Drowning Is The Leading Cause of Death in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, CA

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Melting snow makes for impressive waterfalls, and swift, dangerous currents. Be cautious near rivers, even if you’re not planning on swimming. Credit: NPS

As the snow melts away and campgrounds start to open to the public, the National Park Service has issued a warning about the tempting lakes and rivers in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, CA.

Be extremely cautious near rivers, especially during spring and early summer. Spring rainfall and melting snow from the mountains makes river waters swift, icy cold, and extremely hazardous. Strong currents often run under apparently calm water, and cold water will quickly sap your strength. Water levels change through the day⁠— where there is a beach in the morning may be deep underwater by the afternoon. Creek crossings along trails are unstable; If you’re unsure if it’s safe to cross, turn back.

High, swift, and cold currents make rivers and creeks deadly. Especially hazardous conditions are expected as the rising heat melts this year’s unusually heavy snowpack.

Drowning is the leading cause of death in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, be careful out there.

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