Arizona is a beautiful state with a variety of breathtaking terrain to explore and photograph. Recently, a teen fell to her death at a popular Arizona photo destination, reminding us all to be a little more careful while we’re out exploring.
On Christmas Eve, a teen (14 years old) was reported missing after she was last seen at the Horseshoe Bend overlook in Arizona. Authorities located the teen’s body the next day some 700 feet below the overlook. It was concluded that her death was the result of an accidental fall.
It’s almost hard to believe that a destination that receives so much foot traffic, nearly two million visitors in 2018, could be the sight of such a tragic accident. In fact, this was the second fall-related accident resulting in death at Horseshoe Bend in 2018.
While some of Arizona’s most scenic locations, such as stretches along the Grand Canyon, have guardrails installed to keep visitors at a safe distance from danger, there are many areas with no such provisions, and photographers tend to push the limits when it comes to where you can and cannot go safely at these places. I've witnessed this type of poor decision-making first hand. It’s important to stay surefooted and levelheaded while exploring the US Southwest. Complacency kills. So remember, just because nearly two million people visit a specific area each year doesn't mean that accidents can’t happen.
Lead image by Elia Locardi.