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Woman dies while hiking Grand Canyon trail in extreme heat, officials say

The death came after a park ranger “received a report of a distressed day hiker" in the Tuweep area of the park, the National Park Service said.
/ Source: TODAY

A 57-year-old woman died while hiking in excessive heat in the Grand Canyon, the National Park Service said in a statement.

The service said a park ranger “received a report of a distressed day hiker in the Tuweep area of Grand Canyon National Park” on July 2 around 6:30 p.m.

A ranger arrived on the scene around 1 a.m. on July 3 and pronounced the hiker dead. The victim was tying to complete an 8-mile hike in the remote Tuweep are of the park when she became unconscious.

The service said temperatures in Tuweep that day passed 100 degrees, with a high of roughly 114 at Phantom Ranch, near the Colorado River along the North Kaibab trail.

A spokesperson for Grand Canyon National Park told TODAY.com in an e-mail they had no additional information to share about the woman's death.

The Mohave County Medical Examiner did not reply to TODAY.com's request for comment about a cause of death.

Eagle Point
A view of Eagle Point at Grand Canyon.Clive Rees Photography / Getty Images

Rangers recommend visitors be prepared for extreme heat, while noting an excessive heat warning is in place for parts of the inner canyon through July 5.

Temperatures on exposed parts of the trail can soar to over 120 degrees in the shade, prompting rangers to urge hikers to avoid the inner canyon between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

This death follows a similar case in May when a woman, 36, died while trying to hike to the Colorado River and back in one day. After she died, park rangers at Grand Canyon National Park reminded visitors to be on alert “for excessively hot days” during the summer season.

Hiking in extreme heat poses dangers, including heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hyponatremia, a condition where the sodium level in the blood falls to dangerous levels, and death.

Whether hiking or not, experts recommend taking precautions to stay safe in the heat, including remaining indoors and staying hydrated.

Experts also recommend having plan in place in case the power goes out, being aware that some medication can make you susceptible to warm weather, and checking in on your neighbors.