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Death in Yellowstone

Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park, Second Edition

Lee H. Whittlesey

The chilling tome that launched an entire genre of books about the often gruesome but always tragic ways people have died in our national parks, this updated edition of the classic includes calamities in Yellowstone from the past sixteen years, including the infamous grizzly bear attacks in the summer of 2011 as well as a fatal hot springs accident in 2000. In these accounts, written with sensitivity as cautionary tales about what to do and what not to do in one of our wildest national parks, Whittlesey recounts deaths ranging from tragedy to folly—from being caught in a freak avalanche to the goring of a photographer who just got a little too close to a bison. Armchair travelers and park visitors alike will be fascinated by this important book detailing the dangers awaiting in our first national park. « less more »
Roberts Rinehart
Pages: 440Size: 6 x 9
978-1-57098-450-1 • Paperback • January 2014 • $18.95 • (£12.95)
978-1-57098-451-8 • eBook • January 2014 • $9.99 • (£6.95)
Lee H. Whittlesey is a historian and the author of Storytelling in Yellowstone and Yellowstone Place Names. He has appeared in numerous documentaries on the national parks and the West in general, most notably Ken Burns’s recent series. He lives in Gardiner, Montana.
. . . One thing is certain: it is the most fascinating book ever written about Yellowstone Park and its environs.

Journal of the West

A little morbid, but strangely fascinating.


Behind the gripping adventure, drama, and heartbreak of the stories told in this uniquely authoritative book are deep lessons—not only in personal responsibility but in the role of national parks in our society. Lee Whittlesey's compelling study of Yellowstone fatalities wisely reminds us of both the price and the pricelessness of protecting wild nature.
Dr. Paul Schullery, author of Mountain Time and Searching for Yellowstone

A former Yellowstone tour guide himself, Lee Whittlesey has written a book that every guide studies in Death in Yellowstone. While guides may wish to discuss the role of wolves or forest fires in a wilderness ecosystem, their passengers too often just want stories of the misfortune of their fellow travelers—and this is the seminal work on the subject.
Leslie James Quinn, Yellowstone interpretive specialist, Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Inc.

It is hard to imagine anyone but Lee Whittlesey recounting these stories of death in Yellowstone. He is unquestionably the Yellowstone expert for ferreting out and weaving together the details of how visitors and personnel met their untimely ends in and around the park. The sheer weight of new material added to bring this second edition up-to-date is a clear indication that the Yellowstone landscape continues to demand both our awe and our respect. But it is Whittlesey’s personal perspective that sets this book apart. His passion for historical detective work combined with his intimate knowledge of both the park and the park experience give the reader a very real glimpse into the author’s long relationship with the place and its people, endearing the reader to both.
Dr. Judith L. Meyer, author of The Spirit of Yellowstone

Whittlesey’s already gripping account of accidents and foolhardiness in Yellowstone is now updated, more comprehensive, and all the more fascinating.
Dr. Michael Yochim, National Park Service; author of Protecting Yellowstone