36-year-old tourist dies hiking popular Grand Canyon National Park trail, rangers say

·2 min read
Ty Karlovetz/National Park Service

A 36-year-old hiker died during a trek on a popular trail in the Grand Canyon National Park.

The woman was visiting the Arizona park from Westfield, Indiana, when she set out on the Bright Angel Trail, the National Park Service said in a Wednesday, May 24, news release.

She wanted to reach the Colorado River from the rim of the canyon and back in one day, park officials said.

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At about 9 p.m., however, she was found unresponsive on the trail above the Three-Mile Resthouse, rangers said.

Rescuers said they tried to resuscitate her, but she died.

Park officials did not identify the woman or disclose a cause of death.

Park officials said they don’t recommend hiking to the Colorado River and back in one day.

Rangers also warned visitors of hiking in hot weather in the coming weeks.

Parts of the trail can reach temperatures as high as 120 degrees, including in the shade, officials said.

The inner canyon shouldn’t be hiked in the summer between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. because that’s when hikers report the most heat-related illnesses, park officials said.

The Bright Angel Trail is a popular trail into the Grand Canyon. It’s a nearly 8-mile trail with a 4,460-foot elevation change.

Beating the heat

When temperatures are extremely high, some people’s bodies can have trouble regulating temperature.

In some cases, people can experience heat exhaustion and have muscle cramps, nausea, weakness and cold or clammy skin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If heat exhaustion persists for too long, however, it can lead to heatstroke, the most serious form of heat injury. People experiencing heatstroke can have hot, red, dry or damp skin. They also can have a fast and strong pulse, and they can become confused. People should move indoors immediately and call 911 right away if they have symptoms.

If people choose to hike or be outdoors in dangerously hot temperatures, officials recommend the following tips:

  • Carry and drink plenty of water and plan to replenish electrolytes.

  • Eat twice as much food as normal and have salty foods on hand.

  • Carry a first-aid kit.

  • Pack essentials only.

  • Bring a flashlight with spare batteries to hike during the cool evening.

  • Spray yourself with water to cool down.

  • Have a hat and sunscreen as protection from the sun.

  • Have a whistle or signal for emergency use.

  • Wear waterproof clothing.

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