Big Bend hiker, 75, found dead amid extreme heat

July 24, 2022 GMT

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, Texas (AP) — Authorities say a 75-year-old Houston man has died while hiking alone last week at Big Bend National Park.

The body of the man was found Thursday about a half-mile (0.80 km) from the start of a trail, according to Park Deputy Superintendent David Elkowitz.

The man’s name was not immediately released by authorities.

Officials were still trying to determine a cause of death but summer heat at the park can be extreme. On Thursday afternoon, temperatures along the trail where the man’s body was found exceeded 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius).

“Big Bend National Park staff and partners are saddened by this loss and our entire park family extends sincere condolences to the hiker’s family and friends,” Elkowitz said.

Officials at the West Texas national park say hikers need to be mindful of the dangers from the extreme heat and they should be prepared to carry and drink one gallon of water per day and should be off desert trails by noon.

Much of Texas this summer has faced both record-high temperatures along with severe drought conditions that have caused destructive wildfires.