Hiker Dies on PCT Near Paradise Valley Cafe Amid Record Heatwave

A hiker died on the Pacific Crest Trail just south of Highway 74 on Wednesday amid triple-digit temperatures. Firefighters were dispatched to the trail in Riverside County, near the community of Anza, after receiving a 911 call from a woman who said her hiking partner had collapsed while trying to catch her breath.

Rescuers could not immediately find an access point to the distressed hikers’ location, and a helicopter was summoned. The unconscious hiker was pronounced dead at the scene, while her partner, who had made the initial 911 call, was airlifted out with unknown injuries and transported to a hospital in Coachella Valley.

The incident occurred on the same day that another hiker was rescued in the San Bernardino Mountains after becoming lost at the summit of San Gorgonio Peak on Sunday. Peggy Faulk, 64, of Houston, spent three days lost in the mountains amid the heatwave until a search and rescue volunteer found her on Wednesday.

The region has been experiencing record-high heat this week, with nearby Palm Springs posting temperatures in excess of 120 degrees on both Tuesday and Thursday of this week. The temperature in Anza was roughly 100 degrees at the time of Wednesday’s fatality. The identities of the hikers and the nature of their injuries have not been released, and it is unclear whether the pair were thru-hiking.

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