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Hiker Found Dead Along Trail In Yellowstone

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avatar Hiker Found Dead Along Trail In Yellowstone
August 27, 2011 01:23PM
An investigation is underway to determine the cause of death of a hiker found along a trail in Yellowstone National Park.

Early Friday afternoon, a pair of hikers reported finding what they believed to be the body of a human male along the eastern section of the Mary Mountain Trail. The twenty-one mile long trail runs between Hayden Valley and the Lower Geyser Basin in the central section of the park. Park rangers responding to the scene found the deceased victim along the trail about 5 miles west of the Hayden Valley trailhead. There were signs of grizzly bear activity at the scene. Nothing uncovered so far allows for a conclusive cause of death, which apparently occurred on Wednesday or Thursday.

The identity of the victim, a male approximately 60 years of age from Michigan's Upper Peninsula, is being withheld pending notification of family members. An aerial search of the area Saturday morning failed to turn up any current bear activity. The Mary Mountain Trail, the Cygnet Lakes Trail, and the section of the Hayden Valley west of the Grand Loop Road have been closed to hikers.

Park rangers, wildlife biologists, and park management are continuing the investigation and discussing management options as more details emerge. Park visitors are advised to stay on designated trails, hike in groups of three or more people, be alert for bears, make noise, carry bear pepper spray, and not to run upon encountering a bear. Hikers and backcountry users are encouraged to check with staff at park visitor centers or backcountry offices for updated information before planning any trips in the central portion of the park.
avatar Identity Of Dead Hiker Released
August 29, 2011 11:36AM
A 59-year old man has been identified as the hiker found dead on a trail in Yellowstone National Park on Friday. John Wallace was from the community of Chassell, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. His body was discovered Friday morning by two hikers along the Mary Mountain Trail. The twenty-one mile long trail crosses the center of Yellowstone, connecting the west and east sides of the lower portion of the Grand Loop Road. Wallace was discovered along the trail, about five miles west of the Hayden Valley trailhead, which is off the Grand Loop road between Mud Volcano and Canyon Junction. Wallace was traveling alone, and had pitched a tent in a park campground sometime Wednesday.

Rangers discovered signs of grizzly bear activity at the scene Friday afternoon, including bear tracks and scat. Results from an autopsy conducted Sunday afternoon concluded that Wallace died as a result of traumatic injuries from a bear attack.

The Mary Mountain Trail, the Cygnet Lakes Trail, and the section of the Hayden Valley west of the Grand Loop Road have been closed to hikers. Park rangers, wildlife biologists, and park managers continue their investigation of the incident. Visitors are advised to stay on designated trails, hike in groups of three or more people, be alert for bears, make noise, carry bear spray, and not to run upon encountering a bear. Hikers and backcountry users are encouraged to check with staff at park visitor centers or backcountry offices for updated information before planning any trips in the central portion of the park.
avatar Re: Identity Of Dead Hiker Released
August 29, 2011 12:45PM
So to be clear, this hiker was hiking alone in an area that the Park Service had closed off to hikers before he was mauled by a bear. Correct, or incorrect?
avatar Re: Identity Of Dead Hiker Released
August 29, 2011 01:08PM
Quote
plawrence
So to be clear, this hiker was hiking alone in an area that the Park Service had closed off to hikers before he was mauled by a bear. Correct, or incorrect?

No, the area was closed after (and because) he died.
avatar Re: Identity Of Dead Hiker Released
August 29, 2011 01:13PM
Thanks for the clarification. I couldn't quite tell by how the Park Service worded their press release.
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