According to recent data, search and rescue missions in Utah’s national parks are up 68 percent from 2014. Men in their 20s are the most likely to need the assistance.
Most rescues last year took place in Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. Rangers helped 114 people in Zion last year, a 42 percent increase from three years ago, according to the data.
Bryce Canyon, which is smaller than Zion, had fewer rescues but saw an even greater increase. Rescues there tripled from 19 in 2014 to 86 last year.
For those 86 operations, staffers and volunteers reportedly spent nearly 860 hours searching for or rescuing distressed visitors, costing the park service about $32,000.
Utah’s national parks also saw a large increase in visits. Bryce Canyon grew from 1.4 million visitors in 2014 to 2.5 million last year. Zion shot up from 3.1 million visitors to 4.5 million in that same span.
Fatalities in the state’s national park also increased with 12 fatalities in 2017, up from eight in 2014.