Planning a trip to a national park? Read this first. The team at the outdoor adventure site Outforia submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the National Parks Service to find out how many people have died in the national parks recently. The data looks at all fatal incidences that have occurred in America's national parks since 2010.
Unsurprisingly, falls accounted for the greatest number of fatalities (245) within the national parks. Medical emergencies/natural causes were the second most common, at 192 deaths.
Undetermined or unknown causes of death were the third most common, and motor vehicle crashes and drownings took fourth and fifth places respectively.
The most dangerous national park in the U.S. is the Grand Canyon, which has seen 134 deaths since 2010. Although standing by the edge of the Grand Canyon may be terrifying for anyone with a fear of heights, falls only accounted for 27 deaths in the park since 2010 (medical or natural causes, oftentimes attributed to extreme heat were more common).
Falls were more common in the second deadliest national park, Yosemite, where they caused 45 deaths at popular but dangerous scenic spots like Half Dome and Taft Point.
If you're visiting a national park, stay safe by staying on marked trails and keeping a respectable distance away from drop-offs (even for a photo opportunity). Always be aware of your surroundings and know your limitations when it comes to physical activities such as hiking.
Even if you are planning on only being outside for a short amount of time, never head out into a park without being prepared for all types of weather with adequate food/water supplies and appropriate clothing.