Thursday, June 8, 2023


Data reveals America’s most dangerous National Parks

Most of us consider National Parks to be safe places. Oh, there’s the occasional report of someone falling into a thermal area in Yellowstone, or an unfortunate camper being attacked by an angry moose in another park. And then there are the regular reports of hikers who get lost, and die from exposure or run into a bear that doesn’t like being disturbed.

And, like everywhere, in and out of parks, there are human incidents, most often while driving.

The folks at the website Mental Floss, recently reported on data from the National Parks Authority on the most dangerous National Parks based on their number of search and rescues performed between 2018 and 2020.

Grand Canyon National Park topped the list, with 785 incidents. The Grand Canyon is the second-most-visited park in the system behind the Great Smoky Mountains. Coming in second was Yosemite National Park, which recorded 732 search and rescue incidents. California’s Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks had 503 incidents, and Yellowstone saw 371.

The next most dangerous National Parks were, in order, Rocky Mountain, Zion, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Grand Teton, Olympic and Arches.



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Mike Waller
1 year ago

I’m always amazed at the stupidity of people in national parks either dealing with wild animals, or hanging over a precipice for the perfect selfie! At least it’s a potential thinning of the herd.

1 year ago

Common sense (if there is such a thing) seems to leave the human body if you explore National Parks West of the Mississippi.
New slogan….
Stay safe…..Stay East!

Tommy Molnar
1 year ago

A really great book to read is “Over The Edge – Death in the Grand Canyon”. Over 500 pages of all the recorded deaths in the Grand Canyon from hikers to helo crashes to raft disasters to you-name-it. I bought the book while visiting the GC. This is what I’d classify as a “good read”.

1 year ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

There is a similar one for Yellowstone, and I think for Zion. We read Death in Yellowstone before going…and during our stay. Fascinating, although a bit unnerving.

I found it interesting that many of the deaths were seasonal employees who simply overestimated their abilities.

This is also a good article on the topic:

These reads certainly raise awareness, but common sense trumps all.

Billy Vitro
1 year ago

This kind of data is always more useful when it’s presented in a incidents-per-visitor format.
So, for the data above, the estimated numbers are (in incidents per million visitors per year):

Sequoia & Kings Canyon: 35
Yosemite: 23
Grand Canyon: 17
Yellowstone: 10

Data is your friend! 🙂

1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Vitro

Thank you …. much more informative

1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Vitro

Absolutely more helpful and informative. Thanks. And the headlines of most “dangerous” parks is misleading and sensational – it’s not the park, it’s the human stupidity.

Seann Fox
1 year ago

The parks are not overly dangerous, it’s just their human visitors are overly STUPID. Not aware of their surroundings or the warning signs wildlife is giving them like the guy who was going to go pet the bull elk in downtown Banff, or the girl who wanted to go pet the moose. The girl was very lucky the moose just turned tail and ran off into the bush the guy however was charged by the elk.

1 year ago
Reply to  Seann Fox

Yep, these parks are only dangerous to the stupid folks.

Brad G. Hancock NH
1 year ago

Kudos to the staff at RV Travel. Four of you full timers??? How do you do it each and every day? I read RVT every day before reading the news, checking the weather, and even reading the rest of my e mails. BTW, reading RVT is a LOT more uplifting than reading the national news. oops, the coffee’s done brewing. some things take precedent. Tastes better, too, out of my RVT mug!

RV Staff
1 year ago

HeHe. Thanks, Brad! I think our terrific writers and contributors are doing most of the hard “work.” We just have to try to keep them in line … I mean, proof their posts and put them into the newsletters. We’re having a blast, thanks to our talented writers and contributors. 😉 Take care. 🙂 –Diane

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