The National Park Service said a 14-year-old boy and his 31-year-old stepfather died last week after hiking at Big Bend National Park, where temperatures reached 119 degrees.
Officials said the two visited the Texas park last Friday amid a massive heatwave. They were hiking the Marufo Vega Trail, along with the boy’s 21-year-old brother.
The National Park Service said the teen fell ill and lost consciousness while hiking. Officials said the stepfather hiked back to the car to get help while the older brother attempted to carry the teen back to the trailhead.
Around 7:30 p.m. Friday, officials found the teen and pronounced him dead. About 30 minutes later, his stepfather was found deceased after crashing the car over an embankment. Officials did not state whether the heat or the crash caused his death.
“The Marufo Vega Trail winds through extremely rugged desert and rocky cliffs within the hottest part of Big Bend National Park,” the National Park Service said. “No shade or water makes this strenuous trail dangerous to attempt in the heat of summer. Big Bend is currently experiencing extreme heat with daily highs reaching 110-119 F at low elevations and along the Rio Grande.”
The National Park Service is encouraging the public to stay off the trails at the park during the afternoon.
Big Bend National Park is located in a sparsely populated region of Texas along the U.S./Mexico border between El Paso and Del Rio.
Much of Texas has been under an extreme heat warning for at least the last week. Extreme heat is expected for much of Texas over the next few days.