Hiking into the Grand Canyon can be treacherous business and none more so than the route down the south rim on the South Kaibab Trail. Recently the unthinkable happened when a hiker fell to her death.
The 35-year-old woman who died at a popular lookout earlier this month named Ooh Ahh Point posted a photo to Instagram just a day prior reveling at the marvelous views.
Park rangers reported the death of Colleen Burns from Orlando, Florida as press reports filled in the details. While hiking with friends and family, Burns apparently stepped aside on the trail to set fellow hikers pass when she tripped and fell over the edge.
Ooh Ahh Point is known for its spectacular views roughly 4,000 feet above the canyon floor. Burns was reportedly on the trail at sunrise, which is popular time to take in the canyon as the colors change and it’s not as hot. When she tripped Burns fell an estimated 400 feet where rangers recovered her body.
“She was, like, stepping out of the way for another gentleman to kind of squeeze in, and unfortunately Colleen just kind of got tripped up on her own feet and fell backwards, fell into the canyon,” a friend who was with her on the hike tells Channel 2 WESH in Orlando. “That was the longest, strangest, craziest two seconds of my life.”
Just a day before her death, Burns posted a photo of herself to Instagram from the ledge of the Grand Canyon with the caption “That view tho.” Her mother told PEOPLE magazine the photo scared her to death.
“I saw the last photo she posted before she died, where she is looking at the canyon, and it put a chill through my body because I’m afraid of heights and I was afraid for her,” Colleen’s mother, Catherine Burns, told PEOPLE. “I shut down my computer because it freaked me out so much.
“And then the next day we lost her.”