Hiker Dies on Grand Canyon Trail

Hiker Dies on Grand Canyon Trail

(RepublicanPress.org) – Bright Angel Trail is one of many pathways hikers brave around the Grand Canyon. The trail starts on the South Rim near Kolb Studio and runs down 7.8 miles to the Colorado River at 4,460 feet. Less than five miles into the hike sits Havasupai Gardens, a popular resting site for adventurers. On November 16, the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center received a personalized distress signal about 1.5 miles from the rest stop.

On November 17, the National Park Service (NPS) issued a press release stating that when emergency personnel arrived on the scene, they found 65-year-old James Handschy of Arizona deceased. According to the report, the man intended to travel from the beginning of the Bright Angel Trail down to the river and back again.

When the communications center received the report, one rescuer rushed to the scene on foot from the Havasupai Gardens since it wasn’t that far away. Other members of local search and rescue teams flew to the location in a helicopter, but it was too late to save Handschy. No more information was released about how the hiker died, and an investigation is still ongoing. The Coconino County Medical Examiner is working together with NPS to determine what happened and find a cause of death.

Sadly, this wasn’t the first victim hiking around the Grand Canyon this year. CBS reported that Handschy’s death was the second in a span of two months and the 10th this year — 3 of which were along Bright Angel Trail.

The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and attracts about five million visitors every year. The most recent death before Handschy was a 55-year-old Virginia man who tried to hike straight through the canyon in one day in September — a distance of 21 miles. In May, an Indiana woman died along the Bright Angel Trail, as well as a 56-year-old man from Wisconsin in February.

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