Hiker Falls to His Death in the Grand Canyon as a Deadly Year Continues at the Park
By - CircusSeal
I am at Yellowstone and watched a guy climb over a barrier to take a picture of the Upper Falls, and had to crawl/nearly fell as he made his way back.
People do really stupid stuff.
We were at Joshua Tree a couple years back, taking in an impressive view from a very high cliff. We were also taking in what I assume was some sort of wannabe instagram model or something, who kept inching backward toward the edge of the cliff in her flip flops while her SO or whatever snapped photos. There was a barrier there, but judging by the state of the ground these two idiots were hardly the first to circumvent it.
At Crater Lake a few weeks ago. Saw a father encourage his son to climb over the barrier and inch down the slope towards the lake. The overlook where we were was one of the highest in the park, and it wasn’t a super gentle slope down. My friends and I were so close to saying something to them because we were worried we were going to witness a death.
Darwin had some good points…
Guaranteed there isn’t a single photo of the poor lad on her IG page
Yea. I see this same thing every time I’m at the Grand Canyon. People are too busy trying to get the perfect picture to actually stop and enjoy the beautiful views. It’s never as pretty in pictures as it is in real life and it’s a shame to see them wasting the opportunity.
> It’s never as pretty in pictures as it is in real life
This. I solo backpack and have seen some beautiful, wonderful places. Friends and family sometimes complain because I don’t take pics. A two minute google image search and I can find a professional’s photograph of most places I’ve seen. Even those do the splendor of being there very little justice.
Exactly! I take a few photos on vacations and then put my fucking phone away to take it all in. It’s almost like people feel like if people don’t know you’re on vacation there’s no point in being on vacation. Sad really.
Yeah it seems a way not to be present. Which is weird
The last bodypart to finish growing is the prefrontal cortex, at 25. It covers many areas, including empathy, impulse control, judgement, and regulates both the Amygdala *and* the Hippocampus.
Needless to say, traffic fatalities are the highest between 16-25. I would assume all the jokers falling off cordoned-off places also are overrepresented in that age bracket.
Hope you reported him to the park rangers. The only way people will learn is if there are consequences for their actions
And when the paperwork for that little ticket arrives it will start with “The United States of America against….”
Only LE Rangers can write tickets/confiscate drones. It kinda sucks because you're more likely to find an interpretation ranger near you and they're allowed to do so little.
I don't know that issuing a ticket makes them Lawful Evil, *per se*. Really, that probably qualifies as Lawful Neutral.
Honestly, making the guy wait to get ticketed probably adds insult to injury.
Law Enforcement, not Lawful Evil haha
(im probably getting wooshed)
Possibly, but my brain went straight to Lawful Evil and got stuck there, so the explanation is appreciated!
Smokey the Animal Companion
Only You can cast Hunter's Mark.
I was a park ranger for a minute. People do stupid shit. Its the law enforcement guys that get you.
I didn’t, there wasn’t one nearby and he was across the gorge so I couldn’t get a good description. And we didn’t have cell signal there to make a call.
Pay for more staff. Please. Im not being a dick, national parks are under funded.
I 100% paying increased taxes anyways, and especially more funding for NPS
A group of ~10 people climbed up a small hill/mound on the edge of a cliff that was closed off due to safety reasons + osprey nesting. Shit was so infuriating and I couldn't do anything because there was no park ranger/employee there and I had no cellphone service (thanks, T-Mobile).
You can yell at them and at least attempt to shame them.
Just did this at the zoo a couple weeks ago. There was a toddler all alone, climbing up and leaning over the gorilla enclosure. I had absolutely no issue walking along the path screaming "who's fucking kid is this?" for the whole damn zoo to hear until the mother finally came running out of nowhere looking for him. I'm still mostly baffled that this went on for 10 minutes and not a single zoo staff appeared at any point.
No! That's what got Harambe killed!
That is a waterfall that will, 100%, kill you.
I have a theory that I'm gonna try to explain without coming across as a dick.
I'm an avid outdoorswoman and highly experienced rock climber/backpacker/hiker etc. I practically live in national parks and have spent decades developing outdoor safety and survival skills.
In the past 18 months, I've seen more irresponsible and rude behavior on the trail than ever before. I suspect it's because a lot of beginners used the lockdowns as a reason to begin a new, safer hobby. I love that. I love that people have an interest in hiking/camping whatever. But Jesus Christ. The things I've seen.
I enjoy a certain a notoriously difficult hike because I'm training for a trail race. I trail run every single day, and this trail is difficult even for me. Very uneven ground, unstable at points, tall dropoffs, practically vertical at some points. I would not attempt it with some basic climbing gear. Its one of the few trails I never travel to without telling someone exactly where I'm going and when I intend to return.
Almost every time I've gone lately, I've seen people in street clothes, with improper footwear, no water, badly out of shape, even with children and a grandma trying to climb this trail so they could take pictures of the view from atop. Three times, I've had to stop my climb to assist others down. Including a woman in flip-flops who was trying to drag her elderly mother up. My trail running teammate had to assist in a helicopter rescue of a dude who fell down the drop-off. Wearing slip-ons and jean shorts. Broke his ankle and was disabled and stuck in rattlesnake territory.
Not to mention the droves of people who are simply ignorant of basic trail etiquette and who leave trash everywhere.
Listen. The wilderness is not a safe place. You have to respect your environment and approach every excursion as though the mountain could easily make you disappear. It happens all the time. Don't be a moron.
Edit: while I'm in the subject of trail etiquette, I just want to say that if you play music without your headphones on the trail you are a bad person and you should feel bad
This happened with backcountry skiing and snowboarding too. The covid restrictions and fear of crowds pushed people into the backcountry where many didn't belong. The new blood in the easier to access terrain pushed the experienced backcountry riders even further out. We had a lot of avvy deaths last winter.
Oh jeez I hadn't even thought of that, but of course.
Ugh I hate to be gate-keepy about the outdoors, but reckless noobs really do put everyone else in danger.
Sometimes gatekeeping is necessary, especially when it involves dangerous activities.
Next thing you’ll be demanding I get training for SCUBA diving and skydiving!
Naah, let's not go that far. Just don't land in my backyard,and if you do at least aim for the composter
I don’t think telling people they should learn technique before doing dangerous things is gatekeeping
It not gate keeping when there are skills and knowledge required to participate safely and not get killed or hurt someone else.
Same goes for etiquette IMO. If you cannot adhere to certain codes of being polite and unobtrusive to others, GTFO.
It’s probably a huge factor in why the National Forest Service shut down every National Forest in CA for two weeks. All of the personnel are needed to fight the wildfires and they don’t have extra resources to help any of the non-burning areas at the moment.
Part that and part “we can’t afford to have another fire to put out if you idiots burn something down”
Avvy/Avy = Avalanche
I believe that people have also just become bigger assholes in general during the lockdown. I am seeing much more aggressive and stupid driving than usual.
>as though the mountain could easily make you disappear
Yup. Because it can.
The note about being badly out of shape is particularly pertinent. People jump from not having exercised in years to suddenly wanting to be Anatoli Boukreev.
And it's not just about height and falls. I know parks here in Texas where rescues have to be made all the time because people just ran out of water. Even for just simple trails. One park I know is 20 square miles on the longest loop. If you start early and make about two to three miles per hour, you'll be back by the afternoon. But it wasn't uncommon for me to see people halfway in realizing they had to find a shorter path back because they vastly overestimated their ability to cover that much ground.
Which, fortunately, those paths do exist. But there are still people who get stuck five miles in realizing they have another five miles back and then realizing they haven't walked 10 miles in years. With 100 degree weather beating down in a valley area that captures the heat like a sauna.
I do want people to be out and fit. But, how about we take the easier paths and trails first, eh?
I hiked Whitney this past weekend and literally had to give a group of people water at base camp and convince them to turn around. It’s about 6 miles from the portal to base camp then another 4.5 to the summit. These people were out here with about a liter of water each, almost no food, and were intent on summiting. Luckily I had a 3L filter so I filled them up and they grudgingly turned around to go back down. I lapped them about 6 hours later having summitted, eaten lunch, and then continued.
This is what irks me the most. Me and my wife go hiking and we're not the best in shape either or the fastest but fuck all if we're not prepared. If your not in shape fine but bring 3 liters of water, a bar, a wrap/sandwich, trailmix or whatever. You don't have to be an Olympian to do 10 miles but at least have the forethought before you go. I watched a guy in flip flops doing a 4k Mt in NH whiterock and was like wtf! You can be slow we did 11 miles in 8 hours but we had the supplies and gear to not be stressed.
At least in NH, unprepared people can get charged for rescue fees under the HikeSafe program.
People keep making up all the conspiracy theories about people disappearing in National Parks. It's not a conspiracy! People are being stupid and the wilderness is no joke! Jeez people! I'm starting to honestly consider wilderness rescue as a job, they must need people, and I keep having to help anyway. (I don't mind being kind, really, but sometimes people aren't even trying. If I could get paid for it though...)
And honestly, you don't even need to be stupid to be eaten by the mountains. We are puny humans. Even the most competent among us is no match. That humility is key. I never assume I'm safe. She could get me anytime.
Never forget [the Death Valley Germans](https://www.otherhand.org/home-page/search-and-rescue/the-hunt-for-the-death-valley-germans/). Long read, worth it.
Yeah that was a fantastic, but sad read. I think a lot of us in the Eastern US (or anywhere somewhat urbanized) forget how remote things can get, even in this modern age.
Great read, thanks for the link
It happens even to the experienced. I'm probably still alive today due to a combination of reflexes, luck, experience, and a trekking pole. I almost got yeeted off a cliff in RMNP several years ago. I had to traverse a section with a bunch of snowpack on it, 4-5 feet deep for sure, and it decided to pick the exact second I was halfway across for the entire top surface to slough off with me standing on it, directly over, oh, about a 200 foot drop.
I jammed both poles into it all the way down to the handgrips and wound up dangling off of them, both legs over the side. Bent one and broke the other but I lived to tell the tale. That could have just as easily not have worked...
You can do all the stuff you're supposed to do -- scope out the surface conditions, be educated on how things behave vis-a-vis snow melt at that time of year, kick it to test solidity, whack it with your poles before crossing and all the rest of it. But sometimes you get got anyway. The fucker even had fresh bootprints in it from another hiker who passed by without incident and I crossed paths with him maybe about 15 minutes prior.
That mountain still owes me a damn pair of poles.
My brother was killed years ago on a mountain probably not more than 50 miles away. Failed to outrun an avalanche. He was even more experienced (and better equipped) than me.
I used to live in South East Alaska and the main road there only went a couple miles before ending at a park. I can remember as a teen looking out beyond that park and seeing nothing but forest, water and mountains for tens if not a hundred miles pretty much all around. It would have been so easy to get lost and never be found out there. Now a good amount of the lower 48 may not be that extreme, but a pretty good chunk of the Western US is close to that level of wilderness.
Absolutely! My mother and her friends have a hiking club that they’ve been keeping up for *years*. They hike a list of very familiar local trails, every Friday like clockwork. Just this last year, one of the ladies slipped and badly injured her leg, requiring a helicopter rescue (the trail was too steep for her friends to safely get her down without risking injury to everybody else).
They also volunteer at waypoints for the local ultramarathon. They’ve had racers at the very peak of physical performance come into their tents delirious and hypothermic, and *insanely* lucky that they made it to a waypoint instead of stumbling off to die in the mountains.
The wilderness is frankly dangerous. Add inexperience and overconfidence and things can go very badly, very quickly.
Don’t forget the group of ten people that won’t courteously step to the side so you can pass them on the trail. Sometimes I’m hauling ass on the trail when solo hiking and it sucks getting stuck behind a group like that and feeling like a jerk when I have to ask everyone to let me pass.
Upvote for calling out people who play music out loud on the trail. If your music inspires you, that’s great; please enjoy it through your headphones. Your music is not inspiring anyone else. It’s just straight up inconsiderate and selfish.
While we're complaining about poor trail manners, I also wanna say that you should definitely take a break if you're getting tired. You should NOT take a break by simply standing or sitting on the trail. Find a stump or a rock *off* the trail. Don't slow everyone else down. Not everyone is there for a slow casual stroll. Runners, mountain bikers, and people with dogs need space to pass
Well… don’t wander too far off trail. That is a no no and can damage the plant life off trail. Especially in alpine areas. But usually there is enough room to get out of the way. Unfortunately I think the rest still needs explaining.
If you're in them wilderness headphones probably aren't a great idea ether. You want to be aware of your surroundings.
I got to spend a beautiful hike in Glacier National Park last month listening to a mom and her kids blasting Party in the USA. It nearly ruined the experience.
Grizzly bears hate that music too, so they were doing it for safety reasons. /s
No, headphones also suck. Mountain biking around people who are unaware of their surroundings is lame.
I live near Mt Rainier and the idiots have always died doing stupid stuff so that part is not new, there is just a lot more of them out there.
I did a group bike ride up to Paradise at Mt Rainier in early June, it had snowed the weekend before and there was still 10-12 feet of snow on the ground which is pretty normal for that time of year. The roads and parking lots were cleared but the comments from unprepared people were almost comical. All these people expecting some Instagram setting come to life with fields of wildflowers were in for a rude awakening.
I visited Rainier over 4th of July and did the skyline trail from paradise, absolutely amazing.
We also saw idiots “sledding” down hill sides (without sleds) after rangers have been warning everyone of underground rivers hidden by the snow and going off trail puts you at risk of falling through the ground into under ground death tunnels.
Also, there’s a 100 mile loop that goes through rainier that’s a total bucket list Ride for me, but I’m still an amateur. Currently training for Tour de Tahoe next summer!
[Here is the loop](https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1xd7ix9hiRkYLivyj0v7NpCZ1uvB091z1&ll=46.69794050491768%2C-121.76909000000002&z=12) my cycling group does, roughly 80 miles and 6,800' of climbing.
[RAMROD](http://www.redmondcyclingclub.org/RAMROD/RAMROD_course_information.html) is the big ride, limited spots so not easy to get a slot. I've never done it but the people I ride with have done it numerous times.
Sunrise is open to bikes a couple weeks before it's open to cars and is the better ride IMO (it's where that picture I posted is from). It's not advertised and if they are clearing or working on the road it will be closed to bikes and hikers.
>We also saw idiots “sledding” down hill sides (without sleds) after rangers have been warning everyone of underground rivers hidden by the snow and going off trail puts you at risk of falling through the ground into under ground death tunnels.
People have died that way there, there are books that detail deaths in different parks and it's amazing how stupid people are. Yellowstone is the crazy one, people jumping in hot springs or walking off the boardwalk and falling through the crust.
I grew up near Paradise. I've hiked all over the world. Nothing comes close to Rainier.
I [prefer Sunrise](https://i.postimg.cc/KzMnbK1K/IMG-1244.jpg) but you can't go wrong with either one.
Homesick as fuck
I still love it here, but the traffic, cost of living and overcrowding is getting hard to tolerate.
Visited Mount Rainier NP for the first time this June. Hadn’t gone on a vacation for more than 2 years, was fully vaccinated, and wanted to go somewhere beautiful. That park did *not* disappoint, snow pack and all!
Here in Colorado the worst side effect has been off leash dogs and abandoned poop bags. Never seen so many off leash dogs in my life as I did last summer. I watched one kill a pika on Huron.
Though I have enjoyed some schadenfreude watching people wreck their cars trying to get up 4wd roads they had no business being on
The poop bags are a testament to the selfish lazy dog owners, who half-ass trying to be responsible, and end up leaving excrement that will last longer in a plastic bag, than it would uncovered and naturally rot and disperse.
I think it is part of the same selfish mindset of people that don't want to wear masks indoors, get vaccines, or just in general not be responsible citizens in a society.
I had to tell a grown ass adult last week to not let her kid feed the ground squirrels gushers in Glacier. "Oh, you're not supposed to feed them?" She listened, thankfully. Same family kept going off the boardwalk, onto the wild flowers that get trampled really easily. Not. Fucking. Cool.
Leave No Trace is so fucking hard for people too. Pick up after yourself, don't have fires where you're not supposed to, and don't be a dick to nature.
Me and my friend had a family of almost 20 try to fight us because we called them out for bathing in the river. Fucking BATHING in the RIVER. Shampoo and all. They had the nerve to tell us as they were loading into all their vehicles that it was "biodegradable".
Ugh, fuck that. They can't and refuse to comprehend that it's not biodegradable *in* the water. It is on land and the reason people should rinse off away from water sources.
My husband and I were at Mt Rainier last week, and a group of Military DoucheBros were ahead of us. One darted across a meadow to get to a little creek, and my big and intimidating husband yelled “Stay off the meadow!” The kid jumped about a mile, then got sassy when he saw my husband wasn’t a ranger.
Yeah, but you still knew you were doing something you shouldn’t, dickbag.
I called out an old couple for feeding ducks bread and they said it was fine because they’ve been doing it for years. Just because you’ve been doing it for years doesn’t mean it’s good for their digestive systems you dumb cunts.
Pointing out that amateur hour is getting people hurt doesn’t make you a dick.
People had similar issues, weirdly enough, when 50 Shades of Gray came out because of the massive influx of shit-for-brains newbies to the BDSM community. We have similar issues any time a new state decriminalizes cannabis. Mfs thinking “what’s 5 cookies” about an hour before they’re lying in the hospital completely incapable of being convinced they’re not dead or dying. Similar things even happened in skateboarding after THPS came out. I mean shit dude, every October there’s a flood of people who think they can watch a film like Hereditary after having only seen the IT remake. It’s never ending.
Doing any sort of major outdoor activity takes a very specific set of muscles, knowledge, experience etc. When people try to jump the line on that and get straight to the good stuff there’s gonna be a lot of bad times to be had. I don’t know that’s 100% what’s going on but I guarantee that’s most of it.
Haha, good analogy regarding Hereditary.
God damn, I feel this comment. I'm an avid inclement weather hiker. I take precautions and prepare. I make sure my gear is up to scratch and plan my routes based on the weather. I *always* let someone know where I'm going and what time I'm planning on coming back. I take tails that are difficult in normal weather conditions. The amount of people I've seen out hiking, who have no business being out there, especially in those conditions, is truly mind boggling.
I was on a specific hike recently because strong winds were called for, ended up having to rescue an Instagram couple. Then had to inform them I wanted nothing to do with their page and got yelled at as I walked to my car after having a hike I was really looking forward to ruined by stupidity.
Nature is wonderful and I encourage everyone to enjoy it. But, please understand, nature doesn't care about you, you have to do that yourself.
And keep your damn dogs leashed and pick up their shit. No one wants to go trail running and see pile after pile or have your mutt charge themon a narrow trail. And yes your dog can fall off the cliff and break its leg.
The worst are the people who bag it and leave it near a trail sign with an "I'll pick it up later" attitude and never grab it
Where I used to live in SoCal there was this trail at the Elfin Forest where I'd always find a Starbucks mocha-frapp mega gulp thrown on the ground like 50 feet after the trail begins going up the hill. Some people are just wretched and so out of touch with their body and with nature they just...do shit like that.
Literally my biggest fear. My dog is an excellent trail runner. I selected him specifically from the shelter because they said he was always climbing and jumping. Couldn't keep him contained anywhere. Really just a perfect trail partner.
Even leashed, he's almost fallen down a cliff. We both have. More than once. God forbid he sees a deer and dashes after it through a snake-infested area. Which he absolutely would do. He stays clipped to me from the car to the car. No exceptions. I would fucking die if he fell off a cliff or went after a bear.
We're seeing the same thing happen in our much less dangerous state parks around here. Drunks canoeing/kayaking through the park with music blaring every day, jumping off bridges and rocks like idiots (used to just be weekends). Trash everywhere. My kids and I take trash bags every time we go kayaking or out on trails just to clean up after people who can't throw a wrapper in their pocket or an empty bottle in their bag until they get off the trails/creek.
I remember in the before times, there'd be 2-3 rescues a year. Normally people who wandered off the trails and got lost, occasionally a drowning or a broken ankle. This year it feels like every other week there's a rescue of some sort. The vast majority in people who were underprepared and/or overconfident and could have been avoided by being realistic and reading the damn trail map they hand you at the gate when you enter.
I feel you. Acadia NP is always a zoo in the summer, but has been an absolute shitshow here in Maine since the pandemic began. Not nearly as exposed as other parks, but has a few areas where you're meandering up some cliffs.
I was with a partner doing Beehive last summer and we were stalled almost at the top on the cliffs (like a line to summit Everest). The people above us were visibly and audibly uncomfortable negotiating up the metal rungs to the summit (not even "real" climbing, but still if you fall you're going to be seriously injured at a minimum). If only they knew of All Trails so they could at least know what's beyond the trail head, but nope...
Also have run into some really unprepared folks in Sedona on Wilson Mountain Trail and Bear Mountain Trail. Both kick your ass and the former is 13 miles from high desert up into alpine. I've run into folks on both of those trails carrying maybe a 20oz water bottle.... in the Arizona sun! I shared some of my three liters (I like to carry extra as contingency and it adds weight to the workout).
and I 100% agree on the music. Totally inconsiderate.
I think if you fall off any of the ladders on Beehive, there is a strong chance you will die. My wife, sons and I did it a few years ago and she was in tears going up those ladders. It’s a pretty scary trail
Absolutely, and with the explosion of new hikers not necessarily knowing the nature of what they are embarking on, it can quickly become a queue while on that cliff face. Only as fast as the slowest hiker in front of you. I live in Portland but I won't be going back to Acadia in the summer any time soon.
I've done Precipice, which I think is near the Beehive trail and has the same rebar railings. It's super exposed and has spots where I would really feel better if I were harnessed and placing protection. I watched a family go up there with their 6 year old son and I was nauseous the whole time convinced I was about to see a child die. Some trails are just not for beginners.
We didn’t do Precipice because we were told it was even more of a white knuckle experience than Beehive. Everyone said Precipice was more dangerous. My wife said no thank you
Did Beehive a few weeks ago... holy shit it was terrifying, and I even did the Knife Edge at Katahdin as a teenager with no issues.
At Zion, the crowd on Angels Landing is insane by late morning. People are trying to "swim" past each other on the chains, including in places where the footholds are carved into the sandstone and you really shouldn't try passing at all, just because of impatience and some weird sense that nothing bad can possibly happen, I guess.
Last time I was there, on my way back down the line was getting held up about 20% of the way up because some clueless guy was cajoling his SO to keep going out on the chains even while she was sobbing and quite clearly having an anxiety attack.
I did that hike back in the 1980's and it was roll out of bed around 9 and get to the top and maybe 2 other people there. Crazy to think of actually lines for that, and not a hike for everybody.
Ugh, beehive. I loved the trail but people really ruined it for us. The signs clearly tell you not to go down and some jerkoffs were going down while we were going up.
I think you're right. I'm an avid park-goer, but ironically I've actually been avoiding national parks for the most part since the pandemic began, simply because I kept hearing how they're so crowded during the pandemic.
Nice user name. I bet we would be friends.
Haha, thanks! It's an old one dating back to the 90's when I was a kid and wanted to be a ski bum XD
Social media is almost entirely to blame on this. It’s the next step in the commodification of nature and self. I’ve been off social media for about five years now but I deeply regret any backpacking photos I ever posted.
I have a friend who is a landscape photographer (and well-rounded outdoors person) and he has been coming apart at the seams for the last several years trying to reconcile the detrimental effects of social media on the natural world with the potential for improved conservation that comes with producing/showing his work.
If there really are girls making it up gruelling US park hikes in itty bitty pink trainers, leggings and a sports bra, then good for them, I guess - but they're convincing others that such a hike is easy and achievable, whereas they either took an easy trail/drove most in the car, or got lucky.
There's a fire-lookout sometimes posts Insta stories of day-hikers she's seen trying to climb vertical rock-faces in summer dresses and flip-flops.
I turned up to a hiking club trip and a girl was there dressed for Instagram. We're in the UK and it was only a 3-4 trail, moderate difficulty, but it rained and it rained hard, rushing winds, the works. I gave her my over-trousers, gloves, a fleece layer and hat, and someone else lent her a waterproof. She struggled a lot with the cold and her slippery, delicate shoes. But she wasn't even the only one derailing the trip, as another had also turned up in trainers and had to sit down every few steps due to unfitness, which in that weather, was putting the rear guide at risk.
I'd add some blame to the trail guides and books. Too many of them discuss the scenic view and not the terrain and difficulty. Or they are focused for actual hikers like you and not the tourist who "hikes" once a month and feels over confident.
All trails and their 'moderate' hikes are notorious for it - is it moderate because it's uphill the entire way, or moderate because it's a bit longer than an easy trail?
I can hike for a long time, but make it uphill and my stamina drops significantly. I always have to look at what others record for the trail before determining if I want to go.
I had a DM exchange with the CEO of AllTrails about the need to be able to flag reviews that recommend doing illegal things like ignore Trail Closed signs or ignoring re-routes. He pointed me to the way to suggest a correction to their trail description and went silent when I said “No, I’m talking about REVIEWS, not the AllTrails info”.
Even the type of trail matters. I can walk forever on a nice even, well maintained trail but mud, rocks, roots can really wreck one's stamina.
The reviews really help add context, but I agree that some hards are masquerading as moderates.
Sounds similar to how inconsistent trail markers can be at ski resorts. A green at one mountain can be equivalent to a blue at another, or even a black in some cases.
Trails are rated by their class and grade or steepness. Those are not subjective like the way a ski area will rate theirs subjectively to their individual standards. However, regarding hikes, they don’t factor in exposure, weather, ease of route finding, etc.
Even hiking once a month will have you in better shape than half the people I see on trails these days
I also think us mountain ppl underestimate how out of shape the average population is. I feel like we have a very skewed sense of “average”, I know partly for me because there is always someone more extreme than myself so I never think of myself as a top their athlete. In reality I am probs in better shape than 95% of the population so what I think is easy isn’t to most other people across the country, but everyone I know thinks it’s easy so therefore I have a bad sense of what is moderate vs hard. Ppl need to really think about this when writing new blogs or posts about hikes because the country gets more out of shape everyday and what is average to ppl who live in Aspen, is definitely not average for a guy from Texas on vacation. I don’t always think they aren’t considering the tourist, they just legit don’t comprehend how difficult it really is for them.
The dude who wrote the Missing 411 books is insane, but really showcases the point that the woods are not to be f*cked with.
So much this. I'm not nearly so extreme but I love hiking and camping. The number of people who approach hikes with improper footwear and absolutely zero safety preparation is appalling. Flip flops. No water. No map. No concept of time and sunset. FFS. Please if you are going to be in a place where you are not easily accessible, do some minimal prep and learn Leave No Trace principles. The 10 essentials are crucial.
The one thing me and the ex wife discussed and googled while standing on the north rim of the Grand Canyon was how many people fell to their death.
It was surprising how many actually did.
I think sadly YouTube/social media is also a factor. There are a good amount of hikers who post videos from their various adventures and it is a big inspiration to start to up the hobby. However, the posters are for the most part very experienced at the hobby and it makes these hikes appear to be a simple undertaking. Not realizing the physical and mental requirements for these hikes probably get a lot of people in trouble quickly.
> Edit: while I'm in the subject of trail etiquette, I just want to say that if you play music without your headphones on the trail you are a bad person and you should feel bad
I am staunchly anti-authoritarian, but this is one of those things that I feel should be an automatic ban from all national parks.
Aside from it being just so incredibly rude, I don't understand why anyone would even want to do this.
Don't you want to listen? Birds, bugs, water, silence? Its beautiful.
IDK. Some people just *cannot* not listen to some form of media, 100% of the time. I don't understand it myself.
IDK, I think you should have been a little more dickish to be honest. Living in the country, I have to constantly advise people of simple things you would hear at a zoo or something to warn children, like "don't feed the animals" or "keep your food locked away" or "don't assume Raccoons are like cats" but they can't help themselves and do it anyway. Now you've got 100 raccoons eating all your food and garbage, and a few new claw scars on your hands because you didn't listen! /rant
Raccoons can do a lot worse than scratch you! Where I'm from, they'll fucking kill your dog. No problem.
They're just so cute, people don't respect them.
The people that play music on trails without headphones generally have the worst taste in music and are the least prepared for a hike. While my husband won't, I have zero shame calling people out for playing their crappy music. You're taking a hike in nature, enjoy the sounds!
They don’t want to be there. Pure and simple
Damn that’s frustrating 😩
The only thing I don’t understand is how any of that could make you sound like a dick. But in these times who knows…
Well I don't want to gate-keep something that belongs to all of us. The wilderness is for everyone, and I want everyone to experience the same joy I feel when I'm immersed in nature.
But fuck please be careful.
The wilderness *is* for everyone, but as you said it's dangerous and anyone who wants to experience it needs to be aware of this and take the proper precautions. Sometimes gatekeeping is necessary to weed out those who don't do this, but those same people can take it upon themselves to learn the proper way to experience the outdoors.
I don’t want to show up on YouTube as a gate keeping racist Kevin and be tried in the court of social public opinion. Unless it’s a situation that’s actively dangerous, I tend to take some pictures and report to whatever agency runs the spaces I’m in.
This. Sooooo much this!
It’s a problem every where I go. I mostly hike the hills and trails around the SF Peninsula, and have seen a skyrocketing number of people on the trails who really really really shouldn’t be there.
I don’t want to be “that guy” or gatekeep the woods, but FFS please keep your kids off the rails that say “no climbing”, don’t play your music from a speaker in your backpack, don’t fly your drone while standing front of the sign that says “no drones”, don’t come flying down the no-bikes-allowed trail with your three buddies on your Marin Alpine Trail Carbon bikes, and for the love of all that is holy don’t walk 15 people together with half of you trampling the off-trail vegetation so you can all “talk together”.
I agree that the lockdowns are probably the reason why there has been so many more people out in National Parks and on trails, and why so many of them are so god damn disrespectful and ignorant. Some of the things I've seen while out camping/hiking are just violations of basic common sense.
And I'm going to expand on your last comment about people playing music without headphones out on trails, and say this applies to anywhere in public. No one wants to hear your shitty music and we hate you if you do this.
People with loud music in nature should be exterminated with extreme prejudice
I live on Oahu and there is not a single hike that I (an experienced hiker) would consider dangerous. Yet people *constantly* either die or have to get rescued.
I think this is also an offshoot of Instagram tourism/glamping phenomenon. “If all these people can do this hike it must be easy!” People get lured into having a false sense of security. “It’s a government run national park why would the government run something that’s dangerous!?”
Society has moved so far *in good ways* to protect people from their actions, but those protections can’t exists in nature.
Exactly bro, lots of unskilled hit the trails when the pandemic hit.
Yep. Recently was at The Great Sand Dunes National Park. The amount of people who showed up with no water, no hats, and flip flops was surprising. Even as a newby to the park system, I was really dumbfounded. It’s a long ass drive just to get TO the entrance. I’d watch people try to walk across to the dunes when the temp on the sand was hitting 100 plus with no water and no sun protection. Like, do the MINIMUM research before you go to anywhere that’s a gigantic protected natural area. The amount of folks surprised there were no people selling plastic water bottles or food was incredible. They are also very vocal about being irked and inconvenienced. Like you know some go to Yelp and probably bitch about their visit lol
I'm about this guys age and have been on some gnarly trails. Like nothing but 8 inches of rocky cutback between you and a 50 ft. fall. It is very possible to die on a clearly marked trail.
Nature is not Disneyland.
Yeah, when people die at Disneyland they make sure you never hear about it.
That too, but one wrong step off the curb at Disneyland doesn't usually send you plummeting down hundreds of feet. There are very few guardrails on trails at the park, the ground is crumbly, and you can easily fall a couple hundred feet if you are not paying attention.
Disney has its problems, but it's a lot easier to accidentally die at the Grand Canyon.
Most of the deaths and serious injuries at Disney and other theme parks are due to guest misconduct. Stupid stuff like people trying to jump between moving ride vehicles. People have been decapitated at Six Flags trying to get the hat they lost on a Roller coaster back.
Being aware and using your brain helps prevent death in all environments.
They always forget about the alligators.
The real story, which nobody talks about until now, is how he was decapitated. It was a suspension roller coaster. A young lady, 25 years old, her leg is what decapitated him. Shattered her leg in over eight places. She had to have three surgeries and wear a cast for over a year. I don’t know if you’ve ever worn a cast or not, but everybody and their mother will come up to you and be like, “how’d you break your leg?” She gets to be like, “I fuckin’ punted a guy’s head 90 yards.”
Just like the guy who committed suicide with a shotgun at Disney, and was pronounced dead at the hospital, like really? … all so they can keep that claim that ‘nobody’s died at Disney.’
Paramedics are extremely hesitant to pronounce someone dead. Better to let the doctors make that call.
That may be, but they do it even for obviously dead people that shouldn't be moved. For Disney, Nick, NASCAR and the rest its not about what the paramedic wants, its about keeping the stat off the book for PR.
NASCAR is the most obvious because they film their shit, but Disney been caught doing it too.
There absolutely have been folks who died at Disney. I was on the plane with an old cast member who was recalling this [unfortunate monorail incident](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_incidents_at_Disneyland_Resort#Monorail) from 1966. Sounded pretty grisly.
They were hiking up a cliff, and at night.
Hiking the Grand Canyon is no joke, depending on the route and the weather. People often hike in the dark to try and limit daytime exposure, which can be brutal. Particularly if you need to traverse a large distance with little to no chance of finding water. Breaking camp at 2am might increase your chance of survival vs leaving at 7am. If you don't fall off a cliff in the dark, that is.
I've done this a few times. If you have a good moon, it can be a lot of fun if you take your time (and are mostly sober).
I'm just blown away.
The Grand Canyon has some of the most amazing hiking in the world, but a lot of sections are downright treacherous. If it is hot and dry, which is common, you might have 8 to 12 hour stretches with no water. You can't carry 12 hours of water if you're fully exposed, so sometimes hiking at night is the safest option. It's common to break camp at 4am and hunker down around 10 or 11am for an extended siesta.
It's kind of amazing how many people head down the canyon wall trails under- or completely un-prepared; the signage at the trailheads (at least on the South Rim) is pretty blunt about the consequences.
Disneyland can kill you too.
Or at least Disney World can.
There's several square miles of legit Florida swamp between those mid-century high-and-tight landscapes. [The alligators *will* eat you.](https://wdwnt.com/2021/06/250-alligators-have-been-removed-from-disney-property-in-florida-since-childs-death-in-2016/)
And there's a [sinkhole of unusual depth](https://insidethemagic.net/2021/06/disney-world-massive-sinkhole-ad1/) in the middle of Epcot.
A family friend lost their son who went missing in the Grand Canyon, he was believed to have fallen. He was an experienced hiker and had hiked the GC many times before...very sad.
Don't fuck with the Grand Canyon.
I hiked the Grand Canyon of July this year and the rescue helicopters were constantly flying overhead. No joke heat and terrain
People are so used to living in a consequence free world that they refuse to believe anything bad can happen.
This is more of an issue in wealthier countries. Pretty sure people in war torn places aren't as foolish.
I spoke with a former Yosemite park ranger, and they said that they have several deaths a month, with everything from falling rock climbers to lightning, to traffic. The park gets am astonishing number of people who are either involved in risky outdoor activities or aren't used to interfacing with nature.
There’s gotta be a lot of extra morons out in the last 18 months now that they all realized the outdoors exists
Interfacing with nature!
Must have overlooked that giant canyon
Seems like he looked over it a bit to far, actually.
My first time to the Grand Canyon, all I could think is "how many people fall to their death a year"
Literally there are no guide rails anywhere, like even from the welcome center the path is just a cliff if you decide to take two steps to the right.
We ended up walking out to a point and then standing on the edge of a cliff type rock outskirt. People were waiting, the bold ones to make it there, and then you stand back facing the fall on a small ledge. And for someone who works 24/7 off the ground 30-200ft with no harnesses, I cannot lie it was pretty intense. I'm honestly shocked more people don't fall more often.
TLDR; the Grand Canyon is not as user friendly as you would imagine for normal tourist areas.
The amount of stupid shit tourists do at the Grand Canyon standing along the ledge, letting their kids skip between rocks along the edge and balance and taking selfies and shit, its a true miracle there aren't more deaths there every year.
Well. If you're going to die by falling into a hole, that's the one to do it in.
Was just at Bryce Canyon and hiked the rim. There are no guard rails and, if you're an idiot, quite easy to slip and fall when you get near the edge. But honestly, you'd have to be a complete idiot to not avoid the edge.
You know, if you wanted to push someone to their death, the Grand Canyon would be a pretty good spot. You know, Scar and Mufasa style.
I'm not implying this happened- mind you, its just food for thought; apparently lots of folks get offed or "go missing" at national parks. Lots of unsolved/unresolved cases out there..
That happened a few years ago on a trail in Glacier National Park. I think the wife pushed her newlywed husband off. They were pretty quick to figure it out
Thanks to the weird photos the couple took of the scene.
A quick search shows that Jordan Linn Graham pushed her husband off the cliff to his death shortly after their wedding. The husband's friends apparently didn't trust her and feared for his safety, but I guess he ignored them.
The "Grand Canyon Divorce."
It has happened, actually. The book “Death in Grand Canyon” has a list with a lot of stories about every known death there. It’s gonna need a new update after this year.
Top five biggest dick statements I ever made was when a friend told me her cousin had died in Grand Canyon and I said “oh that’s so cool…I bet he’s in the book I bought…”
“…and I’m so sorry for your loss…”
I’m surprised no one is considering some of these as possible suicides…what better place to have an ‘accident’ when trying to also ensure insurance is paid out.
‘Oh, he just went hiking, alone, in the middle of the night and had a fall’ Riiiiight
Especially with the couple years we’ve been having. Look down the barrel of intubation and death via respiratory failure, and death via swan dive starts looking a lot more appealing.
This is what happens when you forget to respect nature and its indifference to human life. It's like the ocean: massive, awesome and something that has a thousand ways to kill you if you're not careful.
Several years ago my then girlfriend and I did a two night/three day hike in the Canyon. She had just gotten a fancy new camera and wanted to take pictures as we hiked down to the basin. I kept telling her that she should stop to take pictures instead of taking them while walking. The path wasn't particularly narrow but if you trip and take several steps trying to catch yourself, you very easily could have ended up falling into the canyon. She wasn't happy with me for being so protective. After the trip I felt bad for taking away from her enjoyment but every time I read a story like this it reminds me that I was giving her good advice.
Witnessed someone fall off a cliff who was taking pictures. (I'm not giving more details to avoid doxxing myself to people I know IRL) You gave her the right advice.
Was the person ok? Did they survive?
They did not survive.
Also the pictures taken while walking are most likely trash lol. Take a second to get the composition right.
Also, you're never going to go back and look through 100+ pictures of just scenery from the same trail, even if it is beautiful. Take 3 or 4 *really good* pictures and then spend the rest of the time living in the moment
When are we going to see sense and fill in this death trap
The only person brave enough to say what we were all thinking
I live out west. When I was young I went to the mountains all the time. I did some stupid stuff and almost killed myself a dozen times. Some of the stupid things I did:
1. Girl friend's hair got caught in a carabiner while rappelling down a cliff. Had to create a second line and cut her hair out.
2. Jumped over a 5 foot ravine with about a 60 foot drop.
3. Got stuck on cliff for about an hour before I could inch my way down.
4. Almost walked off a cliff walking down a mountain at night without lights.
5. Walked over a raging river on a 12 inch oil pipe carrying a rifle and backpack. (Did that multiple times)
6. Got caught by a train over a railroad bridge and had to run for it.
7. Almost caused a forest fire.
8. Got chased by a moose. Thank God he wasn't interested in me.
9. Fell into a spring runoff. The water was so cold I thought my heart would burst.
10. Locked my keys in my car 20 miles from the nearest paved road.
11. Got shot at by some hunters.
12. Took a 'short cut' and got lost for half a day.
Those mountains are dangerous.
11 was stupid things other people did, and 8 sounds more like bad luck
Everybody thinks they’re the main character when visiting the canyon and think reality doesn’t apply to them. Most months there is at least one death at the Grand Canyon.
Almost watched a woman fall to her death at Horseshoe Bend! She was doing it for IG content. Kept inching back towards the cliff and tripped. She almost fell to her death over a photo.
I don't know how people do this. When I was at GC on the touristy overlook ledes that are fenced I still felt sick to my stomach taking a photo about 3ft in front of the fence, and I was obviously perfectly safe. How do people's natural instincts just not kick in?
This selfie shit is getting out of hand
There is plenty of signage in all of the National parks to warm people where not to go. Like a gnat to a flame though.
Here is a map that shows you the deaths at the Grand Canyon. Some have details on the death, like suicides and things of that nature. Many people have lost their lives there… I can’t imagine how many there are that were never documented. Very interesting to click around on for a bit. [death map](https://www.arcgis.com/apps/StorytellingTextLegend/index.html?appid=0d41baefd133497db0a10018af579b5a)
I'm sorry but if you fall off a cliff of your own accord then I don't think there's much that can be done to help you.
But if you want to ban Instagram anyways I am here for it
I second that. Can we just ban anything Facebook owns?
In related news, the family has filed suit against "Gravity."
I was always shocked at how ill prepared new hikers were. I did Lone Hiking. As such, I over prepared. A light frame pack with a two man tent. Water and first aid kit for myself, and others in [need. Camp](https://need.Camp) stove,and rations for five days. All of this for a one day hike. I never needed to tap into any of it . But, I did have to tap into it for others. Water was what most failed to bring enough of. I carried two half gallon jugs of "Safe" water.
This sure seems to happen a lot.
Trust me there is nothing in the Grand Canyon Worth dying over. The view is wonderful wherever you are. Being that much closer won’t enhance the view that much