river trail
The River Trail along the Colorado River near Phantom Ranch. Credit: NPS Photo

Hiker Dies From Heat Exposure on Grand Canyon Trail

Grand Canyon officials identified the man as 69-year-old Scott Sims from Austin, Texas.

A Texas man hiking along a trail in the Grand Canyon National Park died last week from heat exposure. According to Monday's announcement, the Park Service identified the man as 69-year-old Scott Sims from Austin, Texas.

In a statement, officials explained that they received reports of a semi-conscious hiker on the River Trail, about halfway between the Silver Bridge and Black Bridge, at about 7 p.m. He was attempting to reach the nearby Phantom Ranch. Shortly thereafter, Sims became unresponsive and bystanders initiated CPR. When paramedics arrived, they attempted to resuscitate him, but they were unsuccessful.

Officials added that the Park Service along with the Coconino County Medical Examiner's office are currently investigating the June 29 incident. No further details are available at this time.

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Heat in the Grand Canyon

Sims was the second death reported at the Grand Canyon in June and the third this year. Officials say a 41-year-old man died after falling during a hike on the popular Bright Angel Trail on June 16. And in May, authorities recovered the body of a 58-year-old man attempting to kayak the Colorado River.

However, officials warn that exposure to heat is one of the biggest dangers for visitors to the Grand Canyon. In fact, the park issued an excessive heat warning at the beginning of June, when temperatures were forecasted to reach 92 and 85 degrees at the rims and 111 degrees in between.

In the summer, temperatures on parts of the trail reach as high as 120 degrees in the shade. Therefore, they recommend that you avoid hiking the inner canyon during the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. They also warn that rescue operations during those hours may be delayed due to the risk.

In addition to the warnings, officials advise all visitors to drink plenty of fluids, rest in the shade during the heat of the day, and dress appropriately for the weather. They recommend wearing clothing like loose-fitting cotton clothing.