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Zion National Park visitor dies while hiking overnight with husband

A hiker was found dead on a trail in Utah’s Zion National Park this week after her husband went for help in freezing weather, park officials said Thursday.

The 31-year-old, who has not been publicly identified, set out with her 33-year-old husband on a 16-mile authorized overnight hike along the Narrows of the park on Tuesday, the National Park Service said in a statement.

Hikers were slowed by the cold, officials said.

On Wednesday morning, members of the Zion National Park search and rescue team found the woman near the Virgin River, the service said.

Other hikers had attempted CPR, the National Park Service said in the statement.

Her husband arrived at his destination, Riverside Walk, and was taken to the park’s emergency operations center for treatment, the service said. His status was not available.

More than 20 lifeguards have been assigned to assist the couple, park officials said.

The couple’s journey, which began on Tuesday, included a hike along the Narrows, a 20- to 30-foot-wide trail lined with thousand-foot sandstone walls and centered by a river known to overflow, they said.

“The man reported that he experienced dangerous cold overnight and experienced symptoms consistent with hypothermia,” the National Park Service said in a statement.

The husband continued on the trail to ask for help at the popular Riverside Walk, officials said.

At the time, the pair were about 1.5 miles from this main passage, which is paved and has facilities. It was unclear if the couple knew they were so close to the crossing. Low temperatures in the park this week approached 30 degrees — below zero — despite sunny days with highs in the mid-60s, according to the National Weather Service.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Utah Medical Examiner and Park Service were investigating the death, park officials said.

In late August, several hikers in the Narrows were swept away by flash floods. Hiker Jetal Agnihotri, 29, was found dead in the Virgin River three days later.

The park, famous for its natural geological sculpture in the high desert, occupies 148,016 acres in southwestern Utah.


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