Lawrence Stanback, 60, of San Francisco, California, died while hiking near Red Cathedral along the Golden Canyon Trail in Death Valley National Park on Wednesday, Aug. 18, according to Death Valley National Park and the Inyo County Sheriff's Office.
National park staff received a report of suspected heat stroke and CPR in progress at 1:40 p.m. An inter-agency search and rescue was initiated, with park rangers responding on foot locating Stanback and confirming that he was deceased.
California Highway Patrol Inland Division Air Operations helicopter H-80 responded to assist with the recovery, but winds were too strong to safely land. In the cooler evening hours, national park staff were able to safely complete the recovery. The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office and Inyo County Coroner are investigating the cause of death.
Park rangers urge summer travelers to visit Death Valley safely by hiking only before 10 a.m. or at high elevations, drinking plenty of water, eating snacks, and by staying close to an air-conditioned building or vehicle to cool down in.