The Grand Canyon is one of Earth’s most breathtaking natural wonders – but with great tourist attraction comes great responsibility, as the National Parks Service (NPS) asks that everyone play their part in trying to keep each other safe. Their advice is that hikers remain two meters (six feet) from the canyon’s rim at all times, and definitely that you do not perform parkour across its sheer drops.
The message apparently has landed with a lot of people as a recent video shows the stomach-churning moment a person leaps a sizable gap onto a rocky edge. It was shared by TouronsOfYellostone who post videos of what not to do when visiting national parks (tourist + moron = touron).
Terrain can be unpredictable in places like the Grand Canyon, which is why walking within tripping distance of the edge is not advised. Similarly, leaping from one seemingly stable rocky edge to another seemingly stable rocky edge can come with unpleasant surprises, like learning that the nice edge wasn't as stable as it looked.
Disrupting rocks doesn’t just put you at risk of falling over the edge, which at Point Imperial equals a drop of around 2,680 meters (8,803 feet), but it also endangers the lives of others. What gets dislodged must come down, as the saying we just made up goes, and anything that’s kicked loose from the canyon’s elevated points puts the lives of people walking below in danger.
The severity of this threat was demonstrated by the charges brought to a TikTokker who thought it’d be a good idea to hit a golf ball into the canyon, with the end of the club also flying off over the edge. She was charged for throwing objects, littering, and creating hazardous conditions with disorderly conduct.
On the NPS website, they ask that you never throw rocks, coins, trash, or anything – including sporting equipment – over the edge of the canyon. Why? “Objects tossed over the edge or dislodged by walking off trail can injure hikers and wildlife below, or start landslides,” urges the NPS.
Nothing’s going to wreck a parkour video quite like the subsequent landslide crushing a group of hikers below. In short, just don't.