A view overlooking the Needles Outpost near the Needles entrance to Canyonlands National Park. [Courtesy photo]

A hiker missing since Sunday was found dead in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park on Tuesday, July 19, NPS officials reported.

The hiker did not return from a planned hike to Elephant Hill, a 6.4-mile out-and-back trail, on Sunday, July 17. Canyonlands and Mesa Verde National Park Service staff and San Juan County officials began a search to locate the individual, who has not been publicly identified. Search and rescue workers found the man’s body near the trailhead.

An investigation into the death is being conducted by San Juan County. A cause of death has not yet been released, but officials stressed the need for all visitors to the area to prepare for extreme heat and avoid hiking outside the early morning hours.