For most, a visit to one of the many national parks in the United States is a time to escape reality and get out of the house. However, some people meet a far more unfortunate demise when they enter these parks without properly preparing first. We have compiled a list of the most dangerous national parks in the United States.
Since 2010, more than a thousand people have died during their visits to one of the many U.S. National Parks. The top contenders are not surprisingly the parks that are visited the most. The Grand Canyon had the most deaths at 134. California’s Yosemite follows close behind with 126 deaths and disappearances.
The Great Smoky Mountains, which happens to be in my backyard, was the most visited park in 2019, boasting over 12 million visitors. The park has experienced 92 deaths since 2010, much higher than Yellowstone, which experienced 52. Alaska’s Denali had 51 deaths with a total of 601,152 annual visitors.
Waterfalls are the biggest killers claiming over 245 lives during a ten-year period, while natural deaths accounted for 192 mortalities. Motor vehicle deaths (140) and drowning (139) are close behind, while suicides remain uncommon. Of course, environmental factors can cause serious threats to visitors who aren’t experienced or properly prepared. Carrying water and dressing for the elements is your best defense against becoming a statistic. Before you visit a national park, do your research, use common sense, and have the right gear along with food and water.