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.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Arizona will not approve new housing construction on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that r...

Brandon Gray

Phoenix Water Services Department offers incentives for water conservation

The Phoenix Water Services Department is introducing new financial incentives for residents to promote sustainable water use and conservation.

3 hours ago


Brandon Gray

HUD awards ASU $3M grant for Arizona Research Center for Housing Equity and Sustainability

Arizona State University was chosen as one of four Hispanic Servicing institutions to receive a grant from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development for research centers.

3 hours ago

An artist's rendering of The Parque, which is a proposed mixed-use project at the former CrackerJax...

Ron Davis/Phoenix Business Journal

Billion-dollar CrackerJax redevelopment project gets first approval in Scottsdale

The next billion-dollar development project in north Scottsdale took another step toward reality on Wednesday.

3 hours ago

Kathleen Allen lifts light weights during an exercise activity at the FSL ReCreación Center on Sep...

Angelina Steel/Cronkite News

A national caregiver shortage strains organizations and families across the Valley

The Foundation for Senior Living (FSL) ReCreación Center provides full-time care for Kathleen five days a week.

3 hours ago

Downtown Phoenix skyline...

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Sept. 30-Oct. 1

In case you missed it. Here are some of the biggest stories that headlined the Arizona news cycle over the weekend.

13 hours ago

A damaged saguaro cactus stands with a recently fallen arm resting on the sidewalk on Aug. 2, 2023,...

Associated Press

Arizona’s biggest city has driest monsoon season since weather service began record-keeping in 1895

After a summer of extreme heat, Arizona’s most populous city is in the record books again. This time Phoenix is notching a record for dry heat.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Ignite Digital

How to unlock the power of digital marketing for Phoenix businesses

All businesses around the Valley hopes to maximize their ROI with current customers and secure a greater market share in the digital sphere.



When most diets fail, re:vitalize makes a difference that shows

Staying healthy and losing weight are things many people in Arizona are conscious of, especially during the summer.



At Ability360, every day is Independence Day

With 100 different programs and services, more than 1,500 non-medically based home care staff, a world-renowned Sports & Fitness Center and over 15,000 people with disabilities served annually, across all ages and demographics, Ability360 is a nationwide leader in the disability community.

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