HOLIDAY WEEKEND BUSIEST ON RECORD FOR JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK RANGERS

HOLIDAY WEEKEND BUSIEST ON RECORD FOR JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK RANGERS

According to the National Park Service, last weekend was one of the busiest holiday weekends on record for rangers at Joshua Tree due to warm weather that brought a high number of visitors: Friday evening, Rangers were called out to a report of a possible dead man in the Sheep’s Pass Group campground. They found the body of a 30-year-old probable suicide victim. The county coroner is investigating. Saturday afternoon, the park received a report of a possible diabetic emergency near the Black Rock campground. As emergency personnel were preparing for a carryout, the woman hiked out without assistance and declined medical treatment. Later, rangers responded to a motorcycle accident with two injuries a mile inside the park’s west entrance. The accident occurred when the operator failed to negotiate a curve. Alcohol was a suspected cause. Saturday evening, a ranger on patrol was advised of an overdue hiker in the Queen Mountain area. The 34-year-old San Diego man was last seen about three miles into the park’s backcountry. He was wearing only light clothing and nighttime temperatures at the time were around freezing. Search and rescue volunteers were called out and a county helicopter was requested. The crew of the helicopter spotted the man with infrared scopes and hoisted him aboard. He was very cold and slightly dehydrated, but recovered quickly with water and shelter. Sunday, rangers received a report of a hiker who was three days overdue from a trip into the Coxcomb Mountain area. During the search for the missing hiker’s vehicle, rangers also responded to an out-of-bounds campfire which had escaped in Pinto Basin, and a report of a child locked inside a vehicle in the Jumbo Rocks campground. The search for the overdue hiker’s vehicle continues. Monday night, rangers received a call reporting a lost man and five children in the Desert Queen Mine area. They had no food or water and were not prepared for cold nighttime temperatures. They walked out just as responding rangers and a county deputy arrived at the trailhead.

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