'Don't risk it:' Grand Canyon officials share photo of hikers on steep, icy trail

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. – Grand Canyon officials shared a photo of two hikers sliding down a frozen switchback trail to warn visitors, with snow and ice creating hazardous conditions.

"The top part of Grand Canyon trails are icy!" Grand Canyon NPS tweeted Monday, Nov. 25, sharing the photo of the ill-prepared visitors. "Don't risk it – like these folks."

Neither of the two people pictured appeared to have any shoe traction device or trekking poles, and one, seen holding onto the snow-covered rocks for support, was in shorts and tennis shoes.

The photo was actually taken three years ago, according to Lily Daniels, a spokesperson with Grand Canyon National Park, and gets re-shared each year when the snow starts to fall.

"Yesterday, the conditions were similar to those in the photo," Daniels said. "It can be slippery in the snow. There can be ice. We try to educate people to wear cramp-ons and use trekking poles."

Daniels said some people travel to the Grand Canyon under the misconception that the climate is hot desert all year round.

Seventeen people died in Grand Canyon National Park in 2018, Daniels said. Nine of those deaths were search and rescue related.

Park officials were bracing for a major Thanksgiving storm expected to arrive late Wednesday, Nov. 27.