On the afternoon of June 18th, a 46-year-old woman was found deceased within Big Bend National Park.
Mid-morning on the 18th, the couple started hiking the Dog Canyon Trail. Nearing noon, both individuals started exhibiting signs of heat distress and dehydration. The woman’s hiking partner was able to hike back to the trailhead and notify the park of the situation around 2:30 pm. An interagency response included Park Rangers and Border Patrol Agents. The remains were located around 4:20 pm. While heat stress is a likely factor, a cause of death is yet to be determined.
The summer months can have very high temperatures, with shade temperatures reported at 110 degrees in that area of the park. This, combined with the remote terrain of the park, can make the lower desert a difficult environment. During the heat of the summer, the park recommends completing any desert hiking within the early morning hours.
Big Bend National Park’s staff is saddened by this loss of life, and extends their sympathies to the friends and family of the deceased.
Credit: NPS Photo/Reine Wonite