Hiker dies after suffering from hypothermia in Utah's Zion National Park
Climate data shows high temperatures are typically in the 60s, and lows usually reach the 30s during November and over the Thanksgiving holiday.
SPRINGDALE, Utah – A 31-year-old hiker was found dead in Utah’s Zion National Park Wednesday as authorities said hypothermia likely kicked in during an overnight excursion.
The National Park Service said visitors encountered a married couple in a canyon of the park and notified staff members.
A Zion National Park Search and Rescue Team responded and reported finding a 33-year-old man with injuries and his wife, who was unresponsive.
The couple was reportedly on a 16-mile hike that started on Tuesday, but the weather became dangerous during the overnight hours when temperatures dropped to below 20 degrees.
A storm system moving through the Southwest has helped usher in colder-than-normal air and has even led to around a foot of snow in nearby New Mexico.
Hypothermia is a condition that begins when one’s core body temperature drops to or below 95 degrees.
The NWS warns temperatures as cold as 60 degrees can trigger the beginnings of hypothermia if exposed to an extended period of outdoor elements.
The NPS thanked visitors’ response and CPR efforts on the woman before nearly 20 search and rescue team members arrived.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office, medical examiner, and the National Park Service are still investigating the case.
DON’T LEAVE ANY OF THESE ITEMS IN YOUR CAR THIS WINTER
Climate data shows high temperatures are typically in the 60s, and lows usually reach 30s during November, with January being the coldest month in the nature preserve.
The national park is open year-round, but rangers warn the area is known for its wide range of weather conditions and temperatures can fluctuate daily by more than 30 °F.