HomeOutdoorsNews73-year-old man dead after CPR fails at crowded Arches National Park campground

73-year-old man dead after CPR fails at crowded Arches National Park campground

by Jon D. B.
Arches National Park Devil's Garden Campground
Utah, Arches National Park, Campsite At Devils Garden Campground. (Photo by Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Arches National Park rangers first responded to reports of someone giving an elderly man CPR in the Devil’s Garden Campground.

When they arrived, rangers found the 73-year-old male unresponsive. Local emergency medical services and Grand County Sheriff’s Department officers would arrive shortly after. Members from both parties also attempted CPR, but “Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful,” the park says in their media release Tuesday.

The man, a Colorado resident, was pronounced dead in Devil’s Garden Campground on Monday, May 15. No further details are available on him at this time.

Devil’s Garden Campground is part of the park area of the same name, and the only campground in Arches. During the busy season (March 1 – October 31), it fills to capacity nearly every single night.

Similar Arches fatalities took place earlier in 2023

The 73-year-old’s death continues a string of 2023 fatalities in Arches. As February led into March, two men died under similar circumstances within two weeks of one another within the park.

On the afternoon of Sunday March 12, National Park Service rangers responded to a report of CPR in progress at Devils Garden Trail. Unfortunately, “Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful, and the 56-year-old male patient was pronounced deceased at the scene,” Arches reported at the time.

Less than two weeks prior, a family hike in Arches National Park ended in tragedy as a Massachusetts father became unresponsive. Park witnesses saw the 71-year-old male “collapsing to the ground” while hiking with his wife and son on February 24. That afternoon, emergency personnel would respond from Classic Air Medical, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and Grand County, though there was nothing they could do.

The elder male was pronounced deceased at the scene after CPR failed. His body was transferred to the Grand County Medical Examiner’s Office. There, an investigation into the incident was conducted by the National Park Service and Grand County, as the “sudden, unexpected and unknown manner of his death” would warrant further examination.

In Arches, heat is the leading cause of death. During the summer months, high temperatures make daytime dangerous, especially for those with preexisting conditions. Intense sunlight, low humidity, and open desert with a lack of shade all compound these temperatures to make them potentially deadly.

In order to stay healthy in this climate, it is best to avoid hiking in the middle of the day.

For more park safety, see our Arches National Park Safety Breakdown next.

Arches National Park Media Release (05/16/2023)

“On Monday May 15, 2023, National Park Service rangers responded to a report of CPR in progress at Devils Garden Campground in Arches National Park. Personnel from Grand County Sheriff’s Department and Grand County EMS also responded. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful, and the 73-year-old male patient from Colorado was pronounced deceased at the scene.”

Arches National Park