Orem woman, 56, dies while hiking in Garfield County

Published: Friday, Aug. 16 2013 5:38 p.m. MDT

Tourists hike the Navajo Loop in Bryce Canyon National Park, a popular destination in Garfield County.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK — A 56-year-old Orem woman died Thursday while hiking in Garfield County.

The woman was on the Brimhall Double Bridge trail with her husband when she "began experiencing medical problems," Garfield County sheriff's spokeswoman Cheryl Church said. The woman's husband drove to the nearest town of Boulder to find help, but when he returned with emergency personnel, the woman had already died.

Church said the couple had water, but it most likely wasn't enough for the conditions.

"It was a rigorous hike with a lot of heat," she explained.

The woman's body was recovered from the trail by officers from Garfield County and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. It is believed she died from heat exhaustion, though the Utah State Medical Examiner's Office will determine the official cause of death.

Sheriff's officials have not yet released the name the woman, pending notification of family.

This is at least the second death caused by heat while hiking in Utah this year. A 27-year-old Arizona woman died from heat-related stress while hiking The Wave near Kanab last month.

"The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office would like to strongly remind people that hiking in the desert heat can be deadly," Church said. "Prepare by bringing the adequate amount of water necessary to hike in extreme heat and extreme hiking conditions."

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