BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK, Colo. — A 49-year old Lakewood woman died while hiking in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park on Monday afternoon, officials said.
The woman, identified as Tracey Lister, collapsed while with her 16- and 20-year-old sons on the Gunnison River trail, park officials said.
One of the sons hiked out for help while the other stayed with her. When park rangers arrived, the woman had no pulse, park officials said.
A fire helicopter staged at Vernal, Utah, was used to recover the body.
The death is under investigation by the National Park Service and the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office but is being treated as an accident.
An autopsy will be performed by the Montrose County Coroner’s Office to determine the cause and manner of the woman’s death.
Also on Monday, a hiker lost his way when he left the North Vista Trail on the north rim of the canyon.
The hiker found a National Park Service fencing crew who assisted him.
“Canyon environments, especially those with dark rocks and little shade, are often much hotter than the surrounding terrain,” park offiicals said in a statement.
“Exertion and heat can be a deadly combination, particularly for those with other health conditions. Park rangers recommend against hiking in the heat of the day. The highest temperatures in the canyon typically occur between noon and 5 p.m.”