Missteps in the Parks

Backpacker On Two-Night Trip Through Great Smoky Mountains National Park Found Dead

A 26-year-old Michigan man was found dead in a lean-to along the Appalachian Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, according to park officials.

Hiker Falls to Her Death In Zion National Park

A woman believed to be hiking in Zion National Park has fallen about 1,000 feet to her death from Scout Lookout.

Two Climbers Lucky To Survive Ordeal On Mount Rainier

A pair of climbers who found themselves in white-out conditions on Mount Rainier are fortunate to have survived their ordeal, which included falling into a crevasse.

Two Men Killed While Attempting To Raft Through "The Narrows" Of Zion National Park

The bodies of two men who possibly had intended to build a log raft to float the Virgin River through "the Narrows" of Zion National Park were recovered Monday.

Glacier National Park Avalanche Victim Apparently Faced Varying Avalanche Danger

It had to be tempting: fresh snow, an early spring day in Glacier National Park's backcountry, and fresh tracks to be laid down. But Brian Wright's third run of the day proved fatal when a weak snow-bond gave way and spurred an avalanche that ran roughly 1,800 vertical feet.

Montana Man Identified as Avalanche Victim In Glacier National Park

A Montana man snowboarding the backcountry of Glacier National Park alone was identified Friday as the victim of a massive slab avalanche that swept down 7,131-foot Mount Shields.

Glacier National Park Rangers Investigating Apparent Avalanche Death

A backcountry traveler in Glacier National Park apparently was swept to their death by an avalanche Thursday, park officials said.

Search On For Overdue Hikers In Grand Canyon National Park

Rangers are looking for two 25-year-old men overdue from a backpacking trek in Grand Canyon National Park.

It Must be Spring at Big Bend National Park—Multiple Incidents Challenge the Park Staff

Sunrise at the Basin in Big Bend NP.
Poets tell us where young men's thoughts turn in the spring, but the staff at Big Bend National Park knows the arrival of warmer weather means life in that park is going to get crazy. Big Bend's busy season is here, and a spate of recent incidents proves it must be spring in the desert.

What "Off-Season"? Recent Rescues Keep Rangers Busy at Shenandoah National Park

Dark Hollow Falls in winter, Shenandoah National Park.
Park visitors occasionally ask rangers, "What do you find to do during the off-season?" There's rarely a shortage of work any time of the year, and a recent series of incidents at Shenandoah National Park offers a reminder that the term "off-season" is often a misnomer.

Lost in the Boonies? What's Your Most Important Task?

Search dog and handler.
People who find themselves lost in the boonies, whether it's forest, field, desert or other terrain, frequently make the same mistake. If you find yourself unsure which route leads back to civilization, a recent incident at the Buffalo National River offers a clue about your most important task.

Man Dies in Fall From South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park

Rangers at Grand Canyon National Park are trying to determine how a man fell 200 feet to his death from the South Rim near Mather Point.

Woman Dies in Fall From Angels Landing At Zion National Park

A woman hiking up Angels Landing in Zion National Park apparently tripped and fell about 1,000 feet to her death, according to park officials.

Missing Hunter Found Alive in Big Cypress National Preserve

A deer hunter who survived four days in the snake- and alligator-infested sloughs of Big Cypress National Preserve by drinking swamp water and eating a catfish was found in relatively good condition Friday, officials said.

Search Now In Its Third Day for Missing Hunter At Big Cypress National Preserve

Searchers headed out for a third day Thursday morning to look for a 30-year-old hunter who walked away from his camp Monday in Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida.

Search Under Way For Missing Hunter In Big Cypress National Preserve

An intensive search is under way in Big Cypress National Preserve for a hunter who walked away from his camp and hasn't been seen since.

This Time, the SPOT Alert Was Real, Leading Grand Canyon National Park Rangers to Man With Broken Leg

This time the signal from SPOT really was sent seeking aid with a medical emergency, alerting Grand Canyon National Park rangers to a man with a fractured leg deep in the canyon.

Grand Canyon National Park Rangers Investigating Fatality on Bright Angel Trail

Grand Canyon National Park rangers on Tuesday were trying to determine the cause of death of an Arizona man whose body was found on the Bright Angel Trail.

Missing Hiker Found Deceased on Flanks of Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park

A 73-year-old hiker missing on Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park since earlier this week was found dead Saturday, park officials said.

Search Expands for Missing Hiker On Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park

Searchers planned to expand their efforts Friday to find a 73-year-old hiker who set out on a day hike to the summit of Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park.

Search Under Way for Missing Hiker on Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park

Ground and air teams were searching Thursday for a missing 73-year-old hiker who failed to return from a day hike to the summit of Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park.

A Miss is Much Better than a Mile for Hikers Rescued in Two Separate Falls

Rescues during carryout at Buffalo River.
Hikers in two widely separated NPS areas were injured in falls during the past week. The incidents led to challenging rescues, but they could have been a lot worse. In both cases, the men escaped what would likely have been a catastrophic plunge by the narrowest of margins.

Death At Channel Islands National Park Demonstrates Need to Be Prepared

A hiker who died at Channel Islands National Park from a presumed case of heat stroke sadly demonstrates not only the need to be prepared when you head out into a park, but also the wisdom of heeding advice from rangers.

Man vs. Squirrel… Place Your Bets

Ground squirrel.
A popular TV show has confirmed that many adults are not smarter than a 5th grader, but surely humans are smarter than ground squirrels. The following tale from Glacier National Park offers a good test of that hypothesis.

This Third Time Was Anything But Charming – SPOT Misuse At Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon
Frivolous calls to 911 centers are a growing problem all across the country, but when the call comes from a remote location in Grand Canyon National Park, both the expense and risks of an emergency response increase dramatically. A group of hikers recently activated their SPOT device not once, not twice, but three times on the same trip.

Houseboat Fire at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Injures Six

An effort to siphon gasoline between two containers led to an explosion that injured six -- including two with burns severe enough that they were flown to a Las Vegas burn treatment center -- and destroyed a houseboat at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Plane Missing at Denali National Park and Preserve With Noted Wolf Biologist Aboard

An aerial search was under way Thursday across the northern half of Denali National Park and Preserve where a single-engine plane with a noted wolf biologist went missing.

Adventurous Teens Need To Be Rescued From Precarious Perch on Ledge at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

If you've spent anytime around cliffs, you probably can appreciate that climbing up is a lot easier than climbing back down. Well, for three teens and their mother at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, getting down required quick assistance from park rangers who were able to rappel down and safely get the four back on firm ground.

Updated: Searchers Spot Missing Backpackers On Ledge In Kings Canyon National Park

Searchers looking for three missing backpackers in Kings Canyon National Park spotted a trio of men matching the missing hikers' description perched on a ledge above Roaring River Falls around noon Thursday. Due to their location, rangers were working on a technical rescue to get the three off the ledge.

Missouri Man Dies in Fall From Cliff at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Bushwhacking across landscapes can be dangerous, particularly if the footing is steep and covered with talus -- areas of loose rock. At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, a Missouri man died when he slipped while crossing a talus slope and fell 70 feet into a shallow arm of Lake Powell.
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