Showing posts with label Yellowstone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yellowstone. Show all posts

Outside Names America's 10 Most Deadly National Parks

Have you ever wondered which of America's national parks is the most dangerous? After all, it seems like each year we see news stories about someone getting attacked by a bear or falling off a cliff face. The parks are incredibly beautiful places, but they are also nature in its purest form, and we all know that the wild can be completely unforgiving at times.

Outside magazine has published an article that ranks America's ten most deadly national parks. The rankings are based on the number of total deaths the parks have seen over the years. For instance, Grand Teton National Park makes the list because it has had 59 people die within its boundaries since it was established back in 1929. Four of those occurred in 2016 alone. Denali is also on the list with 62 deaths, although most of those have occurred on the mountain that the park shares it's name with.

Of course, I won't reveal all of the parks that made the cut, but I will say that it is a good mix of places that you would expect to see on the list and a few that you might not have anticipated. Amongst the usual suspects are a some that are bit further off the radar, including the top spot overall. It should be noted that Outside uses the term "national park" broadly here, as a few of the places on the list aren't officially designated as parks, but still fall under the jurisdiction of the Park Service.

The list was also generated purely by the sheer number of people who have died within a park, and doesn't take into account the number of years since that place was established nor the number of visitors. If a 100 people died in a park that has been around for 100 years, it seems less deadly than a park that may have had 100 people die in just 50 years for example. Similarly, if millions of visitors pass through a park's gates each year and a handful pass away while there, it isn't as dangerous of a place that has the same number of deaths but only gets a few thousand visitors for instance. Still, this does give you an idea of which parks are the most dangerous in the purest sense.

All of that said, it is a wonder that some of these parks haven't seen more deaths over the years. For instance, Yellowstone has been around since 1872, and over the course of its 145 years of existence, only 92 people have died within the park. Considering that nearly 6 million visitors now go there on an annual basis, that doesn't seem all that bad.

Update: It has been pointed out that the article says that the stats were taken for all parks from 2006 on, so my rant above is off base. That makes the article a fairer comparison for sure.

Find out which other parks earned the dubious distinction of "most deadly" here.

Video: A Man Amongst Wolves in Yellowstone

We have another beautiful video today courtesy of National Geographic. This time we travel to Yellowstone National Park with photographer Ronan Donovan, who has gone to that place to capture images of the wolf population that lives there. If you know anything about the recent history of Yellowstone, you know that the reintroduction of the wolves back in the mid-90's was highly controversial, but has also brought a balance to the ecosystem there, making it much more healthy all around. Of course, this being Yellowstone, Ronan doesn't just capture images of the wolves, as some of the park's other amazing inhabitants put in an appearance as well. A beautiful video of one of my favorite places on the planet.

Video: Powerful Yellowstone in Timelapse

Most of the videos I've shared this week have centered around America's national parks in some way, and this one is no exception. This time we travel to Yellowstone – the first national park in the entire world – to catch a glimpse of the powerful forces at work there. Through timelapse video you'll see some of the park's famous geothermal anomalies at work, as just below the surface sits one of the most powerful super volcanoes on the entire planet. This is part of what makes Yellowstone so special, and seeing it captured in this manner is incredibly impressive indeed.

SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM : HADES EXHALES from Harun Mehmedinovic on Vimeo.

Yellowstone Bison Calf Euthanized Following Tourist Abduction

One of the top stories on social media over the past few days has been the news that a father and son duo traveling through Yellowstone National Park put a bison calf into their car because they worried that it was too cold and might die. They took the calf to a ranger station at Lamar Buffalo Ranch, where the animal was taken back into custody and returned to its herd. Unfortunately, the news came yesterday that the young bison had to be euthanized, as the herd wouldn't accept it back into the group.

It should be noted that the man and his son who took the calf were foreign visitors, and it was their first time in Yellowstone. But they ignored Park Service warnings to stay away from the animals, and they obviously had little knowledge of how the creatures in the park survive in much harsher conditions than what are currently found in the park. They were cited for transporting the animal, and park rangers are once again reminding visitors to leave the animals alone. Usually that warning is to keep the humans safe more than the animals, as in recent years there have been some high profile wildlife encounters that have turned tragic. Most of those incidences have occurred between humans and bisons.

Apparently, the calf had been returned to its herd, but the other animals wouldn't accept it back. But having been exposed to humans, the calf was then approaching other visitors to the park and wandering up to cars. That is once again a very dangerous situation for everyone involved, so rangers made the tough decision to put the calf down.

If you're reading this blog, you probably don't need the reminder, but when you're in the wild, leave the animals alone people. That is advice that might just save your life. This story is also a good reminder that not everyone has the same experience and knowledge that most of us take for granted. It's just incredibly sad that this newborn bison had to suffer for that.

Video: Yellowstone as You've Never Seen it Before

As I've mentioned before, National Geographic has dedicated its entire May issue to Yellowstone National Park, the first national park in the entire world. Nat Geo has also been releasing a series of great videos centered around the park, with one of the latest posted below. It takes us into Yellowstone with six NG photographers who give us a look at this breathtaking place that we've never seen before. Their photos are simply incredible, and remind us of why this is such a special place.

Video: The Best of Yellowstone National Park

2016 is an important year for the National Park Service. This year, the NPS celebrates its 100th birthday, and over the months ahead we're likely to see a number of great celebrations honoring the iconic places that make up the park system. This video takes us to Yellowstone to give us a brief tour of some of the highlights of the world's first national park. Yellowstone also happens to be the topic of the latest issue of National Geographic magazine, which calls it the "wild heart of a continent." I think that is an apt description of a place that remains one of my favorite destinations on the planet.

Video: Photographing the Wolves of Yellowstone National Park

The May issue of National Geographic magazine is dedicated completely to the world's first national park – Yellowstone. When preparing to release the issue Nat Geo sent a team of photographers to the park to capture the landscapes and wildlife that exist there. Amongst them was Ronan Donovan who was charged with shooting photos of the wolves that live there. In this video, he talks about the challenges and rewards of that assignment, which was unlike any other he'd had before.

Video: Animal Migrations in Yellowstone National Park

As if you needed further proof that Yellowstone National Park is a truly special place, National Geographic has released a fantastic video that not only shows us the amazing animal migrations that take place in the park each year, but also the breathtaking landscapes that exist within the park as well. I've been fortunate enough to travel all over the world, and Yellowstone remains one of my favorite places. This video will help you understand why.

Video: Yellowstone's Bear Bathtub

Yellowstone National Park has an amazing natural pool of water that seems to be a favorite with the local bear population. So much so that the pool has been dubbed the "bear bathtub." National Geographic stationed a camera trap near the pool and managed to capture some fantastic video of the bears enjoying some time in the tub. It's difficult not to smile while watching them frolic in the water. Sit back and enjoy this one.

Video: A Visual Love Letter to America's National Parks

Yesterday we took a tour of the U.S. national parks in under a minute, and today we have another video that puts those parks front and center. It is a visual love letter to those iconic places using the words of Theodore Roosevelt to remind us of why they are important and should be preserved for future generations to enjoy as well. With scenes from Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and other amazing locations, it is difficult to argue against that sentiment.

100 Years, A National Park Love Letter from Thelonious Step on Vimeo.

Video: Yellowstone in Winter

It's no secret that Yellowstone National Park is one of my favorite places on Earth. With its unique geothermal formations, wonderful wildlife, and enchanting landscapes, it is a place that every outdoor adventurer should visit at least once. But as great as it is during the summer, it is even more amazing in the winter, when the place is nearly empty, and blanket of fresh snow covers everything. To get a sense of what that is like, check out this video which takes us around the park to examine some of the sights during the cold, snowy winter months. Simply beautiful.

Video: A U.S. Army Vet Finds Healing in Yellowstone

A few weeks back I posted about a five-part series that National Geographic Adventure was sharing with readers about a U.S. Army vet named Ray Knell who had undertaken a 1000-mile (1600 km) journey on horseback across the Continental Divide. Ray suffers from PTSD, and he found solace and healing as he rode through Yellowstone National Park. This video takes us with him along that ride, giving us more of this former soldier's story, and immersing us in the Yellowstone ecosphere along with him as he not only discovers plenty of adventure along the way, but begins to heal some very deep wounds. This is incredibly powerful stuff, and a good reminder of the healing power of nature.

Video: Toyota Repurposes Hybrid Batteries to Help Save Yellowstone

It's no secret that Yellowstone National Park is one of my favorite places on the planet, which is why this video is so heartwarming. It was produced by Toyota, which has found a unique way of repurposing the batteries found it some of its older hybrid vehicles. The car manufacturer connected some of those batteries to a solar panel farm located at Lamar Buffalo Ranch in Yellowstone to create a new power source that completely takes the ranch off the grid, doing away with fossils fuels that can harm the environment there. The project was such a success, that the company is now looking for ways to expand it elsewhere as well.

And to celebrate this achievement, Toyota and National Geographic are conducting the Off The Grid Sweepstakes, which will send one lucky winner on a 5-day/4-night visit to Yellowstone to experience that amazing destination for themselves.

Across Yellowstone on Horseback to Heal Deep Wounds

We all know that escaping into the wilderness can be an incredibly therapeutic thing. There is something about nature that not only calms us, but helps us to heal as well. That is the basis of a five-part series of stores that are currently being revealed on the National Geographic Adventure website, where a powerful tale is unfolding about how an adventure in the backcountry can heal deep wounds.

The story begins with Ray Knell, a former Green Beret who suffers with PTSD. Seeking peace and solitude, Ray decided he wanted to undertake a 1000 mile (1609 km) journey on horseback across Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana along the Continental Divide Trail. Before setting off, he consulted with horseman Ben Masters, who made a 3000 mile (4828 km) ride of his own to support wild mustangs. That effort was chronicled in the new documentary Unbranded.

Ray set out on his journey earlier in the year, but part way through the expedition his horse and pack mules ate poisonous plants that put their health in serious jeopardy. Fearing for their safety, the U.S. Army vet immediately had the animals pulled off the trail so they could recover. He then called Ben and asked for advice, with Masters saying he would lend him some horses to continue the trip, provided he could join Ray on a ride across Yellowstone.

Just as they were preparing to start that epic journey, one of Ben's friends took his own life, leaving the rancher heartbroken, bewildered, and with a lot of questions. It seemed that both men would have a lot of healing to do on the trail, and lots of time to think about the challenges that life can throw our way.

Thus starts the five-part series from Nat Geo, where two of the articles have already been published. The first part, which you can read here, sets up the story, going into further detail on the outline I provided above. The second part of the tale, which you'll find here, starts the wild backcountry adventure as Ray and Ben meet at last, and start their shared journey that will not only take them through the vast Yellowstone wilderness, but on the road to recovery as well.

The remaining three parts of the story have yet to be published, so bookmark the Nat Geo Adventure page and watch for more to come. This promises to be a great read, and one that will probably leave a deep impression.

What's Going on in America's National Parks?

It has been an odd summer in America's national parks. It seems like every few days lately there is another story of something odd or tragic happening inside one of the parks, including lots of encounters with wildlife and other strange going-ons. Here's a rundown of just some of the things that have been taking place within the past few weeks.

Of course, one of the biggest stories of the summer has been the bison attacks in Yellowstone. Just a few weeks back a woman was charged by a bison while she was using a selfie stick to take a photo. She had of course wandered a bit too close to the animal, which was then annoyed at her presence and expressed it the only way he knew how. I can't say as I blame him, as selfie sticks really annoy me too.

But this wasn't the only incident involving visitors to Yellowstone and the bison that live there. Far from it in fact. There have been at least five other bison attacks in the park this summer, as visitors seem to not be heeding the warnings about wandering too close to the large, and sometimes very aggressive, animals.

The bison aren't the only creatures to be wary of in Yellowstone either. Last week, a grizzly bear attacked and killed a hiker there too. 63-year old Lance Crosby was described as a very experienced hiker who had been working at medical clinics within the park for the past five years. It is unclear exactly what happened, but it seems likely that Crosby came upon the bear while hiking alone, and was attacked as a result. The bear was later captured and euthanized.


Over in Yosemite, a child has been diagnosed with the plague. It seems the child picked up the disease – which is the same as the "Black Death" that ravaged Europe in the 14th century – in a campground within the park. Apparently it can be transmitted from flea bites and takes about 3-7 days to incubate within the human body. Fortunately, it was diagnosed and treated quickly, so this young person is going to be fine. But the mere thought of being exposed to such a disease in this day and age is a bit startling.

The campground in question is Crane Flat by the way. It has been closed this week while health officials apply flea treatment to the burros of rodents that live in the area. It is hoped that that will kill the fleas carrying the plague and make it safe to return again soon.

Finally, there is the sad story of the French couple who died while hiking in the White Sands National  Monument earlier this week. Apparently they ran low on water while trekking in temperatures the exceeded 100ºF/37ºC and eventually succumbed to dehydration and heat exhaustion. The two gave extra water rations to their nine-year old son however, who was found alive and extremely dehydrated, near his fallen parents. It is an incredibly sad story that underscores the dangers of being out in extremely warm weather.

Each of these stories also remind us that even though the national parks see millions of visitors on an annual basis, they remain wild and untamed in many ways. Nature is still an incredibly strong force capable of bringing great harm to us humans. It has been a strange summer in the parks for sure, but lets hope the remaining weeks of the travel season are calmer and safer all around.

Get Outside and Celebrate National Park Week - April 18 - 26

If you're looking for something to do this weekend, than perhaps a visit to a national park is in order. Tomorrow begins the annual National Park Week here in the U.S., and to celebrate all of the parks are waving their entry fees for visitors this weekend. Additionally, many parks will have a number of activities planned for the week ahead as well, including events to commemorate Earth Day on Wednesday too.

The national parks have been called "America's Best Idea," and rightfully so. These amazing outdoor settings are amongst the best in the entire world, and have spurred numerous other nations to protect their natural landscapes too. Yellowstone became the first national park in the world back in 1872, and Yosemite would follow a couple of decades later. Both remain amazing examples of the natural beauty that can be found in the western United States, and I for one appreciate that someone had the foresight to protect these places.

You will no doubt find plenty of online articles and blog posts providing suggestions on how you could celebrate National Park Week. The National Park Foundation has one here, and your's truly wrote another one for About.com that can be read here. But the bottomline is that over the course of the next week – if at all possible – you should get outside and enjoy a one of these great places. With more than 400 units in the U.S. park system, there is almost assuredly one semi-close to where you live. And to help you locate where they are, the new Find Your Park website will certainly come in handy.

I know there are a lot of readers of this blog who are not from the U.S. of course, but considering that many nations across the planet have designated national parks, now is a good time to visit one of yours as well. National Park Week may be an American event, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't celebrate your parks too. In my experience, if a destination has been designated as a protected park, it probably is a place worth visiting.

As for me, I have to forego my national park visits for a few more weeks. I'm heading out of the country tomorrow, and won't be around to take part in the celebration. But at the end of May I'll be heading out to visit Yosemite, Sequoia and King's Canyon, and I'm looking forward to that experience. Until then, I'll just have to be patient and wait for my chance.

Video: Yellowstone by Moonlight

Yellowstone National Park is one of my favorite places on Earth. The landscapes and wildlife there are simply mesmerizing. That amazing place is captured incredibly well in this video, which features timelapse images from Yellowstone that were captured at night. Some of the more famous places in the park are on display here, including the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Old Faithful of course. If you haven't ever been there, enjoy this video and then immediately start making plans for a visit of your own. If you have been to Yellowstone, you just might see it entirely different after watching this clip. Enjoy.

Yellowstone by Moonlight from Christopher Cauble on Vimeo.

Video: Sled Dogs - More Than Meets the Eye

This video comes our way courtesy of our friends at National Geographic. It was filmed in West Yellowstone, Montana, were sled dog mushers compete each year in the Rodeo Run, a two-day race through that spectacular part of the country. The video introduces us to these amazing dogs, who simply love to run, and gives us a glimpse of the bond they share with their owners. With the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod just weeks away at this point, it seems a fitting video to share. I hope you enjoy.