Search and Rescue: Lessons from the Field

About This Blog

Each year, park rangers and search and rescue (SAR) personnel respond to approximately 250 emergency incidents in Yosemite National Park. The park's Preventive Search and Rescue (PSAR) program posts selected SAR incident reports on this blog in the hopes that readers can learn from the experiences of others.

Before reading through the blog, please be familiar with the park's comment policy.

Lost Near Lost Lake

October 01, 2018 Posted by: Yosemite Search and Rescue

While descending from Half Dome, staying on the trail between the subdome and Little Yosemite Valley can prove to be challenging in open sandy areas where the switchbacks are not well defined. It is not uncommon for Yosemite Search and Rescue to respond to reports of lost Half Dome hikers in this area. Here is one such case.


Slip and Fall at Chilnualna Falls

November 12, 2017 Posted by: Yosemite Search and Rescue

On the evening of Friday, August 12, 2016, two young men were scrambling barefoot and off-trail near Chilnualna Falls in Wawona. While exploring, one of the men slipped on the water-polished granite and slid down the slope to the left of the falls.


When the Road Opens before the Trails are Passable

July 06, 2017 Posted by: Yosemite Search and Rescue

On July 1, 2017 about an hour before sunset, a wilderness patrol ranger on a routine wilderness patrol encountered three separate parties, seven hikers total, all completely lost while facing darkness. They were in the Sunrise Pass area, which is south of Tenaya Lake (along Tioga Road).


An Uninspiring Night near Inspiration Point: A Race Against Darkness

June 22, 2017 Posted by: Yosemite Search and Rescue

On May 16, a mother and daughter were hiking to Inspiration Point when they sought a shortcut, lost the trail for over two hours, and became “cliffed out.”


When Our Decisions Endanger Our Pets

April 07, 2017 Posted by: Yosemite Search and Rescue

We normally have stories about people making choices that result in them needing a rescue. This story is about choices leading to a dog needing a rescue.


Last updated: August 10, 2020

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