Yellowstone & Grand Teton on List for Most Search and Rescues

Yellowstone & Grand Teton on List for Most Search and Rescues

Written by on March 15, 2022

Both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks make a list of the top ten national parks with the most search and rescue incidents in the last two years.

The website Outforia has used publically accessible data to compile lists of the search and rescue incident numbers for all National Park Service sites between 2018 and 2020. There are three lists: the parks with the most search and rescue incidents, the parks with the most open incidents, and the parks with the most unfound cases.

The highest number of search and rescue incidents occurred in Grand Canyon National Park. The N.P.S. reported 785 search and rescue incidents between 2018 and 2020.

Second and third place went to California. Yosemite National Park reported 732 incidents between 2018 and 2020, followed by Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks tied at third with 503 incidents over the same period.

In fourth place, Yellowstone National Park reported 371 search and rescue incidents between 2018 and 2020. Grand Teton National Park came in eight with 224 incidents.

Courtesy Outforia

However, neither Wyoming national park appears on two other lists – parks with the most open and unfound search and rescue incidents.

Not every search and rescue incident has a timely resolution, something Outforia considers.

“Sometimes search and rescue operations can go on for a number of months with cases remaining open for months or even years before a resolution is found for the case,” the article explains. “In some cases, there may not be a missing person involved but an incident being investigated, leading to numerous cases remaining open.”

At the top of that list is Mount Rainer National Park – by a wide margin. As of 2022, there are 101 open search and rescue incidents at the Washington park. The Blue Ridge Parkway is next on the open incidents list, with only 28 open cases.

There is currently one open incident in Yellowstone National Park. Ogden, Utah resident Kim Crumbo went missing with his brother Mark O’Neill last September. O’Neill’s body was found on the east shore of Shoshone Lake on Sept. 19 after extensive search efforts, while Crumbo has yet to be recovered.

Once again, neither Yellowstone nor Grand Teton appears on the list of the most unfound cases – where missing persons are never found.

Unfortunately, not every search and rescue results in a successful search and rescue. Unfound cases result from an unsuccessful search where the person is still classified as missing and, most likely, has died somewhere in the N.P.S. site

Arches National Park is at the top of that list, with six unfound cases.

One N.P.S. site that consistently appears on these lists is Rocky Mountain National Park. Analysis shows the Colorado park had 341 search and rescue incidents between 2018 and 2020. In addition, the park has 19 open incidents and three unfound cases.

Despite the frequent search and rescue calls in Park County and Wyoming, it’s far less than in several other U.S. states.

Outforia also broke down search and rescue incidents between 2018 and 2020 by state. California is the “winner” with 1,686 incidents over the two-year period.

By comparison, it’s much harder to get lost in Wyoming. Only 618 search and rescue incidents were reported in the same two-year period, placing it fifth behind California, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada.

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