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Canadian hiker dies at Grand Canyon under extreme heat

A 41-year-old woman from Ottawa did not respond to CPR while ascending the popular Bright Angel Trail

(iStock/Andranik Barsegyan)
2 min

A Canadian tourist died in Arizona last week while hiking in the Grand Canyon, the National Park Service said.

The NPS did not provide a cause of death. It said in a Friday news release it is conducting an investigation alongside the Coconino County Medical Examiner. The medical examiner’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

According to park officials, Melanie Goodine, a 41-year-old from Ottawa, received CPR from bystanders Thursday before becoming unresponsive. Goodine had hiked to the Colorado River early in the day and was on her way out of the canyon. The Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center got a report of a “hiker in distress” on the Bright Angel Trail, above Three-Mile Resthouse, around 5:50 p.m.

“National Park Service (NPS) search and rescue personnel responded and assisted with resuscitation efforts,” the agency said in the release. “All attempts to resuscitate the individual were unsuccessful.”

The park service describes Bright Angel Trail as the “most popular trail in the park” with a “fairly easy” descent. “This can be a blessing or a curse,” the agency’s website says. “Wide views of the inner canyon and distant formations often distract hikers from just how far down the trail they’ve walked. The return hike back up and out of the canyon is far more difficult and requires much more effort.”

The agency said in the release that all visitors “should ensure they are drinking plenty of fluids, resting in shade during the heat of the day, watching for signs of distress in traveling companions, and dressing appropriately for the weather, which includes light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.”

Hiking in the Grand Canyon during the summer months is particularly difficult, when the impacts of the desert’s hot and dry conditions are more intense. The canyon’s dramatic changes in temperature and dryness can create perilous conditions for hikers.

Temperatures can reach 115 degrees or higher during the summer, per NPS. Temperatures in the shade where Goodine was hiking Thursday reached around 95 to 104 degrees, a spokesperson for the park told CNN.

The NPS urged visitors Friday to read its hiking tips before their journey and to check its Backcountry Updates and Closures page for updates on inner canyon conditions. The agency “does not recommend hiking from the rim to the river and back in one day,” per the release.