JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, Twentynine Palms, California – On Saturday, August 13, 2016, a 56-year old woman died while hiking in the Cottonwood area of Joshua Tree National Park. At 10:00 a.m., a family group began hiking to the Mastodon Peak Trail. They missed the sign for Mastodon and continued toward Lost Palms Oasis. They realized they had missed their trail and turned around.
While on the return hike, the woman began suffering from heat-related symptoms, and lost consciousness. Her husband continued ahead to get assistance. The rest of the group stayed behind.
After receiving the initial report, a park ranger responded at 2:25 p.m. and found the woman without pulse or respiration. He called for a helicopter and began CPR. Additional park staff arrived and helped transport her to an ambulance where she was declared deceased.
AMR Ambulance Company, Indio Fire Department, Indio Medic Engine, Mercy Air, and Riverside County, all participated in this incident. Temperatures Saturday were around 100 degrees. All hikers in Joshua Tree National Park and the surrounding desert areas are strongly encouraged to take adequate water and food on any hikes, and avoid hiking in the middle of the day when it is the hottest.
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