BY Richard Moorhead, The Western JournalJune 15, 2023
1 year ago
 | June 15, 2023
1 year ago

Deadliest National Park Revealed After FOIA-Based Investigation - Highest in Deaths and Missing Persons

The most dangerous national park has been revealed -- and it might be the best-known.

A New York Post investigation of Department of the Interior records labeled the Grand Canyon National Park as the most dangerous of the 424 sites administered by the National Park Service.

Federal records obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests indicated that 56 people have been reported missing in connection with a visit to the Arizona park since the start of 2018, the report Sunday said.

An additional six people have been found dead in the massive canyon park, which covers more than 1.2 million acres.

It's common for hikers and travelers to underestimate the challenges that the 18-mile-wide canyon poses to those seeking to traverse it.

Rescue services at the park were overwhelmed with about 200 calls for emergency assistance during Memorial Day weekend in 2021 alone, according to the Idaho Statesman.

National Park Service search and rescue agent Ken Phillips said the Grand Canyon is even more dangerous than federal records make it appear.

"On average, there are 12 fatalities within the canyon every year,” the rescue specialist told the Post.

Philips said peak visitation to the park during the sweltering summer season poses safety challenges, with many visitors unprepared for temperatures that can exceed 100 degrees.

The dangers facing visitors range widely.

“Those can be from everything relating to heat stroke, lightning, drownings on the river, air crashes, suicides, accidental falls -- all types of things," he said.

The Grand Canyon National Park received the second-most visits of any national park in 2022, according to the Post. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was No. 1.

The American West is also home to some of the nation's other most dangerous national parks.

Olympic National Park in Washington and Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado took second and third place in that dark category, according to the Post.

The Grand Canyon is considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, a distinction shared with Australia's Great Barrier Reef and Mount Everest in the Himalayas.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Richard Moorhead, The Western Journal



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