A seventh-generation high-wire artist and is part of the famous "Flying Wallendas" circus family — a clan that is no stranger to death-defying feats. The 34-year-old Sarasota, Fla., resident Nik Wallenda grew up performing with his family and has dreamed of crossing the Grand Canyon since he was a teenager. Sunday's stunt comes a year after he traversed Niagara Falls earning a seventh Guinness world record.

His great-grandfather, Karl Wallenda, fell during a performance in Puerto Rico and died at the age of 73. Several other family members, including a cousin and an uncle, have perished while performing wire walking stunts.

As about 600 spectators watched on a large video screen on site and cheered him on as he walked toward them praying the entire time. A Navajo Nation ranger, a paramedic and two members of a film crew were stationed on the canyon floor.