National Parks: vacation sites or death sentences?

You are walking through beautiful sceneries, fully aware and well-rested so you do not miss a single detail. Your eyes are captivated by the astonishing surroundings; what you are seeing is simply out of this world. You decide to capture the moment in a photo. You turn around and ask whoever is next to you to please take a picture with your phone or professional camera. Standing on top of a rock where the view behind you is breathtaking seems the best way to go until something that you were not expecting happens – you lose your balance. Suddenly, you are only one step away from a death sentence. 

When a trip is organized to a National Park, the least questions asked are how many deaths a year have occurred there? What is the deadliest park of them all? We have answered that for you using the available data from 2006 to 2016.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

With over 7 million annual recreational visitors and around 1.5 million acres, the Lake Mead NRA has had 254 deaths, with an average of 25 casualties per year. In addition to its murderous rugged terrain and the high number of homicides that occur, drowning at the lake itself poses as the real danger for visitors. However, will you let the danger keep you away from its incredible fishing experience, boating, water skiing, and much more? Adhering to their safety guidelines will help you remain safe. 

Yosemite National Park

An average of 5 million annual recreational visitors does not keep Yosemite NP from being the second deadliest park. Its 750,000 acres have claimed around 150 deaths with an average of 15 casualties per year. While the park holds incredible hiking, biking, and climbing activities that you can safely enjoy, it seems that knowing your limits is a must. Usually, people have died from falls during climbing incidents, drowning, and heart attacks during extreme activities. 

Grand Canyon National Park

The third deadliest park in our list is the Grand Canyon NP, with 5.5 million annual visitors and 1.2 million acres. It has claimed 130 casualties with an average of 8 deaths per year. Unfortunately, its astonishing depth has also claimed 19 casualties due to suicide in the past decade. Aside from that, falling off their breathtaking hiking points and cardiac arrests during demanding activities seem to be death sentences for unprepared visitors. If you are attending the Grand Canyon this year, do not forget to do your research in advance to come prepared. 

Yellowstone National Park

As if 3 deadly parks were not enough, the Yellowstone NP with 6 million annual visitors and 2.2 million acres is fourth on the list. It has had 93 deaths so far of which 22 have been claimed by accidental falls and deadly burns at their unique thermal springs.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Last but not least, the Golden Gate NRA is visited by over 15 million people annually. Their 82,000 acres have seen 85 deaths in their relentless waves and strong currents at the beach. Although standing on its cliffs is a unique experience, their instability has converted a revitalizing activity into a murder weapon.

In summary, visiting the parks mentioned above may come at a cost if you do not prepare yourself. Bringing the essentials, complying with safety guidelines, and ensuring that you know your limits may help you keep yourself safe and sound!

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