Death in the Parks

Mt. McKinley Fall Claims Lives of Two Climbers

A climbing fall at Mt. McKinley's Denali Pass took the lives of two mountaineers on Wednesday and critically injured two others.

Injuries Claim Life of Great Smoky Hiker

A 45-year old woman from Columbia, Maryland, died last night of injuries sustained yesterday morning while day hiking in the Greenbrier area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Haleakala Visitor Deaths Yield $5 Million Settlement

In 2003, a flash flood swept two Haleakala National Park visitors over a waterfall to their deaths. The victims’ family sued, and the federal government has agreed to a no-fault settlement with a $5 million payout.

An Untimely Accident Fatally Injures a Colorado National Monument Bicyclist

Last Saturday afternoon, 65-year old Stanley Dodson, an avid cyclist and freshly-retired university professor, became the first person in the 98-year history of Colorado National Monument to be fatally injured while bicycling in the park.

Veteran Climber Killed in Icefall at North Cascades

A climbing accident at North Cascades has claimed the life of internationally renowned climber Craig Luebben.

Zoonotic Disease Survey Addresses Potentially Dangerous Health Risks

Zoonotic diseases can be transmitted from animals to humans, and there are some dangerous ones in our parks. The NPS Zoonotic Disease Survey currently underway will help to improve safety protocols for employees at risk. If you want to participate I this survey, you’ll need to hurry.

Toddler Dies After Drinking Citronella Oil at Chickasaw National Recreation Area Campsite

A child’s tragic death at Chickasaw NRA underscores the need to be extra careful with hazardous materials when camping with small children. Citronella oil, a common lantern fuel, is one of the products that must be kept out of a child’s reach.

Update: Officials Release Name of Half Dome Victim

The hiker killed in a fall from Half Dome on Saturday afternoon was a 40-year man from of San Ramon, California.

Half Dome Hiker Falls to His Death in Yosemite

Dangerous weather conditions apparently played a role in the death of a male hiker who fell from Half Dome Saturday afternoon.

By the Numbers: Memorial Day Weekend at Yosemite National Park

A busy day at a popular park generates lots of incidents for rangers to handle.

Man Falls 250 Feet to His Death from a South Rim Overlook at Grand Canyon National Park

On October 6, 47-year old Michael Wilson from Scottsdale, Arizona, fell 250 feet to his death from an overlook on Desert View Drive in Grand Canyon National Park.

At New River Gorge National River, an Iconic Bridge Attracts Suicide Jumpers

In the predawn darkness of September 9, a 25-year old Ohio man leaped to his death from the New River Gorge Bridge at New River Gorge National River. In his car, investigators found a Mapquest map with directions from his home to the bridge. Like many before him, this victim had carefully planned to end his life at an architectural icon far from his home.

Lightning Strike Kills Park Visitor at a Sandy Hook Beach in Gateway National Recreation Area

A deadly lightning strike killed one visitor and injured two others Sunday afternoon on a Sandy Hook beach in Gateway National Recreation Area. The lightning hazard is worse than most people think, but putting lightning safety precautions into practice dramatically lowers the risk of injury and death.

Did Gusty Winds Cause a Fatal Climbing Accident at Grand Teton National Park?

Why did a man who had nearly three decades of experience teaching others to climb fall to his death in Grand Teton National Park? The only thing investigators can be sure of is that free solo climbing like George Gardner was doing leaves no appreciable margin for error or misfortune. This unattended death might have been caused by a gale force gust of wind.

Climber’s Body May Remain Buried on Mount McKinley Summit in Denali National Park and Preserve

When a climber died on the Mount McKinley summit on July 4th, his companions buried his body in one of the least accessible places on the North American continent. It will probably stay there until at least next year, and might be left there for good.

Tragedy Stalks the National Parks

Hiking up Half Dome in Yosemite; K. Repanshek photographer.
It's been a rough few days in the national parks. A three-day search in Mount Rainier has led to the discovery of the body of a missing hiker, while in Yosemite another hiker has died while trying to negotiate Half Dome.
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