avalanche creek
Credit: NPS

Two Men Drown in Glacier National Park Over July 4 weekend

National park officials say two men drowned in separate incidents at Glacier National Park on July 6, 2024.

National park officials say two men drowned in separate incidents at Glacier National Park on July 6, 2024. According to a press release, park officials said they will not release the men's names until their families, who reside in other countries, have been notified.

The Avalanche Creek incident

The first incident happened around 8:30 a.m. when a 26-year-old man went into Avalanche Creek. Friends and witnesses told authorities they saw him go underwater and resurface briefly before the current swept him into the gorge.

Park staff and first responders arrived on the scene a few minutes later. However, the man was never found after a search by more than 10 rangers. The man, who officials described as from India but living and working in California, is now presumed dead.

Officials say poor visibility and hazardous conditions forced them to scale down the search, but they will continue to monitor the area. They added Avalanche Creek has experienced high water levels due to snowmelt runoff, which makes the area "extremely dangerous" and creates "conditions impossible for rangers to enter the gorge."

The Lake McDonald incident

The second incident happened in the evening when a 28-year-old man went swimming with friends in Lake McDonald near the Sprague Creek Campground. His friends told authorities that the man, who was described as an inexperienced swimmer, swam out about 30 yards where he started to struggle. He went underwater and never resurfaced.

Authorities received the call at about 6:25 p.m. and arrived on the scene about 25 minutes later. They dispatched a helicopter as well as an ambulance to the area. Park rangers searching the water found the man's body about 35 to 40 feet under the water. Then, a dive team recovered the body at about 8:20 p.m.

Officials described the man as a Nepal native living and working in Portland, Oregon. He was visiting the park with friends.

Deaths at Glacier National Park

Last month, a 26-year-old Pennsylvania woman drowned after falling into the water above St. Mary Falls on the east side of Glacier park. According to the National Park Service, Glacier has experienced 47 deaths since 2007. However, the majority of the people who died in any national park drowned.