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Hiking Victim in Grand Canyon National Park Apparently Died From Heat


Grand Canyon National Park officials have identified a hiker who died in a remote area of the park as a 30-year-old Kansas man.

Gavin C. Smith, of Lawrence, Kansas, and four friends headed down into the canyon on a day hike Tuesday along the Lava Falls Route near Tuweep on the park's North Rim. According to an initial investigation, the party made it about half-way down to the Colorado River when Mr. Smith turned back about 9 a.m., saying he felt tired and was low on water.

While the four others continued on down the trail, they later separated, with two deciding to camp for the night near the river and the other two deciding to hike back to the top of the rim and their vehicle.

Mr. Smith's body was found by one of his hiking companions late Tuesday afternoon, approximately 100 yards from a parking area adjacent to where the route begins.

While park officials say it appears that Mr. Smith died from heat-related complications, an autopsy will be performed.


My prayers go out to his family and friends. What a tragic loss of a young man. There may have been other medical complications not apparent and while it might not have changed the outcome, if the party had not separated or at least someone had returned with him, those who started the day hiking with him wouldn't always have to wonder - what if? I am so sorry for all of them.

what an idiotic statement to play the "what ifs". gavin was a good friend of mine and this has been an incredibly horrible time right now, but those on the trip DO NOT have to carry the burden of "what ifs". His wife melissa, son gavin, and the whole family need our prayers. not speculations

I concur. Those on the trip DO NOT have to speculate "what if". There are many mysteries in life and we do not know God's plan.
Our prayers are with Gavin's family and the four friends.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of Gavin's family and friends. I went to high school with Gavin, and even though we lost touch after high school, I knew him to be a great guy...full of life and charisma. He will be missed.

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