Grand Canyon hiker dies while attempting single-day rim-to-rim trek

Sep 11, 2023, 11:23 AM | Updated: 11:25 am

A view of the North Kaibab Trail near Cottonwood Campground in the Grand Canyon. A hiker from Virgi...

A view of the North Kaibab Trail near Cottonwood Campground in the Grand Canyon. A hiker from Virginia died on the trail on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. (National Park Service Photo)

(National Park Service Photo)

PHOENIX – An out-of-state Grand Canyon National Park visitor died over the weekend while trying to hike from rim to rim in a single day, authorities said.

Ranjith Varma, 55, of Manassas, Virginia, became unresponsive while hiking on the North Kaibab Trail, approximately 1 mile south of the Cottonwood Campground, around 2 p.m. Saturday, according to park officials.

Bystanders initiated CPR until rescue crews could reach the area by helicopter.

Park rangers initiated life-saving measures after they arrived, but they couldn’t resuscitate Varma.

The National Park Service is investigating the incident at northern Arizona’s natural wonder in conjunction with the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Varma had been trying to hike from the South Rim to the North Rim on the North Kaibab Trail, park officials said.

North Kaibab is considered the most difficult of the Grand Canyon’s major inner trails.

Park officials strongly advise against hiking in the inner canyon between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. during the summer, when temperatures can soar and rescue efforts may be delayed by limited staff.

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Grand Canyon hiker dies while attempting single-day rim-to-rim trek