Man Dies After Reportedly Falling Off 50-Foot Terrain While Hiking in Grand Canyon

by Madison Miller

A man from Oregon has unfortunately died after a tragic fall in Grand Canyon National Park on Saturday, August 28.

David Colburn was hiking at the national park when he fell 50 feet to his death. According to AZ Central, the 48-year-old was a part of a river trip in the Deer Creek Narrows. Suddenly, his fellow group members could not locate him and called park officials for help.

The group was hiking through steep terrain in the narrows when he fell to his death.

His body was not found by the Park Service workers until Sunday due to the terrain and other safety concerns. His body was recovered in the water by rescue officials and then was taken by helicopter to the South Rim.

An investigation regarding his death is currently ongoing. The National Park Service and Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office are behind the investigation.

Other Deaths In Grand Canyon National Park

His death is sadly amongst many others that pass away in the Grand Canyon National Park area. According to The Herald Sun, the death toll at the popular national park this year has been astounding. It is higher than in 2020 and 2019. Colburn’s death is the 18th this year, meanwhile, there were 13 deaths at the park each of the previous years.

Last week a body was found just below Yavapai Point. This is a very popular vantage point in the national park that people will hike to in order to see a gorgeous view of the area. The body is said to be a hiker who had gone missing on July 19 in Grand Canyon National Park.

Then, in July, a 56-year-old man died from a multi-day hiking trip. He became unresponsive on a trail. People rushed to give him CPR, however, he did not have a pulse.

Extreme Heat And Death Rates

One of the biggest causes of death in the national park is death due to extreme heat. In June, a man from Oswego, Illinois passed away while hiking near the trailhead. Hiking in extreme temperatures can have a lot of serious risks involved. That includes heat stroke, hyponatremia, and death for a lot of individuals. Temperatures in Arizona can be extremely hot, which oftentimes is not a climate that out-of-town individuals are used to.

NPS often issues heat warnings for the area and has had to do so consistently this summer. Today, August 31, there is a heat warning in effect inside the Grand Canyon below 4,000 feet. Temperatures are expected to reach a high of 105°F on the South Rim.

Grand Canyon National Park is actually ranked as the most dangerous national park in the country. WWLP reported that the most common cause of death is a medical emergency or some kind of natural death. However, there are also several intense falls that lead to death as well. Over the past 10 years, there have been 27 people that unfortunately fell to their death.

Grand Canyon has had 134 deaths in a ten-year span. The biggest cause of death was from medical or natural deaths, which amounted to 42 deaths. There were 13 people that died from drowning as well as 14 people that died for environmental reasons.