HomeOutdoorsNewsArches National Park Sees Second Death in Two-Week Period

Arches National Park Sees Second Death in Two-Week Period

by Jon D. B.
Arches National Park entrance sign
Entrance sign for Arches National Park in Moab, Utah USA. (Photo by: Jim Lane/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A 56-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene, the second death in Arches National Park over the last two weeks.

“On the afternoon of Sunday March 12, 2023, National Park Service rangers responded to a report of CPR in progress at Devils Garden Trail,” Arches’ media release reports of the death.

Unfortunately, “Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful, and the 56-year-old male patient was pronounced deceased at the scene.”

No additional information is available at this time, and the incident remains under investigation by NPS and local officials. Personnel from Grand County Sheriff’s Department, Grand County EMS, and Classic Air Medical also responded to the scene.

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 late father was pronounced deceased at the scene after CPR efforts proved futile. 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.

Arches National Park officials respond to hundreds of search and rescue incidents (SARs) every year. Many parks are dangerous amid hot, dry conditions, especially those out in vast, challenging desert ecosystems. Sadly, deaths are not uncommon in Arches as a result.

Arches National Park Safety: Know Before You Go

Alongside the National Park Service, Outsider wants visit to all national parks to be safe, memorable, and above all: safe. Where more challenging parks are concerned, NPS’ Know Before You Go program becomes vital.

Firstly, those experiencing health conditions, such as heart disease, are at greater risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke in arid parks. Both can be deadly through heart attacks or strokes.

To prepare for a safe hike, always check the weather before visiting a park. For Arches National Park, unseasonably warm temperatures can happen in the desert any time of year. Intense sunlight, low humidity, and open land with a lack of shade all compound these temperatures. The results can be deadly if underprepared.

As a result, it is best to avoid hiking in the middle of the day in Arches. Challenging parks should also be visited with a companion if you have any previous concerns at all. The buddy system has saved untold lives.

To prepare for your visit, see our full Arches National Park Safety breakdown here.

To plan your best trip over all, see our full overview of Arches National Park here. Stay safe out there, Outsiders!