I’m sure everyone is tired of hearing about how hot it is but since Utah is a hiking destination, the dangers need to be said.  

With the number of national parks the beehive state has, we get thousands of visitors, especially in the summer. Despite heat warnings and cautionary tales, people still yearn to hike in places like Zion National Park or Snow Canyon State Park. In July, these places can get over 100 F becoming a hot spot for heat related illness.  

However, just becoming sick in a national park or hiking spot in July isn’t the only issue. Last year, there were five deaths related to heat in the national parks of the western U.S. Neighboring national parks like Death Valley and the Grand Canyon were places where heat-related deaths occurred, CNN reported.  

These deaths all happened before July 23, 2023.  

Since July is just beginning, temperatures will only continue to rise and so will the dangers. Though national park services are on top of warning people about the heat, one thing they don’t always mention is the challenges that come with rescuing those who are in danger.  

The heat isn’t just an issue for visitors but also the rescue personnel.  

Death Valley warns its visitors that even if they wanted to, the heat sometimes prevents them from rescuing people. The hot air makes it impossible for helicopters to get any lift and endangering their own staff isn’t ideal.  

Unfortunately, the heat doesn’t bother some people and “pushing through” becomes the mentality. Despite one's best efforts you can’t fight biology no matter how prepared you are.  

So, if you are planning to go to any national parks this month, be aware that rescue isn’t guaranteed in certain places. Don’t go hiking during the hottest parts of the day and maybe just wait until Fall if you can.  

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