36-Year-Old Woman Dies Trying to Hike Section of Grand Canyon and Back in 1 Day
The National Park Service said that they advise against attempting the trek in one day, particularly in hot weather
A woman who attempted to hike to the Colorado River and back within a day has died, National Park Service officials said.
The National Park Service said in a news release that the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center received a report about an unresponsive hiker on the Bright Angel Trail above the Three-Mile Resthouse on May 14. After arriving on the scene, they found a 36-year-old woman, from Westfield, Ind., down the trail, who “became pulseless.”
NPS said responders attempted to resuscitate the woman, but were unsuccessful. Park officials did not disclose her name or any other details on this incident.
The NPS said it is investigating the incident in collaboration with the Coconino County Medical Examiner.
Related: Wisconsin Man, 56, Found Dead on Trail in Grand Canyon National Park Was on Day Hike: Officials
In response to her death, the NPS reiterated that it did not recommend that Grand Canyon visitors attempt to hike from the rim to the river in one day.
“Park staff remind visitors that there are ways to safely hike below the rim, for those who are prepared, well-acclimated to the climate and elevation, have the appropriate gear, and who have prior experience hiking in steep, desert terrain,” the NPS said in the release.
“Important tips for a successful hike include the following: balancing food, electrolyte, and water intake; drinking when thirsty; getting wet to stay cool; and stopping hiking if you start to feel ill,” the agency added.
It also issued a warning for visitors to be prepared for “excessively hot days in the coming weeks.”
Related: 3 Dead After Leader of Climbing Group Triggers Avalanche in Washington State's Cascade Mountains
The agency noted that temperatures in the Grand Canyon trail could reach over 120°F in the shade and that it did not recommend hikers to go out on the trail between 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. due to the risk of “heat-related illnesses.”
Park officials warned hiking in extreme heat could lead to health risks like heat exhaustion, heat stroke and hyponatremia, which is a life threatening electrolyte imbalance from drinking too much water and not consuming enough salt, and in extreme cases, death.
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It also noted that efforts to help out hikers in need of aid could be delayed in the summer months due to a number of factors including limited staff, employee safety requirements, the number of rescue calls and limited helicopter flying capability during periods of extreme heat.
In February, a 56-year-old man from Pewaukee, Wis. was found dead on the Bright Angel trail below Havasupai Gardens. Park officials said the hiker had also been planning a day trip to the Colorado River and back.
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