Visitor fatality July 3 sparks safety message from Grand Canyon National Park

With thousands of visitors to Grand Canyon National Park every day, the Park is asking visitors to remember safety first and to hike smart. (Loretta Yerian/WGCN)

With thousands of visitors to Grand Canyon National Park every day, the Park is asking visitors to remember safety first and to hike smart. (Loretta Yerian/WGCN)

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. – On July 3, park rangers responded to reports of a visitor that had climbed over a railing at the Grand Canyon, lost footing, and fell approximately 500 feet.

The fatal fall occurred at Mather Point, a scenic Grand Canyon viewpoint located along the South Rim of the canyon. Mather Point is popular for its canyon vistas and proximity to the Visitor Center Plaza.

An investigation is underway. Park officials have not released information about the visitor's name, age, residency or gender.

As summer travel heats up, National Park Rangers want all visitors to have safe and enjoyable trips.

Each year, visitors suffer from slips, trips and falls that can result in serious injury or even death.

Rangers are encouraging visitors to have a safe and memorable vacation to one of the Seven Wonders of the World. A trip to Grand Canyon can be both fun and safe by keeping these few tips in mind.

• Stay on designated trails and walkways and always keep a safe distance from the edge of the rim. In areas where there is a railing or fence, do not climb over the barrier.

• Keep an eye on all of the people in your group, especially small children. Make sure that your travel companions have both feet firmly planted on pavement or developed trails at all times.

• Know where the edge is. Watch foot placement and look for trip hazards. Do not run, jump, or perform physical stunts when near the rim.

• Know the altitude, the South Rim sits at 7,000 feet and the North Rim sits at just over 8,000 feet. Individuals coming from sea level or with health conditions should take time to acclimate to the elevation. Drink plenty of fluids, rest frequently, and do not overexert yourself.

• Check the weather! Monsoon season is quickly approaching and afternoon lightning and heavy rain become daily occurrences. Remember, when it roars go indoors.

• Stay a safe distance away from wild animals. A good rule is two bus lengths or if you can cover an animal with your thumb. Remember, do not feed or water wildlife.

The park anticipated high visitation over the Independence Day holiday and following weekend. The park suggests arriving early as parking lots can fill as early as 10 a.m. Prior to arriving at the park visitors can purchase a 7-day pass on mobile devices by visiting www.yourpassnow.com and selecting Grand Canyon National Park. Visitors are also encouraged to use the free shuttle bus system including the option to park in the gateway town of Tusayan and ride into the South Rim Village.

Information provided by Grand Canyon National Park

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