Tourist caught scooting along log over waterfall at Glacier National Park (where drowning is a leading cause of death)

Landscape, Glacier National Park, USA
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A woman has been caught scooting along a log at St Mary Falls in Glacier National Park – getting a closer view of the stunning scenery, but putting herself in grave danger. Along with falls and natural causes like heart attacks, drowning is one of the leading causes of death at Glacier. Swiftly flowing water can easily pull a person under, rocks present hidden dangers, and as the National Park Service explains, water in the park can be extremely cold even in the summer.

"To prevent hypothermia, avoid getting wet," advises the NPS. "Reconsider wading in or fording swift streams. Never walk, play, or climb on slippery rocks or logs, especially near waterfalls."

A video of the woman crossing the falls (which you can see below) was shared this week via Instagram account TouronsOfNationalParks, and serves as a timely reminder to play it safe as hiking season approaches. 

Spring is the perfect time to enjoy a waterfall hike, but it's important to take care around fast-moving water. For example, trails near waterfalls are often wet and slippery, so it's important to wear suitable footwear like proper hiking boots or hiking shoes with plenty of grip.

It can be tempting to climb over rocks (or logs) to get a better view, but these can be even more slippery, so stick to the trails. Trekking poles can also be useful, giving you extra grip while you climb and descend, and taking the strain off your knees.

Meltwater in spring can cause some rivers to burst their banks, so keep an eye out for warning signs and trail closures. It might be disappointing to have your hike cut short, but it's best not to take unnecessary risks.

If you want some inspiration, our guide to the best hikes in Glacier National Park is full of suggestions for all abilities, with no risky crossings involved.

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.