With an extended heat wave baking the West, generating temperatures above 100 degrees in many national parks, Grand Canyon National Park officials are investigating whether the heat played a role in the death of a hiker on trhe South Kaibab Trail.
Temperatures above 100 already have been pointed to as the possible cause of one death in the National Park System, that of a Boy Scout leader at Lake Mead National Recreation Area last month. Now officials are looking into the death of a woman who collapsed in 113-degree heat on the South Kaibab Trail.
Grand Canyon dispatchers received a call from the emergency phone at Phantom Ranch boat beach on Sunday afternoon with a report of an unconscious hiker about three-quarters of a mile above Phantom Ranch on the South Kaibab Trail.
Park rangers responding from the Phantom Ranch ranger station began CPR upon arrival, but efforts to revive the unidentified woman were unsuccessful. Her body was flown out and transferred to the county medical examiner.
The woman was in a group of five people who were on the first day of a permitted multi-day backcountry hike, according to a park release.
The South Kaibab is a steep, exposed trail, and the high temperature at Phantom Ranch that afternoon was 113 degrees.