Road through Death Valley National Park.
Road through Death Valley National Park. Credit: NPS

DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, California – A motorcyclist passed away from heat exposure on Saturday, June 6, while traveling in a group of six through Death Valley National Park. According to a statement from the park, another member of the party required transportation to advanced medical care in Las Vegas, while four others received on-the-spot treatment.

The heat on July 6 reached an extreme of 128°F, passing the official daily record for Death Valley National Park of 127°F recorded in 2007. The heat made it impossible for emergency medical helicopters to respond to the scene of the six motorcyclists, as helicopters cannot fly safely in temperatures above 120°F.

High heat like this can pose real threats to your health. While this is a very exciting time to experience potential world record setting temperatures in Death Valley, we encourage visitors to choose their activities carefully, avoiding prolonged periods of time outside of an air-conditioned vehicle or building when temperatures are this high.” – Superintendent Mike Reynolds

Ambient air no longer provides relief from heat was the temperature reaches above 99°F. In addition to the motorcycles’ lack of cooled air, the necessary safety gear worn while riding further complicates the possibility of riding a motorcycle through Death Valley National Park in high temperatures.

During this heatwave, it is not recommended to go hiking, especially at lower elevations. Extreme heat can be dangerous, and visitor safety is a priority. Avoid the sun and seek shade or air-conditioning during the hottest part of the day. Wear loose fitting lightweight clothing, sunscreen, hat and consider carrying a sun umbrella. Drink plenty of water and eat salty snack.” – National Park Service

Salt flat in Death Valley National Park
Salt flat in Death Valley National Park Credit: NPS

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