Cliff Hanger

Cliff+Hanger

Photo by Becky Weber

JP Wilson, Staff Writer

On the surface, Utah looks like any outdoorsman’s dream location; it has mountains, streams, perfect snow, and enormous lakes, but people often become so captivated by Utah’s beauty and forget to consider its dangers. Last summer the national parks in the west had a record number of fatalities, and most of them could have been easily avoided.

One of the most attractive places in Utah is Zion National Park. It brings hundreds of thousands of people to Utah every year. It is also very popular to people who live in the Salt Lake Valley. It attracts the people of Utah because it is a beautiful place with clean air, amazing natural wonders, and a great wildlife population. Unfortunately, not everyone comes prepared for the outdoors. According to the National Park Services, in Zion National Park alone, there are hundreds of reports of dehydration, heat stroke, falls, lightning strikes, and flash floods every year. Far too often events like these turn out to be fatal when they could be avoided. The book, ‘100 Classic Hikes Utah’ by Julie Trevelyan is a great source to find fun outdoor hikes, and it also contains warnings and dangers for each individual trail.

The biggest cautions are to stay on the marked trail, bring plenty of water, and always check the weather for lightning storms or flash flood warnings. When you are rappelling and climbing, make sure that all of your equipment is still good and always double check your knots. Most people consider these things to be common sense, but it is very easy to forget the most crucial things when you are excited about being in the outdoors. So to have that amazing outdoor adventure that you have always dreamed of, make sure that you remember these crucial things, and you will have the time of your life.