Death in Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park

Death in Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park

by Lee H. Whittlesey

Paperback(Second Edition)

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The chilling tome that launched an entire genre of books about the often gruesome but always tragic ways people have died in our national parks, this updated edition of the classic includes calamities in Yellowstone from the past sixteen years, including the infamous grizzly bear attacks in the summer of 2011 as well as a fatal hot springs accident in 2000. In these accounts, written with sensitivity as cautionary tales about what to do and what not to do in one of our wildest national parks, Whittlesey recounts deaths ranging from tragedy to folly—from being caught in a freak avalanche to the goring of a photographer who just got a little too close to a bison. Armchair travelers and park visitors alike will be fascinated by this important book detailing the dangers awaiting in our first national park.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781570984501
Publisher: Rinehart, Roberts Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 01/07/2014
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 440
Sales rank: 121,305
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Lee H. Whittlesey is a historian and the author of Storytelling in Yellowstone and Yellowstone Place Names. He has appeared in numerous documentaries on the national parks and the West in general, most notably Ken Burns’s recent series. He lives in Gardiner, Montana.

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Death in Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We took a week long camping trip in Yellowstone this summer. Talk about a wonderful place. This book caught our interest & just had to buy it. We grew up in the country & knew about animals & how to give them there space & not to wander off a trail. You will be surprised @ how many people don't follow the rules. I think everybody needs to read this book before even planning a trip to Yellowstone! Very sad book but it makes you think twice when out in nature.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I lived in Cody, Wyoming (50 miles outside of the east gate of Yellowstone Park) most of my life. I took the area for granted, but Yellowstone is a different story, and this book really shows it. I have passed this book to everyone I can, and everybody has loved it! If you read the book while you are actually in the park, it brings the stories closer to home and more touching. It's a must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book should be mandatory reading if you are heading to Yellowstone. It details accidents and deaths resulting from a variety of natural incidents from hot springs to bison to bears.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ive read this book over and over, lent it out, never got it back, bought another...lent it out and never got it back, lolz, i think i will purchase it for my nook instead :) great read for anyone!!!
cjbrad More than 1 year ago
This book should be a must read for anyone wanting to visit Yellowstone. I found myself reading this book from cover to cover. I couldn't put it down. It is a lesson in common sense, and a what not to do, while visiting the park.
Colorado-fam More than 1 year ago
Seems like a morbid topic but it is hard to put the book down. It gives you lots of interesting information and history of the Park in the stories and helps you learn how to be safer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I too bought this book on a travel to Yellowstone for a family vacation. Not only could I not put it down, but it was passed through the rest of the family while we were there. It made us VERY aware of the interaction of Man with nature. I had to order another book, since my daughters have hailed as 'their favorite book' to read. I bet I have read it 50 times, and never tire of it. It has peaked a curiosity about the Park that I can't describe.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book while vacationing in Yellowstone and I couldn't put it down. The park is awe-inspiring, yet just below the beauty is a wilderness that man will never tame. This book is a 'must read' for anyone visiting the park.
Crewman_Number_6 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My husband and I enjoyed this book. We read on a vacation to Yellowstone. Notwithstanding the author's moralizing on the foolhardiness of others, it was engaging and well researched.
countrylife on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Death in Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park, by Lee H. WhittleseyI wish I had read this book before our family vacation in Montana. Though we had no problems during our visit to Yellowstone, I would have exercised even more caution. After reading this book, you know: mis-steps CAN happen.This book chronicles more than 300 deaths which have occurred at Yellowstone Park. Some stories are short; some only one-line, especially the older ones with little original documentation. Some stories are given more attention by the author, including some which involved the courts, in this way showing the reader that the end result is that the Park visitor takes his own life into his hands when entering Wilderness. The book is broken into two parts. Death by Nature covers death by hot springs, wild animals and plants, lightning, falling rocks and trees, forest fires, drowning, falls and such. The chapters in Death by Man cover fights, suicides, murders, Indian battles, road and air deaths, etc. (He does not include automobile or snowmobile deaths that would ¿probably add another couple of hundred¿.) Appendices include a chronology of the deaths, information about the various cemeteries, and extensive notes on source documents. Each chapter chronicles the deaths involved in that fashion, ending with lessons to be gleaned.From the introduction: ¿Why would anyone write a book like this? The obvious answers are these: there are illuminating safety lessons to be learned, there is fascinating history in the stories, and there are legal ramifications for park managers. Certainly the stories are heartwrenching. But they teach us.¿The author has done his job well, researching the events, compiling the stories in a thoughtful manner, and, with the knowledge coming from his past association with the Park, and his personal experience, drawing conclusions and offering safety rules pertinent to each category. (My rating: 4 stars.)I found most interesting the chapters about lightning (eerie history of lightning in sections of the park, at least 5 fatalities); the hot springs (at least 19 fatalities, over 100 injuries); and the water (more than 100 fatalities), including Yellowstone lake (at least 39 persons having drowned in just that one lake, with 17 unrecovered, leading to the rumor that ¿Yellowstone Lake never gives up its dead¿). On Yellowstone Lake, the forces that combine to cause so many drownings are sudden, violent storms capsizing boats, and the frigid water (45 degrees) which swimmers inevitably succumb to.As the author concludes, ¿¿while we are loving the Yellowstone wilderness, while we play in it, indeed revel in it, taking it on its own terms and helping to protect it, we foolish mortals must always remember to respect it. For not only can it bite us, but, indeed, it can devour us.¿ The tragedy which most unsettled me happened to a family whose children were the same age as some of ours were the summer that we visited Yellowstone, our youngest then being a very active 9 year old. This family was walking along the boardwalk viewing the hot pools, the parents walking in front, followed by their 9 year-old son, with their 15 year old daughter and her friend behind. The father heard him say, ¿I wonder if this water really is hot?¿. The girls saw him turn and run toward the hot spring, and, with his arms over his head, he jumped in. ¿The last glimpse his mother had of him was seeing his rigid stark-white face, the mark of his pain and apprehension of death, sinking into the boiling water.¿It haunts me yet.
Helcura on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The most interesting parts of this book are the descriptions of death by bear and hot spring, and it is worth reading just for those chapters. The astonishing ignorance and arrogance of some humans in a threatening environment results in fascinating accounts of gruesome injury and death. The author's writing style is rather bland, and the organization within the individual chapters could be better, but it is an interesting review of the recorded deaths in Yellowstone and worth owning for the afficianado. The general reader should be encouraged to pick and choose the sections that are most interesting, rather than feel obligated to read the entire book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago