A man and his stepson die after hiking in Big Bend National Park in 119-degree heat

Authored by edition.cnn.com and submitted by Kimber80
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Two people died Friday after hiking in extreme heat at Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas, the National Park Service said in a news release.

A stepfather and his two stepsons from Florida were hiking the Marufo Vega Trail when temperatures were at 119 degrees, according to the news release.

“The Marufo Vega Trail winds through extremely rugged desert and rocky cliffs within the hottest part of Big Bend National Park. No shade or water makes this strenuous trail dangerous to attempt in the heat of summer. Big Bend is currently experiencing extreme heat with daily highs reaching 110-119 (degrees) at low elevations and along the Rio Grande,” according to the park service.

During the hike, “the youngest, age 14, fell ill along the trail and lost consciousness,” park service officials said.

The 31-year-old stepfather then left the scene to hike back to their vehicle to find help, while the other brother, 21, tried to carry his brother back to the trailhead, according to the release.

The Big Bend National Park’s Communications Center received a call requesting emergency assistance at about 6 p.m., the park service said. “Park Rangers and US Border Patrol Agents reached the scene at approximately 7:30 p.m. and located the young victim deceased along the trail,” officials said.

Authorities then began looking for the stepfather. At about 8 p.m. they found his vehicle, which had crashed over an embankment at the Boquillas Overlook, the news release said.

The 31-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. No further details were provided about the 21-year-old or his condition.

The incident remains under investigation, officials said.

leese216 on June 25th, 2023 at 22:46 UTC »

There are signs in so many parks that warn people about the dangers of the heat. “Water is life” and “eat salty snacks” were seemingly everywhere when I was in Moab.

And yet people still don’t listen. Another avoidable tragedy.

rotaryman on June 25th, 2023 at 22:36 UTC »

Marufo Vega is probably one of the worst trails for summer hiking. There is 0 shade on the hike and you are basically following an old ore car cable into the desert. I did it in the fall and sheltered in the shade of a small boulder on the way back. I looked down and a snake (racer) was sitting next to me. Neither of us wanted to leave that spot and he was still there after I kept going.

DanYHKim on June 25th, 2023 at 22:30 UTC »

White Sands National Monument in New Mexico always has a summer fatality or two. The Germans and Dutch seem to make a disproportionate part of the list. They are often friendly, enthusiastic, and fit, but they are also unprepared for the realities of the heat here.

The bright sand doesn't help, acting as a reflector to give you a double-dose of sunlight.

Be careful out there, and prepare for more frequent power outages as well.