SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Each year millions of Americans, hit the trail. According to the Outdoor Foundation, 57.8 million people went hiking in 2020.

As more people spend time outdoors, the number of injuries also rises. According to, Utah national parks had the 3rd highest rate of search and rescue incidents in the nation between 2018 and 2020. There are several factors that could cause injury while hiking.

“We’re at altitude so you could get really tired if you’re not in shape. You could fall down, that’s a big one to avoid,” said Blake Smith, a co-founder of Hiking and Nature Club. “There are animals. I don’t think you’re going to encounter animals a ton but if you’re in a desolate area by yourself potentially an animal could bother you.”

The following are tips from Salt Lake Search and Rescue to stay safe while hiking.

  • Check conditions before leaving
  • Pack layers and essential items like food, water, flashlight, and sunblock
  • Let people know where you are going
  • Hike with a friend