Tragic Hiker Deaths in National Parks Put Focus on Safety

hiker lost

In the past week two hikers have been found dead — one each in Yosemite and Denali national parks — while the death of a third hiker, who was discovered several months ago in Great Smoky Mountains National Park was declared partially a suicide. 

Coroners released a report on the death of 62-year-old Jenny Bennet who was found by rangers on June 8 deceased and seated with her head resting on a rock near a creek. Her death was found to be due to a combination of hypothermia and an overdose of Bendadryl, an over the counter medication to treat sinuses. 

Causes for the death of James Millet, however, will not be released for some time. Millet reportedly left for a day hike toward Yosemite Falls on August 11. When his truck was discovered seemingly abandoned on August 30, rescuers initiated a search based on a note he left in his car detailing his destination. A search crew by helicopter found Millet diseased near the falls two days later, according to a press release.

In the third incident, 28-year-old KC Boehly was attempting to cross a swift river with a friend in Denali National Park when she was swept downstream and died. The pair had apparently failed to make the crossing twice before heading out a third time when Boehly lost her balance. She was working at a lodge within the park for the summer when the accident occurred, according to a release.

Several days of rain have apparently made river crossings throughout the park extremely dangerous. To avoid becoming the next tragedy consider these tips and precautions on your next camping trip. 

Photo credit: Dreamstime