Utah National Parks rank among most dangerous in U.S.
SPRINGDALE, Utah (ABC4/ KDXU) – Five Utah National Parks are ranked among the most dangerous in the United States, according to data collected by Outforia.
The site uses information collected from search and rescue operations and reported deaths.
Zion National Park in southern Utah is ranked top ten, Canyonlands in Moab is #24, Arches is ranked #31 along with Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon is #42.
One of the factors ranking the most dangerous parks is extreme weather, which can commonly happen at Zion National Park.
“You can plan and prepare by doing things like carrying water, making sure you have plenty to drink, and making sure that you have something to eat before you head out on the trail, bringing some useful objects with you like a flashlight, in case you end up staying out longer than expected,” says Jonathan Shafer, a Public Affairs Specialist for Zion National Park.
Zion is also home to Observation Point and Angel’s Landing, labeled by several travel sources as a couple of the most dangerous hikes.
“Something that’s really helpful to carry along with you is a traction device, its something like what I’m holding here, that you can put on your shoe and it will increase the traction between you and the ground,” says Shafer.
While not in Utah, the Grand Canyon in Arizona is a popular travel destination for Utahns every year. It’s ranked as the #1 most dangerous park in this survey.
“We just finalized our statistics for search and rescues in 2021 and we had 411 search and rescue incidents here in the park which actually broke a 20-year record for Grand Canyon,” says Joelle Baird, a Public Affairs Specialist with Grand Canyon.
According to Baird, many incidents happen due to a lack of planning.
“When people come to Grand Canyon, they don’t necessarily recognize that we are high in elevation, we are here at 7,000 feet,” she says.
Baird says temperatures fluctuate and during the peak season, many visitors suffer from heat-related illness.
“What might be 80 degrees up here on the rim is most likely going to equate to over 100 degrees down at the bottom of the canyon,” says Baird.
Park rangers say it’s best to check their websites before venturing out and know before you go, to prevent an incident or tragedy.
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