Yellowstone National Park Sees First Tourist Fatality of the Season

On Tuesday, June 7th, Yellowstone National Park officials responded to a call about a tourist incident at the Norris Geyser Basin region of the park. As this is being written, park staff are working to retrieve the body of the individual who reportedly left the boardwalk in the geyser and hot springs area.  The hot springs that the body is in is said to be .13 miles from the boardwalk. This is the first fatality of what promises to be a difficult season for Yellowstone National Park Rangers.

New Information has come in from Yellowstone National Park in the form of a press release,

Here is what we know at this time.

A witness reported that a man in his early 20’s walked off the boardwalk and fell into a hot spring.

At this time, rangers are treating this incident as a probable fatality because the victim has not been located.

Rangers are using extreme caution as they respond given the hazards of the thermal area.

The location of the incident is approximately 225 yards off the boardwalk.

The Norris Geyser Basin is currently closed.

The investigation is ongoing and no further information will be available this evening.

We will provide information as it is available tomorrow.

In May, the park dealt with numerous incidents, highlighted by two that made national news. The first was the story of the baby  bison being put in an SUV and driven to a ranger station because it looked like it was cold and could die. The bison calf was later euthanized because it was unable to safely rejoin the herd. The second high profile incident was a group of idiot “bros” from Canada, who decided to purposely ignore signs and walk to the edge of the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring. Both parties were charged by the park, but the Canadian bros are still hiding up north from their charges after issuing a weak apology on social media.

Editors Note: A traffic accident in May resulted in the death of a visitor crossing the road, but the staff at the Outdoor Society decided that traffic accidents belong in a different category, as they are not due to the nature of the park. 

These incidents are on the rise in all National Parks, not just Yellowstone. Throughout the nation, visits are ignoring signs and common sense, getting too close to wildlife and walking into restricted areas. In some parks, vandalism in on the rise as visitors are carving their names into trees, rocks and anything else they can. Last week, in both the North Cascades and Olympic National Parks of Washington State, visitors who were locals to the region were observed clearly breaking wildlife boundaries and approaching nanny and kid mountain goats, getting as close as 4 feet away. Mountain goats killed a hiker in Olympic National park in 2010.

Today’s incident was first reported by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, which will providing updates to the story. The original article can be found here: Person falls in hot spring at Yellowstone. They will also be providing updates.

Norris Geyser Basin in home to the world’s tallest active geyser, as well as some of the most colorful hot springs you will ever see. Vivid colors, the stench of sulfur (which smells like rot- ten egg), and steam rising from the ground as far as you can see make Norris a popular destination in Yellowstone. With 2.25 miles of trails, most visitors to the park discover that Norris is a great way to spend a few hours in the afternoon. However, you must remain in approved areas and on boardwalks, which as you can see, has plenty of signage to see and read illustrating this fact.

Signage from Yellowstone National Park. Image via The Outdoor Society.
Signage from Yellowstone National Park. Image via The Outdoor Society.

Feature Image Via David Fulmer

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