Zion National Park issues warning about record-breaking heat

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SPRINGDALE, Washington County — Officials at Zion National Park are warning visitors and hikers about potentially record-breaking temperatures starting Thursday.

At Zion National Park, 100-degree temperatures are normal, but not until July and August.

There is a chance the area could see temperatures reach as high as 108 degrees this weekend, which would set a record for this time of the year. Visitors to the park are being alerted to be cautious and be prepared.

"I think a lot of folks are coming to the park prepared, but I think a lot of times people don't understand what 108 to 110 degrees looks like," said Amanda Rowland, program manager with Zion National Park.

"So, the reality is, it is hot," she said. "You need to be taking those breaks, drink that water, look for shade, have sunscreen, avoid hiking in the middle of the day, and be ready for the heat. It is a dry heat, so some people will not even realize that they are getting hotter."

People who are used to hiking in humid parts of the country might not realize that dry heat can trick them. With dry heat, people are not feeling the heat as much as in humid areas.

However, that is also where people can get into trouble, which is why the park is warning hikers and visitors about the excessive heat coming on Thursday.

Staying safe in the heat

The Bureau of Land Management is also warning visitors about the heat in northern Arizona and southern Utah.

The BLM gave these tips on its social media pages:

  • Slow down. Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day.
  • Drink plenty of water, non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty.
  • Dress for summer. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
  • Minimize direct exposure to the sun and wear sunscreen. Sunburn reduces your body's ability to dissipate heat.

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Alex Cabrero
Alex Cabrero is an Emmy award-winning journalist and reporter for KSL-TV since 2004. He covers various topics and events but particularly enjoys sharing stories that show what's good in the world.


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