Olympic National Park Ranked Among Most Dangerous National Parks: Here’s Why

by Madison Miller

Olympic National Park: Bears, high falls, dehydration, getting lost, oh my.

When you’re out in the middle of the wilderness in one of the nation’s many national parks, there are plenty of dangers you’ll face. It’s part of the risk of exploring some of the most gorgeous sights our nation has to offer.

Olympic National Park Dangerous

Recently, a study on outforia.com tried to gauge just how dangerous some of our national parks really are. The study looked at how many search and rescue missions are conducted at each of these gorgeous tourist and adventure-junkie hotspots.

As it turns out, one of the most dangerous is Olympic National Park located in Washington. There was a total of 204 search and rescue incidents during a two-year period. Those search and rescues can be for a number of reasons, but most likely would just be from people getting lost or too injured to make their way to a trailhead.

Olympic National Park is also home to a number of stunning wildlife. Sometimes people can get overly comfortable with wildlife and will be eager for a photo to forever remember the moment. The national park is home to mountain goats, black bears, and mountain lions. Surely, not the tamest of animals in the world.

For example, we often consider mountain goats to be fairly safe and calm animals. However, any animal will attack if it feels threatened. According to Olympic National Parks Trips, in 2010 a man was killed by a mountain goat at the top of Klahhane Ridge. The mountain goat was thought to have its young close by. The goat also stood over the man after attacking, which prevented any bystanders from providing first-aid assistance.

Back in May, helicopter crews conducted two rescue missions in just one weekend. One was to bring out an injured hiker. The other was to recover the body of a woman that fell into a crevasse the next day.

Most Dangerous National Parks

When compared to other national parks, Olympic National Park is not technically the most dangerous. This study conducted found that Grand Canyon National Park, Yosemite National Park, and Sequoia and Kings National Parks were ranked at the very top of the list. The Grand Canyon has had a total of 785 search and rescue missions, for example.

So, why is the Grand Canyon National Park ranked as the most dangerous?

The park has had about 134 deaths since 2010, according to AZ Big Media. There are many ways to die at the gorgeous landmark. For example, 27 people have died from falling since then and another 42 died from medical or natural causes. The national park boasts very high cliffs overlooking the canyon, but the extreme summer heat has also been deadly for many visitors.