Death Valley Welcomes Tourists Despite Deaths in Record-High Temperatures
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Death Valley Welcomes Tourists Despite Deaths in Record-High Temperatures

Tourists continue to flock to Death Valley even though the US heat wave has already caused several deaths.

Hundreds of Europeans traveling through the American West, as well as adventurers from across the United States, still flock to Death Valley National Park, even though this desolate region is considered one of the hottest places on Earth.

The valley, known for its record-breaking temperatures, has become a hot spot for tourists seeking to experience its extreme climate. The National Park Service (NPS) clearly warns visitors about the dangers of such high temperatures, which can cause severe heatstroke or even death, but many people still enjoy visiting the rugged desert landscape.

Death Valley Welcomes Tourists Despite Deaths in Record-High Temperatures
A sign reading “Heat Kills!” on July 8, 2024, in Death Valley National Park in California. Death Valley is the hottest and driest place in the United States, but tourism continues.

Mario Tama/Getty Images Entertainment/GC Images

Temperatures in Death Valley have risen to near-record highs, with a high of 129 degrees Fahrenheit recorded in the park this week. The heat is part of a broader heat wave that is gripping much of the Southwestern United States, and the National Weather Service has issued warnings that affect one in five Americans.

In such conditions, heat-related illnesses are a serious risk. According to the NPS, a 65-year-old man was found dead in his car in July when temperatures reached 126 degrees Fahrenheit, and another man died earlier this summer from heat exposure.

Temperatures were so high that rescue helicopters were unable to help the passengers; it is believed to be dangerous for them to fly in temperatures above 120 degrees.

Last Sunday, a motorcyclist died from heat exposure when temperatures reached 128 degrees, and another motorcyclist was hospitalized. Park director Mike Reynolds warned visitors to be careful in the heat, saying: “Temperatures this high can pose a real health risk.”

Despite these fatalities, the park remains open and visitor numbers are high. Park rangers reported Independent Last year, the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, one of the park’s most iconic landmarks, continued to be a popular photo spot for tourists, even as temperatures rose year over year.

Park officials continue to advise visitors to be prepared, emphasizing the importance of staying on paved roads, carrying plenty of water and avoiding strenuous activity during the hottest times of day. Temperature records are being broken across the West and Pacific Northwest, with the rises expected to continue through the end of the week, according to the Associated Press.

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