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Contact: Joelle Baird, 928-638-7609
Grand Canyon, AZ- On June 24 at approximately 5:36 p.m., the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center received a call reporting a fatality approximately half a mile above the Tip Off resthouse on the South Kaibab Trail. CPR was initiated and National Park Service personnel responded from the South Rim via helicopter.
The victim, Catherine Houe, 49, of Daly City, California was hiking into the canyon to spend the night at Phantom Ranch. After hiking four miles down the South Kaibab Trail she became dizzy, disoriented, and then stopped breathing, according to her husband and a friend. The cause of death is believed to be heat-related. On June 24 the high temperature at Phantom Ranch was approximately 114° F (46° C).
An investigation into the incident is being conducted by the National Park Service in coordination with the Coconino County Medical Examiner's Office. No additional information is available at this time.
National Park Rangers at Grand Canyon National Park are strongly urging visitors to Grand Canyon, especially inner canyon hikers and backpackers to be prepared for excessively hot days in the coming weeks. In the summer, temperatures on exposed parts of the trail can reach over 120° F (49° C) in the shade. Hiking in extreme heat can lead to serious health risks including heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hyponatremia, and death.
More information on hiking smart in the heat at Grand Canyon National Park can be found at the following website: https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/hike-smart.htm.
Last updated: June 26, 2020