Is The Grand Canyon Safe? Third Death in As Many Weeks, How to Stay Safe in National Park

grand canyon ledge sit
A woman sits on a ledge of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, on February 13, 2017. Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images

A man fell to his death over the edge of the Grand Canyon Wednesday, marking the third death in the park in the last two weeks. Grand Canyon National Park Rangers found the 67-year-old's body 400 feet below the rim of the canyon east of Yavapai Geology Museum. The body was recovered and an investigation is underway.

This death at the park makes three in several weeks, two of which were the result of falls. The first person found dead did not fall but their body was found in the wooded area south of the South Rim Village. The second death happened March 28 when a man was taking a selfie and slipped and fell off an overlook area.

"Grand Canyon National Park staff encourages all visitors to have a safe visit by staying on designated trails and walkways, always keeping a safe distance from the edge of the rim and staying behind railings and fences at overlooks," said a statement on the park's website.

The park doesn't have specific numbers for how many people die in the park each year, but on average it's about 12 park spokesperson Vanessa Ceja-Cervantes told Newsweek. Those deaths are due to a number of reasons, like heat-related fatalities, elevation impacts and more she said.

In the most popular areas where there are overlooks there are railings to help visitors safely observe. "In a lot of those overlooks the railings are there so that if you want to get a closer look at the canyon you can, we just want to remind visitors that they should always stay behind them and not try to go over them," Ceja-Cervantes said.

Good rules for visitors to follow include following the signage around the park, staying hydrated while exploring, especially during the summer months, wearing sunblock, wearing layers in the colder months, keeping a safe distance from wild animals and more. The park has a whole safety section on its website and shares safety information on its social media channels as well.

Most of the overlooks have railings but the paths between overlooks sometimes don't have anything blocking the visitors from accessing the edge. "We always encourage our visitors to have a safe visit and they can do that by staying on those paved trails," she told Newsweek.

"That they always keep a safe distance away from the edge of the rim, that they're always aware of where the edge of the rim is and that they always keep a safe distance," she said.​