Lightning in the Grand Canyon

This Grand Canyon Hike Is One Of America's Most Dangerous. Here's Why

By Mina Elwell


The Bright Angel Trail takes hikers almost 4,400 feet down into the Grand Canyon and back up again. It is a tremendously popular trail, but it can also be extremely dangerous.
Bright Angel is an out-and-back trail, so you go back up out of the canyon the same way you came in. Unfortunately, the way back is a lot harder, and many hikers underestimate it.
In 2023, at least three hikers died attempting the Bright Angel Trail. One hiker even came prepared with an emergency device, but he died before rescuers could get to him.
Many deaths on the trail are from a combination of exhaustion and dehydration. Temperatures in the canyon can soar up to 120 degrees F, and without enough water, hikers can die.
If you're hiking Bright Angel and you get tired, the trail looks rough, or you run low on supplies, take a break and go back. Also, avoid the heat of the afternoon summer sun.