Woman Dies at Grand Canyon National Park While Hiking Bright Angel Trail Alone

by Chris Haney

On Thursday, a Canadian woman passed away while hiking trails in Grand Canyon National Park, according to a statement from the National Park Service. The department also identified the victim as 41-year-old Melanie Goodine of Ottawa, Ontario. 

The woman went hiking on trails running through the Arizona canyon to the Colorado River earlier in the day. Around 5:50 p.m. local time, the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center received distress calls about a hiker. On her return trek, Goodine began to have issues while on the Bright Angel Trail near Three-Mile Resthouse. Eventually the woman became unresponsive and other hikers on the trail administered CPR.

The National Park Service is currently investigating her death in unison with the Coconino County Medical Examiner. The department has not released any further details about the incident in Grand Canyon National Park as of yet. However, the National Park Service warned of a dangerous heat wave in the area in recent weeks. In fact, the department shared warnings about the Inner Canyon having high temperatures of 104° recently.

“Be prepared for heat, hike early, take plenty of water [and] snacks and protect yourself from the sun. Hikers [and] runners should always carry water purification or filtration with them. All Corridor Trail water is on. Except Supai Tunnel on N. Kaibab Trail,” the warning read.

During the summer months, the National Park Service cautions all hikers about using the trails. If hikers have issues, rescuers could be delayed for various reasons.

“Every year, scores of unprepared hikers, lured by initially easy downhill hiking, experience severe illness, injury, or death from hiking in the canyon,” the department warns. Additionally, rescuers may be delayed due to “limited staff, the number of rescue calls, employee safety requirements and limited helicopter flying capability during periods of extreme heat or inclement weather.”

Woman Dies After Falling Into Colorado River Rapids at Grand Canyon National Park

The Canadian hiker isn’t the only death in Grand Canyon National Park in recent history. A couple months ago in late March, a Colorado native passed away after falling into the Colorado River’s rapids. The woman, 68-year-old Mary Kelley, was on a nine-day boating excursion when she fell into the water near Hance Rapid.

Members of the group on the multi-day boat trip pulled Kelley from the water and called emergency services. Park officials got to the group by helicopter, but their rescue attempts were ultimately unsuccessful.

Grand Canyon officials shared that the area the group was navigating around Red Canyon was more difficult to paddle through than normal at the time. Flash floods pushed debris like logs and large rocks into the rapids. The logs and rocks can make navigating the rapids much more difficult and becomes a hazard in some cases for paddlers.

At the time, the conditions of Kelley’s death were not clear. However, the Coconino County Medical Examiner conducted further investigations to determine her exact cause of death.