Death Valley National Park beckons, despite how uninviting it may sound. Tourists are flocking to this notorious desert environment on the California-Nevada border even as the already harsh temperatures are predicted to rise considerably higher, possibly breaking records amid a massive U.S. heat wave.
After attempting a run in the oppressive heat earlier this week, Daniel Jusehus took a picture of a famous thermometer outside the appropriately named Furnace Creek Visitor Center.
Jusehus, a visiting active runner from Germany, stated, “I was really noticing, you know, I didn’t feel so hot, but my body was working really hard to cool myself.
He captured the temperature, which was 48.8 degrees Celsius or 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Most tourists to the park, which promotes itself as the lowest, hottest, and driest location on Earth, only travel a short distance to any site during this time of year before heading back to the cool comfort of an air-conditioned car.
This weekend, the temperature may exceed 130 F (54.4 C), but some people who are willing to endure the heat probably won’t be discouraged.
Despite the fact that nighttime temperatures are still predicted to be around 90 F (32.2 C), warning signs at hiking trails caution against leaving the house after 10 a.m.
According to the park service, the highest temperature ever recorded in Death Valley was 134 F (56.6 C) in July 1913.
There have long been warnings for hikers in other parks. In the inner canyon of Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park, where temperatures can be 20 degrees hotter than the rim, officials are warning visitors to stay off the trails for most of the day.
Big Bend National Park near the Rio Grande is anticipated to be at least 110 F (43.3 C) in west Texas.
It’s recommended to avoid the trails in the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. According to Cynthia Hernandez, a spokesman for the National Park Service, the safeguards differ between parks and landscapes.
If the situation becomes too dangerous, some trails may be closed. Websites for specific parks are where alerts and limits are posted, according to Hernandez.
According to preliminary data from the park service, at least four deaths in the 424 national park locations this year have been attributed to the heat.
This includes a San Diego resident, 65, who was discovered dead in his car at Death Valley earlier this month, per a news release.
The emphasis of Death Valley National Park is on independence rather than relying on outside help.
There is no guarantee that lost tourists will receive assistance in time, despite the fact that rangers patrol park roads and can help distressed drivers.
The desert park, which is located west of Las Vegas and spans a stretch of the California-Nevada border, receives more than 1.1 million visitors each year.
It is the largest national park in the Lower 48, with a total area of 5,346 square miles (13,848 square kilometers).
In June, July, and August, about one-fifth of the visitors arrive.