weather icon Cloudy

‘Semi-conscious’ hiker dies trying to reach lodging in Grand Canyon, rangers say

A “semi-conscious” hiker died trying to reach lodging for an overnight stay in the Grand Canyon, rangers said.

He was hiking the River Trail in order to reach Phantom Ranch, a popular lodge at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, when the hiker became unresponsive at about 7 p.m. Saturday, June 29, the National Park Service said in a news release.

The hiker, later identified as 69-year-old Scott Sims of Austin, Texas, was about halfway between the Silver Bridge and Black Bridge near Phantom Ranch, officials said. He was attempting to reach the lodge via the South Kaibab Trail.

Sims became unresponsive shortly after bystanders found him and started CPR until Phantom Ranch paramedics arrived, officials said.

The resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful, officials said. And while rangers didn’t say whether the heat was responsible for his condition, they warned others against hiking in the inner canyon “during the heat of the day” between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

“In the summer, temperatures on exposed parts of the trail can reach over 120°F (49 °C) in the shade,” rangers said in the release. “Be aware that efforts to assist hikers may be delayed during the summer months due to limited staff, the number of rescue calls, employee safety requirements, and limited helicopter flying capability during periods of extreme heat or inclement weather.”

The National Park Service is investigating along with the Coconino County Medical Examiner, officials said.

It is the second time a hiker has died in that area this summer. A 41-year-old hiker died on June 16, McClatchy News previously reported.

Beating the 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.

Sponsored By One Nevada Credit Union
Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Hiker falls to death during storm on Yosemite’s iconic Half Dome

A bucket-list climb to the top of Yosemite’s Half Dome turned to tragedy for a young woman who fell to her death during a descent forced by a sudden storm that pounded the iconic granite monolith.

In fiery speech to Congress, Netanyahu seeks support for war in Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended Israel’s ongoing war in Gaza and condemned American protesters in a scathing speech to Congress Wednesday.

Geyser eruption highlights little-known hazard at Yellowstone

The hydrothermal explosion on Tuesday in Biscuit Basin caused no injuries as dozens of people fled down the boardwalk before the wooden walkway was destroyed.

Utah hiker dies after running out of water

A woman died while hiking near a state park in southwestern Utah after running out of water on a sweltering day, officials said.

Last Sunday was hottest day on Earth in recorded history, climate agency says

“It’s certainly a worrying sign coming on the heels of 13 straight record -setting months,” said Berkeley Earth climate scientist Zeke Hausfather, who estimates there’s a 92% chance that 2024 will beat 2023 as the warmest year on record.

Surprise blast in Yellowstone sends dozens running for safety

A surprise eruption that shot steam, water and dark-colored rock and dirt dozens of feet into the sky Tuesday sent people running in Yellowstone National Park.