Missteps in the Parks

New Yorker Climbing Mount McKinley in Denali National Park Dies on West Buttress

A 61-year-old New Yorker collapsed and died, apparently of natural causes, while being guided to the top of Mount McKinley in Denali National Park and Preserve. William Hearne died Thursday after his team hauled gear to 13,500 feet.

A Tough Week for Hikers and Mule Riders at Grand Canyon National Park

Short haul rescue at Grand Canyon. NPS photo.
It's been a tough week or so for hikers, mule riders and rescue teams at Grand Canyon National Park. During a 6-day span, a hiker fell off a trail and a rider was injured in an accident on a mule trip. Both required rescue via a park helicopter.

Stranded Boaters Rescued from the "Narrows" at Zion National Park

The Narrows in Zion N.P.
Recent attempts by several kayakers to run the area in Zion National Park known as The Narrows were far from successful. Two of the boaters found themselves stranded 800 feet above the canyon floor.

Grand Canyon National Park Rangers Scaling Back Search For Two Missing in Colorado River

With odds dwindling quickly, the search for two young men missing in the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park is being scaled back.

Snowbound Couple Rescued From Fire Tower at Dinosaur National Monument

A snowbound couple were rescued from a fire tower in Dinosaur National Monument last weekend in an incident that highlights some of the challenges faced by the folks who do search and rescue work.

Rescue of Injured Woman from Isolated Canyon at Death Valley National Park

Canyon at Death Valley.
A 58-year-old woman sustained serious injuries earlier this week in an isolated canyon at Death Valley National Park. Two rangers on patrol in the area heard calls for help and set a rescue into motion.

Ignorance and Complacency—Common Denominators in Many Park Accidents

River at flood stage
Spring can be prime season in some parks for canoeing, kayaking and other types of boating. Water levels are often higher in rivers from either spring rains and/or snow melt, but when combined with ignorance or complacency, too much water can present a serious problem. Two visitors at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area recently learned that lesson the hard way.

Fall Proves Fatal to Climber in Joshua Tree National Park

A 67-year-old icon of the southern California climbing community has died in a fall at Joshua Tree National Park.

This Hike at Great Smoky Mountains National Park Took a Nasty Turn

Trail through forest
Rhododendron and Mountain laurel provide beautiful blooms in the late spring and early summer in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Those thickets can also have a dark side, as two hikers recently learned the hard way.

Presumed 400-foot Fall Kills Man in Zion National Park

A 48-year-old man has been killed in Zion National Park, apparently the victim of a 400-foot fall from the Canyon Overlook near Zion Tunnel.

South Korean Climber Safe After Being Swept By Avalanche From Half Dome in Yosemite National Park

A South Korean climber who was swept by an avalanche down the granitic flanks of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park is recovering from his ordeal, which left him with a broken femur.

Upon Further Review: Pocahontas meets Hollywood

National parks and historical events which occurred at those sites have provided the setting or the inspiration for dozens of movies, as Bob Janiskee has previously discussed on the Traveler. Fame can be a mixed blessing for the staff of the featured parks, however, as employees at Colonial National Historical Park learned a few years ago when Hollywood decided to bring Pocahontas to the big screen.

Upon Further Review – How Not to Protect Yourself from a Bear

Guardhouse at Fort Yellowstone.
Visitors to Yellowstone National Park—and any other areas where bears are part of the equation—should always follow common-sense rules to avoid a confrontation with a bruin. At times, however, "common-sense" seems to be in short supply, as this true story from the past confirms.

Grand Teton National Park Rangers Spending Their Days Rescuing Skiers

Make a wrong turn at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and you could find yourself in a fairly rugged canyon in Grand Teton National Park. That happened twice this week, forcing four skiers to spend cold nights in the woods until rangers could come to their rescue.

Don't Try this At Home: Driver's Life Saved By Vegetation and Ledge at Colorado National Monument

Every now and then, you have to thank your lucky stars. That, no doubt, is what's going through the mind of a Colorado man who narrowly avoided serious injury, if not certain death, at Colorado National Monument.

Upon Further Review: Preferential Treatment for Local Residents at National Parks?

reserved parking sign
A basic principle of national parks is that they're just that—national, rather than local sites—so a family from Houston has the same opportunity to enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains as one from Gatlinburg. Officially, there's no preferential treatment in national parks for local residents, but it's only human nature for some people who live near a park and use it on a regular basis to develop a sense of "ownership" of the area.

Upon Further Review – Does the River Run Downstream?

Delaware Water Gap
Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area, on the Pennsylvania—New Jersey border west of New York City, is a popular location for "float trips" in the northeastern United States. On a nice autumn day, a couple I'll call Jack and Jill decided to take a canoe trip on the Delaware River. At the time, it seemed like a good idea.

Leave it to the Beaver

Beaver.
One of the interesting aspects of a park ranger's job is the knowledge that every day brings the possibility of a new—and frequently unusual—experience. That was definitely the case for me one day at Willow Beach, Arizona, a popular fishing spot in Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Injuries Prove Fatal To Hiker Who Fell in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A 25-year-old Tennessean died Wednesday from injuries suffered nearly a month ago in a fall in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Utah Man Dies in Fall at Zion National Park

A short fall in Zion National Park has killed a 55-year-old Utah man.

Rescued Yosemite Hiker Has Lots to be Thankful for This Year

Yosemite winter scene
A solo backcountry trip to Yosemite National Park offered a lot more than a hiker bargained for earlier this month. A major mistake could have led to a tragic outcome, and the man has plenty to be thankful for this November.

Upon Further Review - What Visited Your Campsite While You Were Sleeping?

Tracks in sand
One of the classic national park experiences is a Colorado River float trip through the Grand Canyon. As one group discovered, however, memorable moments on such trips aren't limited to running the rapids, and some surprising adventures can also occur when you tie up for the night.

Updated: Body Of Overdue Hiker Found in Glacier National Park; Suicide Suspected

Glacier National Park officials say the overdue hiker whose body was found Wednesday evening in a rugged section of the park apparently committed suicide.

Colorado Man Falls to His Death in Zion National Park

A 34-year-old Colorado climber working on one of Zion National Park's more popular climbing routes has fallen an estimated 300 feet to his death.

Clues Found in Search for Ginseng Hunter Who Went Missing in Shenandoah National Park

A pack of cigarettes, a hat, some keys, and a boot are among the few clues searchers have to go on in their hunt for a ginseng hunter missing in Shenandoah National Park for ten days.

Backcountry Skier Dies in Rocky Mountain National Park

A backcountry skier has died in an accident in Rocky Mountain National Park. The 40-year-old was skiing alone on Taylor Glacier and reported missing late Tuesday.

50-year-old Man Reporting Missing in Shenandoah National Park

Searchers are on the ground in the Cedar Mountain area of Shenandoah National Park today looking for a 50-year-old man reported missing on Monday.

How Far Should National Park Rangers Go To Safeguard Your Life?

How many hats should we expect national park rangers to wear? Already we expect them to cover law enforcement, interpretation, and backcountry patrols, and to be quick to put on their "search and rescue" hat when need arises. Should they also be lifeguards or, perhaps more generally, safety officers to protect park visitors, at times from themselves?

Body of Kayaker Missing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park Recovered

Rangers in Great Smoky Mountain National Park have recovered the body of a kayaker who was reported missing during a short paddle on the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River.

Glacier National Park Officials Plan to Scale Down Search for Missing Hiker

Glacier National Park officials, frustrated by six days of fruitless searching for a missing hiker, say they'll scale back efforts on Tuesday unless new leads are discovered.
Syndicate content