Hiker dies in Zion National Park while her husband tries to get her help, rangers say

Photo from Brian Heimann via Unsplash

A hiker died during an overnight trip at Zion National Park as her husband went looking for help, according to park officials.

The couple started their 16-mile permitted trek through The Narrows, one of the Utah park’s most popular hikes, on Tuesday, Nov. 22, according to a Nov. 24 news release from the National Park Service.

The husband and wife stopped about “about a mile and a half from the north end of Riverside Walk (a paved trail that leads from the Temple of Sinawava to the Narrows),” according to NPS.

“The man reported they became dangerously cold overnight and experienced symptoms consistent with hypothermia,” according to NPS.

Temperatures in the park were below freezing overnight during their trek, according to the National Weather Service.

The 33-year-old man left to find help the next morning while his wife stayed behind, NPS said. Rangers found the man on Riverside Walk as other park visitors were helping him “down the trail.”

The man was taken to the Zion Emergency Operations Center, NPS said.

“Visitors farther up the Narrows administered CPR to the woman before Zion Search and Rescue Team members arrived,” the release said.

Despite first responders providing emergency aid to the 31-year-old woman, she was pronounced dead, according to NPS.

Officials from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Utah Office of the Medical Examiner, and the National Park Service are investigating the woman’s cause of death, the release said.

The Narrows, “the narrowest section of Zion Canyon,” requires hikers to trek through the Virgin River, according to NPS.

“You must get your feet wet since there is no trail,” NPS said. “Most people choose to start their hike from the Temple of Sinawava via the Riverside Walk and then walk upstream before turning around and hiking back down to the Temple of Sinawava.”

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