Half Dome at Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is having the deadliest year in recent memory after three were swept over a waterfall and a woman fell from Half Dome (pictured). Image from Wikimedia Commons.

This summer has been particularly deadly in national parks. More fatal accidents have been observed than in any year in recent memory. Yosemite National Park and Yellowstone National Park have both been dangerous to travelers this summer.

Highest death toll in years

At Yosemite National Park in recent weeks, a higher-than-normal number of people have been killed in accidents in the park. A recent victim of a tragic accident brings the death toll to the highest number in living memory. A woman slipped and fell to her death from Half Dome, according to ABC, a 4,800 foot-tall granite dome that is a popular hiking destination in Yosemite. The route to the top of the granite structure requires the use of steel cables that guide hikers to the top, which became slick as she was descending from the summit during a rain storm. Fourteen people have died in Yosemite National Park this year, making it the deadliest year in park history since 2007, when seven people died in the park. Several weeks ago, three were presumed killed when they were swept over Vernal Fall, a waterfall on the Merced River in the park.

Bear attacks on hikers

Authorities attribute deaths in Yosemite to snowmelt from record-high snowfall in the winter. However, other national parks are having problems with bears. The first fatal bear attack in 25 years was recorded this year in Yellowstone National Park, according to the New York Times, when a grizzly attacked and killed a 57-year-old hiker who was traversing the backtrails in Yellowstone. The bear was reported to have been protecting her cubs. Fatal bear attacks outside Yellowstone have been recorded when Yellowstone grizzlies wander outside the park, often foraging for food in populated areas. Four teens were also attacked by a grizzly in Alaska this year, according to the Washington Post, while engaging in wilderness survival training north of Anchorage.

The dangers of national parks

Though the word “park” might imply otherwise, the nation’s wildlife parks and preserves pose significant dangers, as these are preserved areas of nature. According to USA Today, 187 people died in national parks in 2010, including 160 deaths in search-and-rescue incidents that also included 1,658 injuries. In Yosemite alone, 38 people died and 1,225 had to be rescued between 2006 and 2010, according to CBS. Those rescues cost $3 million. According to the National Park Service, more than 281 million people visited national parks last year, and according to a Park Service spokesman quoted by USA Today, “99 percent of national park visitors do the things we ask them to do,” so national parks are not dangerous to everyone. However, not obeying posted safety guidelines is the most common way to get into danger in the nation’s parks.


ABC: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=14208202

Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/teen-thought-he-would-die-in-alaska-bear-attack-this-cant-be-happening-to-me/2011/07/26/gIQAmPKAaI_story.html

New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/10/us/10grizzly.html

USA Today: http://travel.usatoday.com/destinations/dispatches/post/2011/07/national-park-deaths-random-or-reckless/178043/1

CBS: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/08/02/national/main20086705.shtml

National Park Service: http://www.nps.gov/faqs.htm

Post By bryanh (1,420 Posts)


Do you have a fantastic idea related to this article, but just don't have the money you need to start your own company or side-business? Get the loans you need from https://personalmoneynetwork.com to help get your new company underway, from the small loan professionals at PersonalMoneyNetwork.

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a northern California utility, has agreed to pay $70 million to the California town of San Bruno for a pipeline explosion that killed eight people in 2010. Company says it’s remorseful The San Francisco-based power company’s president, Chris Johns, released a statement Monday, saying PG&E is sorry and eager to […]

Judge stabbed and deputy shot in Washington courthouse

Grays Harbor County Courthouse

Following a standoff in a Washington state county courtroom Friday, a man reportedly escaped after shooting a sheriff’s deputy in the shoulder and stabbing a judge in the neck. The man is still at large. Treachery among the tree farms The incident occurred Friday afternoon in the western Washington town of Montesano, which bills itself […]

Microraptor was one flashy little dinosaur

Microraptor fossil

A team of Chinese and American scientists have found that Microraptor, a small four winged dinosaur that went extinct about 130 million years ago, was likely black and almost certainly had glossy, iridescent feathers. Until now, the coloring of extinct creatures was a matter of pure speculation. That may no longer be the case. The […]

Autocorrected message leads to school lockdown

Homage to the Sun

Adjacent schools in Georgia were locked down for two hours Wednesday after a text message reportedly warned of a “gunman” on campus. Later, it was learned that the message was the result of a smartphone autocorrect function, attempting to “fix” the misspelled slang word “gunna.” A series of mixups A series of mixups led to […]