How Many People Fall To Their Death In the Grand Canyon?

The odds of dying from falling off the rim of the Grand Canyon are 1 in 1.8 million. In fact, about 12 deaths happen each year at the Grand Canyon from natural causes, medical problems, suicide, heat, drowning and traffic accidents, with 2-3 of those deaths being from accidental falls over the rim. With the Grand Canyon National Park visited annually by an average of 5.9 million people, the risk for travelers who are mindful of their surroundings is nominal. Since the 1800s, about 900 people have died in the Grand Canyon, with the majority being from plane and helicopter crashes — 128 of those from one accident. The No. 2 cause of death fluctuates between falling and heat-related causes. Visitors to the park can avoid falls by making sure to stick to the paved paths. “Remember, this isn’t Disneyland,” say Grand Canyon rangers. Many falling deaths have occurred when visitors have decided to leave paved paths to get a better vantage point. One of the biggest dangers in doing that is that though the ground may look stable, underneath it can be paper-thin due to erosion, causing a ledge that appears sturdy to fall unexpectedly. If it does, the gathering momentum can take a person hundreds, if not thousands, of feet down into the canyon in a matter of seconds. Many times photographers climb out on the edge to frame their picture without any people or man-made structures. Though the picture might be a nice souvenir, it’s also a life-threatening situation in which to be. So, the next time you want to click the shutter, make sure to take a second, step back, and ask yourself, “Is this really worth my life?” The best way to visit the Grand Canyon without incident is to respect the danger that it poses.