Hikers fuming after man filmed throwing rocks into Grand Canyon – "That could kill someone"

Stone steps cut into the grand canyon
(Image credit: StudioBarcelona)

Hikers have reacted with disappointment and horror after a man was recorded throwing large rocks into the Grand Canyon, The video which was shared on Instagram account TouronsOfNationalParks last week, shows the man hurling a rock the size of his fist over the rim, where it could have hit a person hiking the trails below.

"Not cool my friend, not cool," wrote one commenter. "This is why National Parks are putting in more and more restrictions. You’re better than this."

"I get that it’s dreadfully tempting but no, just don’t," said another.

The National Park Service (NPS) warns those visiting the Grand Canyon to never throw rocks, coins, trash, or anything else over the edge. "Objects tossed over the edge or dislodged by walking off trail can injure hikers and wildlife below, or start landslides," the organization explains.

In late 2022, a Tiktok influencer was fined after filming herself hitting golf balls off a popular viewing spot, then throwing her golf club into the canyon as well. Although she deleted the video quickly following a backlash, members of the public worked with law enforcement to identify the woman, who was named as 20-year-old Katie Sigmond. She was later fined $285.

"Throwing objects over the rim of the canyon is not only illegal but can also endanger hikers and wildlife who may be below," said the National Park Service in a Facebook post shortly after the incident.

Although it may seem unlikely that a thrown rock would hit a person, it isn't worth the risk. In 2007, a climber named Pete Absolon was killed after 23-year-old Luke Rodolph threw a rock off a cliff while hiking in Wyoming's Wind River Range. The stone hit Absolon on the head, breaking his helmet and killing him instantly, but Rodolph immediately showed remorse and was not charged.

“I agree that Luke Rodolph did the right thing after he did the wrong thing,” said Absolon's wife Molly. “But I just lost my husband and the father of my child, and I’m mad and sad. I’m struggling with this feeling that Rodolph has gotten off really lightly.”

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.