Officials said on Saturday that a Florida man and his teenage stepson both died while hiking in Big Bend National Park in Texas due to high heat. According to the National Park Service, a 14-year-old boy fell ill while hiking along the Marufo Vega Trail around 6 p.m. Friday when the temperature was 119 degrees Fahrenheit. Later, he passed out from his illness. The stepfather, who is 31, started walking to their vehicle so he could get help. His second son-in-law, 21, attempted to lead the teenager back to the trailhead.
Officials said when park rangers and United States Border Patrol officers arrived around 7:30 p.m., they discovered the body of the deceased teenager along the trail. After beginning their search for the father, authorities discovered that the man’s vehicle had been involved in an accident at the Boquillas Overlook. It was determined that he died at the site. The identity of the victims has not yet been made public by the authorities.
The National Park Service uses the phrase “extremely rugged” to characterize the trail. The arduous path weaves between rocky cliffs in the hottest part of Big Bend, where there is no shade or water, and it is a track that cuts through the area. Temperatures ranging from 110 to 119 degrees Fahrenheit are typical for daytime highs in the desert sections of Big Bend and along the Rio Grande in the summer.
On Saturday, residents of the desert parts of Big Bend were told to prepare for extremely high temperatures. “Hikers should be OFF TRAIL in the afternoon,” according to the National Park Service, which also recommended that hikers maintain good hydration and reduce the amount of sun exposure they receive. A woman who was hiking in Big Bend in March succumbed to her injuries and died. She was 64 years old. A 56-year-old man died in February after he allegedly suffered chest symptoms while hiking along the Pinnacles Trail in the park.