A man fell to his death at the Grand Canyon Skywalk, the most treacherous National Park in the United States, earlier this week. An unidentified 33-year-old man jumped over the edge at the Grand Canyon Skywalk attraction on June 5 and fell more than 4,000 feet toward the Colorado River below, public radio station KNAU reported.
The Mojave County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue reported that rescue teams, including rope specialists and aircraft, arrived at around 9 a.m., but the man was found dead below. The man was pronounced dead by the rescue crews at the scene, and subsequently, he was handed over to the Hualapai Nation, the operators of the attraction.
"About 9am Monday (6/5) morning, the technical rope rescue team from the Mohave County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue responded to Grand Canyon West Skywalk for a 33-year-old male who went over the edge at the Skywalk into the canyon," said the sheriff's office.
After the incident, the man's body was taken to the Hualapai Nation, which is responsible for the operation of the overlook. The overlook features a horseshoe-shaped glass bridge that is 10 feet wide and extends 70 feet beyond the canyon's rim.
It remains unclear whether the man fell from the Skywalk bridge directly or from the edge of the attraction.
The sheriff's office posted on Facebook, providing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline's phone number, emphasizing that an investigation into the incident is currently underway.
The Skywalk is the most notable feature of the Hualapai tribe's attraction, offering visitors a breathtaking view of the Colorado River 4,000 feet below as it extends 70 feet from the canyon walls in a horseshoe shape.
The history of the Hualapai tribe is deeply entwined with the Canyon and the river. The Hualapai Reservation contains the lower 108 miles of the Grand Canyon as well as a portion of the Colorado River.
Deadly for Tourists
In a separate context, Grand Canyon National Park, which is not affiliated with the Skywalk, has been identified as the deadliest national park in the United States.
A Freedom of Information Act request revealed that over the past five years, at least six people have lost their lives, and an additional 56 individuals have been reported missing within Grand Canyon National Park.
The data spans from 2018 to February 2023 and reveals that Grand Canyon National Park surpassed numerous other national parks in terms of fatalities and missing persons cases, despite not ranking within the top ten parks in terms of visitor numbers, which reached 4.7 million in 2022.
In comparison, other parks such as Yosemite, Golden Gate Park, and Death Valley reported four deaths each during the same five-year period. Olympic National Park in Washington had the second-highest number of missing persons reports.
During the same five-year period, an additional 1,100 individuals were reported missing. However, the majority of them were eventually found.
Nonetheless, it is worth noting that this figure may have been underestimated, as per statements made by a retired chief of emergency services at the Grand Canyon.
According to the Arizona Daily Sun in 2008, Grand Canyon National Park had the highest number of suicides among all national parks in the United States.
The majority of these suicides are individuals jumping off the ledge, although there have also been instances where individuals have driven their cars off as a means of ending their lives.