A hiker has fallen and died on a trail in a Texas national park


A hiker fell to his death while hiking in a rugged, rocky desert in a Texas national park, officials said.

National Park Service

A hiker collapsed and died while hiking in a rugged, rocky desert in a national park in Texas, officials said.


Rangers at Big Bend National Park were called out to help the 64-year-old woman at about 2:45 p.m. Monday, March 6, according to the National Park Service.


She was unresponsive along the Hot Springs Canyon Trail when the team of park rangers and a U.S. Border Patrol Agent arrived by 3:30 p.m. They started CPR, and a U.S. Border Patrol helicopter responded to take her to the hospital, rangers said.


But “all attempts to revive the hiker were unsuccessful,” park officials said in the release.


The winding trail is 3 miles “through rugged desert and rocky cliffs above the Rio Grande” and lacks shade or water, making it “dangerous” to hike in afternoon temperatures, park staff said.


“Big Bend National Park staff and our partners are saddened by this loss,” said Rick Gupman, acting deputy superintendent of the park. “While we can’t conclude that weather was a factor in this incident, March reminds us that the beauty of Spring often brings dangerously hot temperatures to Big Bend. Our entire Big Bend family extends our deep condolences to the hiker’s family and friends.”


Hiking in heat


When temperatures are extremely high, some people’s bodies can have trouble regulating temperature.


In some cases, people can experience heat exhaustion and have muscle cramps, nausea, weakness and cold or clammy skin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


If heat exhaustion persists for too long, however, it can lead to heatstroke, the most serious form of heat injury. People experiencing heatstroke can have hot, red, dry or damp skin. They also can have a fast and strong pulse, and they can become confused. People should move indoors immediately and call 911 right away if they have symptoms.


If people choose to hike or be outdoors in dangerously hot temperatures, officials recommend the following tips:


  • Carry and drink plenty of water and plan to replenish electrolytes.

  • Eat twice as much food as normal and have salty foods on hand.

  • Carry a first-aid kit.

  • Pack essentials only.

  • Bring a flashlight with spare batteries to hike during the cool evening.

  • Spray yourself with water to cool down.

  • Have a hat and sunscreen as protection from the sun.

  • Have a whistle or signal for emergency use.

  • Wear waterproof clothing.


Brooke (she/they) is a McClatchy Real-Time reporter covering LGBTQ+ news and national parks in the West. They studied journalism at the University of Florida and previously covered LGBTQ+ news for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. When they are not writing stories, they enjoy spending time with their cats, horseback riding, or spending time outdoors.

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