Washington Teen Found Dead in Arizona National Park

by Shelby Scott

National parks across the United States have seen far too many American fatalities this summer, now dipping into the fall. The most recent fatality occurred in one of Arizona’s national parks. The fatality makes headlines after park authorities discovered a woman’s body on Wednesday, September 29th.

According to The Herald Sun, park rangers discovered the body of a 19-year-old woman in AZ’s Saguaro National Park last week. Officials found the Washington teen’s body near a campsite in Grass Shack Campground.

The news outlet further stated that reaching the remote campsite requires uphill backpacking. Additionally, the grounds, which host a minimal three campsites within the Rincon Mountains, lie 10 miles from the nearest trailhead. Therefore, hiking alone to one of the campsites could potentially prove dangerous should something go wrong.

Since authorities discovered the young woman’s remains, the campground was shut down. Currently, investigations surrounding the woman’s death continue, however, investigators have not announced a cause of death or the woman’s identity. Of the fatality, Chief Ranger Kelsey Cassidy said, “At this point in the investigation the death appears to be an accident.”

Regardless, she shared that officials continue to work to find answers surrounding the woman’s death. However, at this point, several factors could have led to the fatality. According to the news outlet, visitors to the 100,000-acre Saguaro Wilderness Area should bring at least a gallon of water. The national park service also shared that weather in the park changes rapidly without warning, creating several potential hazards.

Zion National Park Missing Hiker Found Alive

As I stated before, too many of this summer’s national park hikers met unfortunate ends. And while the investigation continues surrounding the death of the Washington teen above, one fortunate Zion National Park hiker was safely found amid a multi-day search and rescue.

John Fisk Burg (71) went hiking in Zion National Park earlier last week accompanied by several dozen other hikers. However, according to the group of hikers at the Kanab hotel where Burg had stayed, the elderly man went missing after he was late on returning from his outing.

Authorities heading the search and rescue effort determined Burg had hiked the park’s Canyon Overlook Trail. From there, they began their search, thankfully locating the lost hiker only a few days later.

Burg survived his ordeal along Zion National Park’s trails, however, he did receive treatment at the scene before heading to a local hospital for further care. Officials did not provide details as to the man’s condition. 

Regardless, it appears Burg lucked out. Hikers state conditions for hiking this time of year are ideal. Temperatures remain bearable, with a high nearing the low 90s and lows toward the 60s. They further shared fewer crowds populate the park’s trails, posing less congestion overall.