OUTDOORS + RECREATION

Excessive heat and crowds leads to excessive calls for help in Zion National Park

Jun 23, 2021, 7:51 AM

heat zion Cedar City Utah - Kolob Canyons...

Photo: Getty Images

ZION NATIONAL PARK —  More than 24 heat related illness calls came into the Zion National Park ranger station in the last three weeks.  Six of the calls were within a two-hour time span this past weekend.  

Daniel Fagergren, Cheif Ranger for Zion National Park, said there are so many more people on the trails, and not all of them are in peak physical shape.  Even for those who are, over-exertion in temperatures over 100-degrees can lead to dire consequences.

A 53-year old woman died in the Grand Canyon on Monday.  Rangers report the Ohio woman was backpacking in the park.  They said she became disoriented and lost consciousness during the hike.  By the time help arrived, she was dead from a heat-related illness.

Drink lots of water

Fagergren advised visitors to hike in the early morning or late evening to avoid exertion during the hottest time of the day.  He also recommended shortening the duration of hikes and always carry more water than you think you’ll need.

Officials also want people to know the signs of heatstroke and heat exhaustion.  There are signs posted throughout Zion National Park with the symptoms.  Naseousness and a rapid pulse are just a few signs of a heat illness and you should call for help immediately.

Know your limits

Park Rangers want all their visitors to have a good time, but they also want everyone to stay safe.  That includes changing your plans if you or someone else in your party isn’t feeling 100%.  

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Feeling faint or dizzy
  • Excessive sweating
  • Cool, pale or clammy skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid or weak pulse
  • Muscle cramps

Symptoms of heatstroke are:

  • Headache or confusion
  • Possible loss of consciousness
  • Body temperature over 103 degrees
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • No sweating

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Excessive heat and crowds leads to excessive calls for help in Zion National Park