Reckless Yosemite tourist dangles legs over lookout where couple died in 2018

Person standing on Taft Point, Yosemite National Park, USA
(Image credit: Getty)

A hiker visiting Yellowstone National Park have been caught on camera this week dangling their legs over the edge of a viewpoint where several people have fallen to their deaths.

Taft Point is a popular spot that gives visitors spectacular views of Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Falls, and El Capitan. It's also a well known spot for proposals, particularly since a professional photographer's romantic picture of a couple went viral in 2018. However, it's up to visitors to keep a safe distance from the edge, and just a few days after the beautiful picture was taken, another couple fell to their deaths at the same place.

Autopsy reports revealed that the couple, who hailed from India and lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, were intoxicated when they fell. A tripod was found set up on the cliff edge, so it's likely they were trying to pose for their own photo.

Despite the danger, it's still common to see people getting perilously close to the drop for attention and adrenalin. The latest incident was recorded by Anam Shahid. She forwarded the clip to Instagram account TouronsOfNationalParks, which calls out dangerous behavior at sites of natural beauty around the world.

Earlier in 2018, a teenager died at Yosemite while trying to get a photo of himself dangling from a cliff over Nevada Falls. CBS News reported that 18-year-old Tomer Frankfurter wanted to replicate a popular photo taken at Telegraph Rock, near Rio de Janiero.

However, as travel website Culture Trip explains, the Telegraph Rock photo is actually an optical illusion, and the selfie spot is only around 3ft from the ground meaning anyone who loses their grip risks little more than a dirty shirt. The cliff Frankfurter chose was closer to 600ft, and he fell while struggling to pull himself back up.

"I thought he was joking," said one witness, when they heard what Frankfurter was planning to do. "I turned around because I couldn't watch, but he was hanging off the rock. Then he started to struggle."

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.