15 Most Perilous National Parks in America


National parks are a great way to enjoy nature and the outdoors. However, some are more hazardous than others and require visitors to be cautious and aware of potential dangers. These parks have rugged terrain or unpredictable wildlife that pose serious risks to those exploring them. In this article, we will highlight some of America’s most dangerous national parks.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Daphne Zheng/Getty

Yellowstone’s geothermal features pose various risks, including scalding hot springs and unpredictable geysers. Visitors must heed warning signs and stay on designated trails to avoid accidents. Wildlife encounters, including bison and bears, require caution and proper wildlife viewing etiquette to prevent dangerous encounters.

Yosemite National Park, California


The rugged terrain at Yosemite presents hazards like rockfalls, swift rivers, and steep cliffs. When visiting this park, stay on marked trails and be wary of changing weather conditions. Falls from heights and drowning incidents are prevalent, underscoring the importance of staying alert and following safety guidelines.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona


Hiking in the canyon requires adequate preparation, including ample water, proper footwear, and knowledge of the trails. Heat-related illnesses and falls are common due to the sheer cliffs and extreme temperatures.

Denali National Park, Alaska


Visitors must be equipped with appropriate gear and knowledge of survival skills to navigate this challenging environment safely. Denali’s remote wilderness and harsh weather conditions present numerous dangers to adventurers. Extreme cold, avalanches, and unpredictable wildlife encounters pose significant risks. 

Glacier National Park, Montana


You’ll need specialized equipment and training to face the crevasses and avalanches at Glacier National Park. Changing weather conditions and encounters with wildlife, including bears, require vigilance and adherence to park regulations to mitigate risks effectively.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee


Hikers must prepare for sudden weather changes like thunderstorms and fog. The Great Smoky Mountains’ dense forests and rugged terrain conceal potential hazards for visitors. Wildlife encounters, particularly with black bears, necessitate caution and proper food storage to prevent dangerous situations.

Zion National Park, Utah

AJ Mullaney/Getty

Zion’s towering cliffs and narrow canyons present unique challenges for visitors. Canyon hiking bears the risk of flash floods, so planning carefully and monitoring weather conditions is critical. Steep trails and exposed heights demand caution and proper equipment to avoid accidents and injuries.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado


The high altitude and alpine environment at Rocky Mountain present hazards for unprepared visitors. Altitude sickness and hypothermia are common risks, especially in unpredictable weather. Hikers must be prepared with appropriate clothing, gear, and knowledge of wilderness first aid techniques.

Acadia National Park, Maine

Michael Ver Sprill/Getty

Acadia’s rugged coastline and rocky terrain offer stunning vistas but also pose dangers for unwary visitors. You must be cautious because of the slippery trails and unstable cliffs. Moreover, changing tides and powerful waves along the coast demand vigilance and sturdy footwear. 

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming


Grand Teton’s jagged peaks and pristine wilderness attract adventurous visitors, but the area also has serious dangers. Mountaineering and backcountry hiking carry risks of avalanches and falls. You may encounter wildlife like grizzly bears, so you must take proper precautions and adhere to safety protocols.

Olympic National Park, Washington


The dense rainforests, rugged coastlines, and snow-capped peaks each have their own hazards in Olympic National Park. Thick foliage and rough terrain can disorient hikers, which increases the risk of getting lost. Additionally, coastal areas pose dangers from powerful waves and unpredictable tides. 

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California


Falling branches and trees pose risks, especially when visiting Sequoia and Kings Canyon on windy days. High-elevation trails and extreme weather variations need careful preparation to ensure a safe visit.

Death Valley National Park, California/Nevada

Nature, food, landscape, travel/Getty

Death Valley’s extreme heat and arid landscape make it one of the most inhospitable places on Earth. Heat-related illnesses are a significant risk for visitors, especially during summer. Proper hydration and protection from the sun are essential for staying safe in this harsh environment.

Joshua Tree National Park, California


The unique desert ecosystem in Joshua Tree presents challenges for visitors, including extreme temperatures and rugged terrain. You’ll need ample water and protection from the sun to avoid dehydration and heatstroke. Rock climbing poses additional risks and demands proper equipment and experience.

Everglades National Park, Florida

Robert DelVecchio – OcuDrone/Getty

The Everglades’ vast wilderness and dense vegetation conceal potential dangers for visitors. Alligator encounters are a concern, requiring caution near waterways and wetlands. Mosquito-borne illnesses, including West Nile virus and Zika virus, are prevalent and emphasize the need for insect repellent and protective clothing.


Leave a Comment