Motorcyclist dies in Death Valley National Park after record temperatures recorded

Temperatures on Saturday reached 128 degrees in Death Valley National Park, breaking the daily record previously set in 2007. Extreme Heat Warnings remain in place for Death valley through Friday night.

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. – A motorcyclist died on Saturday after riding through Death Valley National Park when the high was 128 degrees.

A group of motorcyclists riding through the park on Saturday were treated for severe heat illness, two were taken for advanced medical care in Las Vegas, and a third died from heat exposure near Badwater Basin, according to the National Park Service. Four other riders were treated onsite and released.

According to the NPS, due to the record high of 128 degrees, emergency medical flight helicopters were unable to respond because of the extreme heat. The high on Saturday broke the daily record for Death Valley previously set in 2007. 

When the heat index surpasses 99 degrees, ambient air does not provide heat relief, and heat-related illnesses can occur. 


"Besides not being able to cool down while riding due to high ambient air temperatures, experiencing Death Valley by motorcycle when it is this hot is further challenged by the necessary heavy safety gear worn to reduce injuries during an accident," the NPS said.

Death Valley National Park Superintendent Mike Reynolds is warning guests to be careful during the extreme heat in California

"High heat like this can pose real threats to your health," Reynolds said in a statement. "While this is a very exciting time to experience potential world record-setting temperatures in Death Valley, we encourage visitors to choose their activities carefully, avoiding prolonged periods of time outside of an air-conditioned vehicle or building when temperatures are this high."

This week, more than 166 million people in the western U.S. are under heat advisories, including parts of Arizona, California, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington

Death Valley and the Western Mojave Desert remain under an Excessive Heat Warning through Friday night. Daily temperatures at Furnace Creek in the park are expected to reach between 122 and 129 degrees.

Last week, a man died while hiking in Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona due to extreme heat.