The Great Smoky Mountains National Park cited an interesting stat in a Facebook post earlier today with regards to Search and Rescues (SARs) within the park. Here's the post:
Know your limits!Although not a world news item, I have never seen any SAR data for the Smokies. I did some research for my book, Ramble On: A History of Hiking, with regards to SARs in the entire national park system, and found out that the Grand Canyon used to account for more than 10% of all SARs across the entire system. During the late-80s and early-90s, the park recorded roughly 482 SARs each year. The park has been able to reduce that number by 25% in recent years, due to programs geared to help better educate visitors about the dangers of hiking in the park. Most interestingly, however, is that the Smokies records "only" 100 SARs each year, compared to roughly 360 for the Grand Canyon. That difference is magnified even more when you take into account that the Smokies has more than twice the number of visitors each year!
Before heading into the Park please plan and prepare accordingly. #trailstuesday
Whether it is for a multi-day adventure, a quick day hike, or even just a drive through the Park, things can go wrong in a jiffy!
Park staff respond to over 100 Search and Rescues every year, many of which could be avoided with proper planning and preparation. It is critical, especially during the ongoing health crisis, that visitors make wise decisions to help keep themselves, our rangers, and our first responders out of harms way. #searchandrescue
People often overestimate their abilities and underestimate the Smokies. Start with a short hike stay on trail, and play it safe! #recreateresponsibly #knowyourlimits
Check out the NPS’s list of ‘Ten Essentials’, for when venturing into the backcountry: https://www.nps.gov/articles/10essentials.htm
For information to help you plan your trip and to get updates on current Park conditions please visit the Park website: https://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.htm
In addition to the resources cited in the Smokies Facebook post above, you can also find a list of safety tips for hiking in the Smokies on our website. You can also use our list of hikes sorted by difficulty rating to help you find a hike that's best suited to your abilities.
Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park