Story at a glance

  • A hiker died in the Grand Canyon on Sunday as a result of a suspected heat-related illness.
  • Michelle Meder, 53, of Hudson, Ohio, was backpacking from the Hermit to the Bright Angel Trail when she was found dead by park rangers.
  • The inner canyon reached a temperature of 115 degrees on Sunday.

A hiker died in the Grand Canyon on Sunday as a result of what the National Park Service (NPS) says was likely a heat-related illness.

Michelle Meder, 53, of Hudson, Ohio, was backpacking from the Hermit to the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon when she reportedly became disoriented and lost consciousness.

Rangers who responded to a person in distress found Meder dead on June 20. 


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The NPS said in a press release it believes Meder succumbed to a heat illness, as the inner canyon reached a temperature of 115 degrees on Sunday.

“Park rangers do not advise hiking in the inner canyon between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Most of the people who need emergency medical help in the canyon due to heat illness are hiking between these hours,” the press release read. “Hiking in extreme heat can lead to serious health risks including heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hyponatremia, and death.”

The NPS said an investigation into Meder’s death by the service and the Coconino County Medical Examiner is underway.


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Published on Jun 22, 2021