News Release

Visitor Fatality at Deer Creek in Grand Canyon National Park

Photo of Deer Creek narrows shows the steep and sheer canyon walls on either side with a narrow slot canyon below
Deer Creek Narrows

NPS Photo/A. Sprutta

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News Release Date: August 30, 2021

Contact: Joelle Baird, 928-606-3154

Grand Canyon, Ariz. –On Saturday, August 28, at approximately 4:19 p.m., the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center received a report of an injured non-commercial river trip participant in the Deer Creek Narrows within Grand Canyon National Park. The participant fell approximately 50 feet while on a hike in the narrows and could not be located by members of the river trip.  

Multiple teams of National Park Service (NPS) technical and swiftwater rescuers were flown into the site the evening of August 28; however, due to terrain, darkness, and safety concerns they were unable to locate the individual.

On Sunday, August 29, NPS personnel located the individual, David Colburn, 48, of Tygh Valley, Oregon. Colburn was found deceased and recovered by rescue personnel and transported via helicopter to the South Rim. An investigation into the incident is being conducted by the NPS and the Coconino County Medical Examiner's Office.

No additional information is available at this time. 

Last updated: August 30, 2021

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