After a romantic photo of a couple embracing in front of a partially frozen waterfall in North Bend made the rounds on social media in December 2016, inexperienced hikers dead-set on capturing their own enchanting waterfall selfies wandered into the wilderness without proper footwear or flashlights. Finding themselves lost after dark, many suffered serious injuries. In a single month, the all-volunteer King County Search and Rescue team responded to 30 calls from Franklin Falls.
“People see beautiful photos on social media, but don’t do the additional research to find out it’s a difficult hike and bring what they need to be prepared,” says the Search and Rescue team’s detective Ed Christian. “They’re getting in way over their heads.” In other words, if you’re just doing it for the ’gram, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.