On Thursday, a 67-year-old visitor to the Grand Canyon National Park died after falling off the rim of the canyon, according to a National Park Service press release. Unfortunately, events like this aren’t uncommon in U.S. National Parks and National Recreation Areas. The National Park Service has said that about 12 people die each year at the Grand Canyon and that two to three deaths per year occurred after a fall, while others were due to medical problems, heat, traffic accidents and drowning as well as suicide.
Yet, the Grand Canyon isn’t the deadliest National Park in the U.S. The National Park Service doesn’t publish an annual list of these deaths, but a project by Outside magazine that requested records of all deaths that occurred in areas managed by the National Park Service from 2006 to 2016 shines a light on the National Park to receive this questionable honor.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area was the deadliest area controlled by the National Park Service, at least between 2006 and 2016, with a mix of drownings, boat and traffic accidents, medical problems, suicides and even homicides adding up to about 25 deaths per year. Second on the list is Yosemite National Park with an average of 15 deaths annually, with climbing and hiking accidents playing a bigger role. The hot springs at Yellowstone National Park have claimed a total of 22 lives over the years. At Golden Gate National Recreation Area, an above-average number of people die due to rip currents while swimming. Deaths involving the Golden Gate Bridge are excluded.
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