decision by whatever draws people to end their lives here. But, as Lizzie said, it happens so much here this time of year that we’re forced to see the implementation of search and rescue teams, and all to often, recovery teams, and to see the impact that has on our community as well. Our search and rescue rangers don’t just wear cool hats and talk about condors, they have a very emotional, physical and dangerous job, the likes of which most of us thankfully never have to seriously fathom or even consider in our daily lives. As this terribly sad moral issue comes to the forefront so much more often this time of year, I honestly believe that this is what this blog is about… the way these decisions ripple out into our community and the tourist community at large. I share Lizzie’s honest and heartfelt sorrow over your cousin’s death. It was a tragedy that will continue to touch us all here, and i join her in expressing sympathy for your loss as your family deals with this sad time period.

  6. Carolyn Jean Bailey says:

    You will be missed buddy, your in a better place now.

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