Flickr/Grand Canyon NPS/CC BY 2.0
Source: Flickr/Grand Canyon NPS/CC BY 2.0

53-Year-Old Hiker Died Presumably from Extreme Heat While Hiking the Grand Canyon

Busayo Ogunjimi
Jun 22, 2021
05:10 P.M.
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A 53-year-old hiker lost her life while hiking in the grand canyon, and authorities believe her death may have been caused by the extreme heat condition of the day.


53-year-old backpacker Michelle Meder of Hudson, Ohio, lost her life while hiking through the Grand Canyon over the weekend, and pack rangers believe her death was caused by the heat conditions of the day.

The 53-year-old was on a multi-day backpacking trip from Hermit to Bright Angel Trail when the high temperature where she was walking hit 115°F.

A hiker at the top of the mountain. | Photo: Pexels


In a statement from the National Park Service, the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center got a report of a backpacker suffering heat illness on the Tonto Trail near Monument Creek.

The tragic incident is reported to have occurred at approximately 1:15 p.m. on Sunday, June 20. The National Park Service has warned that hiking in extreme heat conditions can be disadvantageous to the health.


Park rangers have asked visitors to Grand Canyon, especially inner canyon hikers and backpackers, to get ready for sweltering days in the weeks to come. Hiking under these conditions could lead to heat exhaustion, heatstroke, hypothermia, and death.

Visitors have been informed that help might be delayed for hikers who encounter trouble during the summer months due to limited staff and helicopter parole due to the extreme weather conditions.

Paramedics with the Los Angeles County Fire Department performed CPR on the woman.


Park rangers have also warned against hiking in the inner canyon between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., as most cases of heat-related medical emergencies happen within those times.

Ahead of the summer, visitors are urged to prepare themselves mentally and also have the necessary gear. The National Park Service stated that the Grand Cayon does not shut down due to extreme weather conditions.

A view of the horizon and mountains. | Photo: Shutterstock


According to reports, The National Park Service is keen on getting more details about Meder's death and is conducting an investigation in coordination with the Coconino County Medical Examiner.

A similar incident happened last year in the Santa Monica Mountains where a hiker lost her life due to extreme weather conditions, with the temperature above 110 degrees.


The 41-year-old was in the company of a friend when she began to feel sick, and they made their way back to their car. Paramedics were called to the scene after the woman had collapsed.

Paramedics with the Los Angeles County Fire Department performed CPR on the woman for about 20 or 30 minutes but could not revive her. She was later pronounced dead, with her death said to have been heat-related.


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