Hong Kong Tourist Dies While Taking Photos in Dangerous Part of the Grand Canyon

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Two more tragedies struck the Grand Canyon this week as a tourist from Hong Kong fell to his death while taking pictures at Grand Canyon West and another death involving a man who died at Grand Canyon National Park (some 95 miles away).

The first death highlights just how dangerous it can be to take pictures at the Grand Canyon. Beyond that, the death of the man from Hong Kong serves as a cautionary tale as to why it is important to pay attention to posted signs and barriers.

grand canyon
Image by Clay Banks

The fall occurred at a popular location known as Eagle Point. It happened earlier in the day before any other tourists were really around so the details as to what happened to the Hong Kong tourist are pretty much speculation. What is known is that he was taking pictures in an area known as the Sky Walk. Here, the ledges do not have barriers to prevent tourists from falling though, situationally speaking, it is obviously a place where people need to exercise caution.

As is usually the case, signs at Eagle Point warned visitors to not get too close to the ledge.

And, as we mentioned above, nearly 100 miles away from this tragedy, another body was discovered at Grand Canyon National Park.

We’ve reported over the past year about multiple instances where tourists fall to their death or otherwise meet with a tragic end while attempting to take photos.

There’s no evidence the dreaded selfie phenomenon was at work here, but it all comes together to form a coherent, universal truth that we all need to be careful out there and not put out lives on the line to get the perfect shot – no matter where it is.

Of course, preventing these kinds of deaths also typically entails more government oversight, barriers, or restrictions on visitors – the types of measures that no one wants. Instead, we can all be careful and look out for one another.

For some reason, we think the first option is the way things will go.

About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

I heard comments about this on TV; the pundit du jour said that the place was too long to erect safety rails. My God, what would Ansel Adams say? The very advanced photographers are, first and simultaneously, adept outdoorsmen who appreciated both the beauty and attraction of wilderness, as well as its dangers. The last words from the TV crew were “common sense”.

If you want more, may I recommend the books “Deep Survival” and “Surviving Survival” by Laurence Gonzalez?

No, It is not dangerous taking photos in the Grand Canyon. It is amazingly safe to take stunning images there if one exercises just a modicum of restraint and common sense. As a landscape photographer and “Preventive Search &Rescue” volunteer that lives near the Canyon as well as Zion and Bryce Canyon NP’s I observe countless tourists that cross the barriers or step out to dangerous spots to take a photo. Poor judgement, not Park Service infrastructure too often results in death. Note: The Hong Kong tourist that fell to his death was not in the GC but in the Hauvasupi Reservation outside the western edge of the National Park. And the second mentioned death was from unknown causes in the woods away from the canyon itself.

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