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Woman from Cedar Rapids passes away while hiking on a Colorado trail, triggering a heat advisory



Cedar Rapids, Iowa – A heat dome that enveloped parts of the American West and raised temperatures in several states on Monday claimed the life of a Cedar Rapids woman who was hiking in western Colorado.

According to officials on Wednesday, Marsha Cook was declared deceased following her collapse near the two-mile point of a hiking trail at Colorado National Monument. 54 was her age.

The cause of Cook’s death will be looked into by the Mesa County Coroner’s Office, the National Park Service stated in a statement.

Officials warned other monument visitors to be mindful of the extremely high summertime temperatures in the area and the possible risks those temperatures pose to human health, particularly when engaging in outdoor physical activities, even though they withheld additional information regarding the circumstances surrounding her collapse.

“Hiking in hot weather can lead to serious health risks including heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” the park service said in its statement about Cook’s fatal hike. “Daytime temperatures in Colorado National Monument have exceeded 90 degrees in the past week, and hot weather is expected throughout the summer.”

The National Park Service advises anyone wishing to hike in the Colorado National Monument to avoid the heat by beginning their hike after 4 p.m. or ending it early in the day, before 10 a.m.
When hiking the Lower Monument Canyon Trail on Monday, the woman collapsed and lost consciousness, according to a complaint that was received by park officials at approximately 2:30 p.m.

Her fall occurred approximately two miles into the five-mile trip, which is a circle.

The park service rates the hike’s difficulty as “moderate to steep” and states that it often takes hikers four to six hours to complete the entire loop.

According to the park service, numerous agencies, including park rangers, state wildlife officers, fire authorities, and search and rescue teams from neighboring counties, arrived at the area where Cook collapsed.

Despite efforts by first responders and the hiker’s family to save her life, including CPR, the hiker was declared dead on the trail.

The Colorado National Monument, which is close to the Utah border in western Colorado’s semi-arid desert, is a popular destination for hikers, campers, and animal enthusiasts from all over the nation who come to see its red rock canyons and monoliths.

Due to the recent high heat wave that has affected the national park and the surrounding area, meteorologists have issued multiple heat watches and warnings for sections of Colorado this week as temperatures have climbed.

The National Weather Service reported that although Denver broke its previous heat record on Wednesday, temperatures in the counties surrounding the Colorado National Monument might be above average on Thursday, possibly even reaching triple digits.

The weather service said conditions in that area could pose “major” health threats to “anyone without effective cooling and/or adequate hydration.”