SPRINGDALE, Utah (ABC4) – With triple digits hitting Southern Utah, Zion National Park officials want visitors to be safe.
Ryan Diefenderfer and Chris Fala are visiting from Phoenix, Arizona, and say triple-digit temperatures are no stranger to them. Fala says he’s experienced some heat-related illnesses in the past.
“Where I get like super lightheaded, not quite to the point where I get heat stroke or anything like that, but that lightheadedness and nausea, just sitting down I’ve poured water on my head to cool my body back down,” he says.
“We stocked up on several gallons of water, we have a shade here for our campsite, we have a lot of cool drinks,” says Diefenderfer.
According to park rangers, hundreds of visitors at Zion National Park say they suffered from heat-related illnesses last year.
“We recommend that you carry at least a gallon of water per person per day if you’re going to be away from a water source, or if you’re going to be in Zion Canyon, you can take advantage of the free water filling stations,” says Jonathan Shafer, the Public Affairs Specialist for the park.
“Over by the visitor center there were a couple of water fill stations and we’ve been taking advantage of those,” says Fala.
Shafer says it’s best to hike early in the morning when it’s hot.
“The morning is usually part of any day here in the park or any place and in the afternoon, there are some places in the park where you might be able to find more shade, for instance, the western side of Zion Canyon,” he says.
Shafer also wants to remind people to be mindful of their pets in the heat.
“Be sure to make plans so that your dog doesn’t need to spend the day in your car, that will be too hot for them, and also be mindful if the air is hot, the pavement is probably hotter,” he says,
If you see someone experiencing a heat-related illness, rangers say to contact them, get that person to shade, and give them water to cool off.