Weekend Death On Western Colorado’s Palisade Plunge Trail
A weekend bike ride on the Palisade PlungeTrail ended tragically for a visitor from Colorado Springs.
Man Dies On the Palisade Plunge Trail
According to the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, a 52-year-old male from Colorado Springs was riding alone on the trail Saturday when he apparently ran out of water and began suffering from a heat-related illness. A group of three riders stopped to help and called 9-1-1 at about 6:45 Saturday evening.
The Mesa County Sheriff's Office, Mesa County Search and Rescue, Palisade Fire Department and the Careflight helicopter responded to the call in a remote area. Life-saving measures were administered, but the cyclist did not survive. The Mesa County Coroner will release the manner and cause of death and the identity of the victim.
Saturday Temperatures Reach 102
On a day when the western Colorado temperature reached 102, the three riders who stopped to help were also out of water and had to be treated for dehydration. They had each started on the trail with a gallon of water each - but ran out about 10 miles before the end of the trail.
Exposure To Elements on Palisade Plunge Trail
The Palisade Plunge is a popular 32-mile mountain bike trail that offers very little shade and sections of extreme exposure. It is recommended that riders have at least a gallon of water and electrolyte replenishments when attempting this trail during the summer.
The Palisade Plunge starts on Lands End Road, about three miles below the Lands End Observatory. This 17-mile section of the trail "navigates remote, backcountry terrain with some sections of extreme exposure recommended only for experienced riders." The Palisade Plunge website says the trail is "guaranteed to offer a fast, fun, and challenging ride."
Anyone who hikes or bikes is reminded to always have plenty of water when taking part in summer activities. The Mesa County Sheriff's Office discourages strenuous activity during times of extreme heat.