Death Valley Hiker Dies Amid Blazing 108-Degree Heat

by Madison Miller

Unfortunately, Death Valley is continuing to live up to its name.

Amidst an ongoing heatwave, Death Valley has been reaching landmark temperatures of extreme heat in the blazing California desert.

The Death Valley National Park Furnace Creek Visitor Center hit an astonishing 130 degrees on July 9, 2021. This is close to breaking the hottest temperature ever recorded on the planet, which is 134 degrees in 1913.

Meanwhile, there was a 108-degree day in Death Valley National Park recently. A San Francisco man decided to go for a hike that day and unfortunately passed away due to the extreme heat. The 60-year-old man was walking near the Golden Canyon Trail on Wednesday.

According to ABC News, nearby people alerted park rangers that the man was suffering from heatstroke. Authorities went out to look for the man and then discovered the body of Lawrence Stanback later that afternoon.

Rescuers had to wait until the cooler part of the evening to recover Stanback’s body. High winds had prevented the crew from using a helicopter to recover Stanback’s body. The investigation regarding his death is ongoing at the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office and the Inyo County Coroner’s office.

Park rangers have been urging people to hike with extreme caution when weather conditions are as dangerous as they were that day. It’s best to hike during the cooler parts of the day, which is usually before 10 a.m. or in the evening before sunset. People should also hike at higher elevations where the temperature will be somewhat lower.

Water and food are a priority in order to stay both hydrated and energized. Always be ready for an emergency and have an air-conditioned spot on standby.

Other Deaths in Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park has been in the news a lot this past year. Sadly, it hasn’t been for positive reasons. The influx of people visiting national parks mixed with some extreme weather conditions has led to several deaths in the area.

Death Valley is also home to some of the hottest temperatures on the entire planet, which many people are obviously not accustomed to.

In July, a hiker from Washington state was found dead. Douglas Branham, a 68-year-old man, was planning a 12-mile round trip through the salt flats. He had missed his flight back home, which aroused panic.

His body was unfortunately discovered two miles away from the closest road. According to CBS News, the temperature at the time was about 118 degrees with 91% humidity. His cause of death was still ongoing at the time, but it’s more than likely heat played a huge factor.

There has been a massive increase in distress calls from people in Death Valley suffering from the extreme heat.

The best advice park rangers have been giving is this — no hiking at all when it’s over 100 degrees out.