hiker slips on ledge
Tourons of Yellowstone

Grand Canyon Visitor Almost Falls Off Cliff Edge in Viral Video

The Grand Canyon draws around five million visitors yearly, and many get to enjoy the massive canyons, beautiful scenery, and exciting hiking trails. There's no lack of excellent places to go within the park; hikers can traverse the canyon on the South Kaibab Trail, the Bright Angel Trail, the Hermit Trail, the Grandview Trail, the Transept Trail, and a whole lot more. And yet, with all that available to anyone who is lucky enough to visit the park, some people feel the need to go places they aren't allowed, and tread across ground they aren't really meant to step foot on. Tourons of Yellowstone recently featured a video on their Instagram account submitted by Kevin Fox showing two hikers standing on top of a cliff in the canyon. The two are taking pictures of the scenic view, because getting some choice shots of each other is the main reason they're there. But one of them nearly falls off the ledge, proving no selfie is worth endangering your life.

That's a sweat-inducing clip to say the least. While the hiker in the black coat gets herself set up for a great pose, her friend in the blue takes a few steps backwards. As she's attempting to get the best view from her cell phone camera, she steps into a crack. Thankfully for her, there is another ledge right below that her foot lands on, and she is able to catch herself. She should have had much better awareness of her surroundings, which could have been accomplished had she put her phone down.

The incident appeared to shake up her friend, but the gal who slipped didn't have the reaction we thought she would. Commenters, and those of us who are terrified of heights, were not so quick to brush off the incident. One viewer wrote, "THIS IS WHY NORMAL PEOPLE ARE AFRAID OF HEIGHTS. I refuse to believe my extreme fear of heights is "irrational." No. What's irrational is being so UNAFRAID of heights that you would put yourself in that situation. If there's a fear that should be built in all of us, it's a fear of heights and falling. I legitimately do not understand how they could stand there without feeling dizzy and nauseous ." Even without the height factor, it is not a place you should be walking backward. When visiting any of the National Parks, you should be looking ahead of you at all times for hazards and other potential dangers. Another viewer pointed out, "Fun fact most deaths in national parks come from falls. Not animal attacks or natural causes, or medical emergencies. Falls."

According to the National Park Service, between 2014-2016, there were 990 deaths in national parks, many of which were due to drowning, motor vehicle incidents, and falls. Around 33% of unintentional deaths in national parks are drownings, while 17% are due to falls. As it turns out, the Grand Canyon had the highest number of search and rescue calls between 2018-2020, with 828 people. Yosemite and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks come in second and third with 732 and 503, respectively.

Needless to say, these two women were very lucky, but it's a good reminder to watch where you are stepping so you don't become another national park statistic.

READ MORE: Did You Know You Can Float Through the Grand Canyon Without Being There?