Hiker dies in Joshua Tree National Park, marking park's second death in one week

On the rugged trail above Rattlesnake Canyon in Joshua Tree National Park, close to Indian Cove, a 50-year-old Orange County woman fell and hit her head. According to Superintendent David Smith, this is the second death in a week at the popular desert park, which is a significant change from the year 2022.

Smith noted that two deaths in the park within a week was a significant increase from the previous year’s total of two. “It has been raining, and this is a very rough route that goes over a pass, so yes, rocks can be slippery,” he continued, adding that he did not know what led to Saturday’s death.

Huge groups of people visiting the park on New Year’s Eve were warned by him and other park officials to be careful on the steep, often isolated trails at higher elevations.

After receiving a cell phone report at 5 p.m. about an injured hiker, Smith and other officials said that park rangers and search and rescue volunteers hiked into where the woman had fallen. They were joined by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Aviation Unit, the San Bernardino County Fire Department, and the Morongo Basin Ambulance.

According to Smith, “it is a hard hike, especially in the dark with wet rocks,” because the path to the top involves “boulder climbing” and “large crevasses that will drop you down 20 or 30 feet.” “We worked on this together.”

There is currently no information available regarding the fall or its cause. There were no telltale signs of any wrongdoing. A spokeswoman for the San Bernardino county sheriff-coroner said that the woman’s identity and the official cause of death is still being withheld. Smith claims she was with a group of hikers when they encountered the snake high on the Wonderland Connector trail, near the Rattlesnake Canyon picnic area.

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According to Smith, the first death in the park this year occurred on a Lost Palms Oasis trail on January 2 when a family hiking the trail discovered a family member’s heart had stopped beating. He said that family and friends began CPR but were unable to save the patient, who was later taken out of the park and pronounced dead at the hospital.

Officials Advise Visitors To Be Cautious And Well-Prepared

Jennie Kish Albrinck, Joshua Tree National Park’s Chief of Interpretation, Resource Education, and Volunteers, noted that the Wonderland of Rocks and Rattlesnake Canyon are particularly difficult to navigate because of their isolation, rugged topography, and lack of cell phone reception.

Officials Advise Visitors To Be Cautious And Well-Prepared

The park service recommends visitors come prepared with the necessary hiking gear, personal supplies, and a map, compass, or other means of navigation. Not everyone is equipped to hike in these areas, so please don’t risk your safety by venturing out there. Because of the park’s poor cell service, emergency services may be delayed for hours.

“A lot of people come up here and don’t realize that there’s elevation gain,” said Smith. “Most trails are at 4,000 or 5,000 feet, so there’s a little less oxygen in the air, and the trails are hard and they’re wet right now.” A lot of people are making an effort to get in shape, but we must take things slowly.

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A Hiker Passes Away Due To The 120 Degree Heat In Joshua Tree National Park

A hiker passed away in Joshua Tree National Park on Labor Day weekend when he collapsed in temperatures that reached around 120 degrees. According to The Palm Springs Desert Sun, the hiker’s friend notified authorities at 7 p.m. on Saturday after the man collapsed in the Turkey Flats area of the California park.

Park spokeswoman Jennie Albrinck said in a Monday press release that the man’s companion reported that he was unconscious and in dire need of medical attention.

A Hiker Passes Away Due To The 120 Degree Heat In Joshua Tree National Park

Four hours and thirty minutes later, at 11:30 p.m., the park’s search and rescue team located the man at the foot of Pinto Mountain. According to Albrinck, CPR was attempted on the man at the scene but was unsuccessful.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department flew the man’s body out of the park, the Desert Sun reports. Details about him, including his identity, were not disclosed right away.

The website of the National Park Service issued an alert stating, “People have died in this park from heat during similar events in the past.” “During the warmer months, air pollution can be hazardous to your health. Do not go outside at this time.”

The park service recommends that visitors bring a map and compass with them when venturing into Turkey Flats or any other backcountry area. A gallon of water per day per person is recommended for hikers, with the recommendation increasing to two gallons in the warmer months or for more strenuous hikes.

Due to the lack of amenities such as running water, fuel, and cell service, park officials strongly advise visitors to always let someone know their whereabouts and expected time of return before venturing into the park.

Last Words

Natural water sources are limited, prone to contamination, and discouraged by the park’s website. This is the second man’s body to be discovered in the park in recent weeks; the first was a hiker.

On August 20, Alberto Serrano Alvarez’s body was discovered next to a sedan on Black Eagle Mine Road in the national park. A spokesperson for the park stated, “The summer brings the additional danger of extreme heat, and visitors are encouraged to recreate early in the day before 10 a.m.” in the press release.


  • Karan Sirari

    I am an author and a public speaker. I was born in India and have travelled to many different countries. I have a masters in public communication from California University and I love to write about famous peoples from different industries.

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