A team of Death Valley National Park rangers and an Inyo County sheriff deputy located a deceased hiker on the morning of Sept. 7 roughly a mile from the Zabriskie Point trailhead.
The sheriff’s office was notified the night before of a potentially deceased hiker near the Golden Canyon Loop trail, but officers were unable to locate the victim despite searching until 2 a.m. Further consultation with the reporting party helped the searchers locate the victim the next day.
Rangers hiked in with a wheeled litter to recover the victim and transfer him to the Inyo County coroner. The cause of death is yet to be determined, but the high temperature Sept. 6 at Furnace Creek was 123 degrees Fahrenheit, and extreme heat appeared to be a factor.
“Our hearts go out to the victim’s family at this time,” Death Valley National Park Superintendent Mike Reynolds said. “We also thank the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance and professionalism working under these extreme conditions.”
The park reminds visitors that they should always closely monitor weather conditions and their own health and limitations. Even with temperatures significantly below 120 degrees, minor complications can become dangerous quickly in extreme heat.