Yosemite tourist clambers over safety barrier for a better view of waterfall

View of the Merced River at Yosemite National Park, USA
(Image credit: Getty)

A tourist has been spotted at Yosemite National Park climbing over a safety barrier to get a better view of one of the park's many waterfalls, despite several deaths over recent years in similar circumstances.

The man climbed over a barrier at Nevada Fall to peer into the Merced River below. The incident took place earlier this week and was caught on camera by another visitor, Melvin Dubee, who shared a picture via infamous Instagram account TouronsOfNationalParks, which calls out careless behavior at sites of natural beauty. 

People regularly ignore warnings and dodge around safety railings, which can have tragic consequences. In 2011, a man and two women died at the park after climbing a railing above Vernal Fall. As CBS News reported at the time, the woman lost her footing, and her companions fell in trying to save her. All three were washed away by the swift current of the Merced River.

In 2018, two hikers died after falling from an overlook with only partial safety railings, and in 2019 a Romanian tourist fell to his death after slipping at Bridalveil Fall. 

"Over 800 miles of trails traverse Yosemite National Park," says the National Park Service (NPS). "Not surprisingly, the majority of Yosemite's Search and Rescue (YOSAR) missions are spent assisting injured hikers or searching for a lost people in the wilderness. Each year, park rangers and search and rescue personnel respond to approximately 250 emergency incidents in the park."

Hikers are advised to stay on established trails, wear sturdy footwear with good grip (our list of the best hiking boots includes lots of dependable options for all budgets), and bear in mind that even minor medical conditions can be exacerbated by the strain of climbing steep trails. See Yosemite's full hiking safety guide for more tips.

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.