Hiker Dies in Joshua Tree National Park in 120-Degree Heat

A hiker died in Joshua Tree National Park after collapsing as temperatures soared to around 120 degrees over the Labor Day weekend.

The hiker's companion alerted park officials at 7 p.m. on Saturday after the man collapsed in the Turkey Flats area of the California park, The Palm Springs Desert Sun reported.

The companion said the man was unconscious and needed aid immediately, park spokeswoman Jennie Albrinck said in a news release on Monday.

The man was located by the park's search and rescue team near the base of Pinto Mountain more than four hours later, at about 11:30 p.m.

Albrinck said staff gave the man CPR at the scene, but they were not able to revive him.

The man's body was airlifted out of the park by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, according to the Desert Sun. His identity was not released and no other details were immediately available.

Albrinck added that temperatures in the area where the man died were thought to have reached around 120 degrees on Saturday.

An Excessive Heat Watch had been issued for Joshua Tree National Park from Friday to Monday.

"People have died in this park from heat during similar events in the past," the alert on the National Park Service's website said. "Air pollution levels can be unhealthy during the summer months. Avoid outdoor activities during this time."

Park officials advise hikers going to Turkey Flats and other backcountry areas to carry a map and compass.

Hikers are advised to carry all the water they will need—at least one gallon per person per day is recommended, two in the summer months or if the hike will be strenuous.

Park officials also urge visitors to always let someone know where they plan to go and what time they plan to return as there is no water, fuel, or cell service in the park.

"Natural water sources are scarce, easily polluted, and should not be used," the park's website says.

The hiker's death comes weeks after another man was found dead in the park.

Alberto Serrano Alvarez's body was found near a sedan along Black Eagle Mine Road in the national park on August 20. "The summer brings the additional danger of extreme heat and visitors are encouraged to recreate early in the day before 10 a.m.," a park spokesman said in a news release at the time.

Joshua Tree National Park and the Riverside County Sheriff's Department have been contacted for additional comment.

Joshua Tree
A road leads toward rock formations in Joshua Tree National Park on May 18, 2020 in Joshua Tree National Park, California. Mario Tama/Getty Images