Most Dangerous Camping Spots In The U.S.

From snowcapped mountains to unforgiving deserts,
the U.S. National Park System is home to 84 million acres of land, which is visited by
more than 300 million people each year. For lovers of the outdoors, it’s heaven on
earth. But for less experienced adventurers, treks
into these American wilderness escapes can be downright hellish. “Fresh air, no screams, and I’m getting really
good at chopping wood too.” “You’re a regular Paul Bunyan.” “I got stung by the wood.” Here are some of the most dangerous camping
spots in the U.S. Lake Mead Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the
US and something of an oasis in the desert, with picturesque rugged terrain and sparkling
waters. Just 24 miles from glitzy Las Vegas, it’s
a quieter getaway from the bright city lights. But that doesn’t mean it’s a total jackpot. Park rangers consistently rank it among the
most dangerous parks in the country for several reasons. It may be one of the National Park Service’s
top ten most visited parks, but that comes with plenty of downsides — like boating
and auto accidents, and drownings. Surprisingly, most of those deaths don’t involve
alcohol. Lake Mead spokeswoman Christie Vanover told
the Associated Press: “It’s really not the party crowd. It’s people who don’t understand the power
of the lake. Some people think it’s like a swimming pool.” The park has also had trouble with assaults
and other violent crimes, which don’t exactly make for the most tranquil vacation spot. Glacier National Park This gorgeous park sits along the border of
Montana and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Unfortunately, visiting it isn’t a walk in
the park. On average, two to three people die each year. Though drowning deaths top the list, Glacier
National has different challenges than many other parks, like avalanches and rockslides. Inexperienced day-hikers also account for
a lot of fatalities — one 74-year-old man stepped over a retaining wall to take a picture
— and fell 500 feet to his death. But at least 10 visitors to Glacier National
Park have died in a far more grisly way: grizzly bear attacks. The most famous deaths occurred in 1967 when
two 19-year-old women were mauled to death on the same August night at separate campsites
within the park. The event became known as the Night of the
Grizzlies, which spawned a documentary for PBS in 2010. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Named for the tall breed of cactus that dominates
this stretch of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is both
desolate and beautiful. Plus, it’s the home of North America’s only
wild jaguars. But the desert terra in is also home to a
very different type of predator: drug smugglers and human traffickers. In 2002, a park ranger was killed in a shootout
with two smugglers fleeing Mexican authorities, and 70 percent of the park was closed due
to illegal activity from 2003 to 2014. Fortunately, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
has since reopened to the public with better security. So now all you have to worry about is the
jaguars. Glen Canyon With 1.25 million acres of land in northern
Arizona into the southern portion of Utah, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is home
to stunning cliff formations, wilderness trails, and Lake Powell. The scenic views and pristine waters have
made Glen Canyon an especially popular destination for water-based activities like boating, kayaking,
swimming, and fishing. And with all those boats on the water, Lake
Powell is notorious for boating accidents and drownings. In June 2013 alone, six deaths occurred over
a 10-day timespan. And then there’s the cliff jumping, which
has claimed numerous lives over the years. The Wave Part of Vermillion Cliffs National Monument,
the Wave is one of the most photographed landscapes in North America. Because of the sensitivity of the rock formations,
only 20 visitors per day are allowed to hike out to the Wave. Permits must be obtained via a lottery system. Winners get a map and directions to the Wave,
but from that point on, you’re on your own. Most people who find the Wave are treated
to amazing photographs — but if you don’t take enough water with you, go ahead and wave
goodbye. Temperatures in the Wave can climb well past
the 100-degree mark, and the trails are often unmarked. In one month alone in 2013, three people died
from heat and cardiac arrest. Mount Rainier National Park At over 14,000 feet above sea level, Mount
Rainier is the tallest peak in the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest, and the
extreme conditions can prove tricky to less experienced outdoor adventurers. But one spot in particular has proven especially
deadly over the years: Liberty Ridge. Less than 2 percent of hikers attempt the
climb, but it’s responsible for 25 percent of deaths on summit climbs in the park. Though it offers stunning views, the difficulty
of the hike is not for the faint of heart. In 2014, six climbers fell 3,000 feet to their
deaths while trying to reach the summit. It was the single worst accident the park
had experienced since the 1980s, when 11 people died in an avalanche. Bright Angel Trail The Grand Canyon is one of America’s most
popular destinations with over four million visitors each year. And one of the most popular trails is the
Bright Angel Trail, a steep path to the Canyon’s bottom. Though the Park Service maintains that it’s
the safest trail in the park, hikers have died of heat stroke and heart attacks during
their treks. As the temperatures rise, the dangers go up,
especially near Indian Gardens where temperatures soar. Its name may be Bright Angel, but it sure
is a devil of a hike. Great Smoky Mountains Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in both
Tennessee and North Carolina, is America’s most visited national park. This densely forested mountainous area offers
opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, horseback riding, and…car accidents. Lots of car accidents. Automobile collisions account for most of
the deaths in the park each year, thanks to the combination of beautiful scenery and treacherous,
hairpin curves. The Great Smoky Mountains also have a reputation
for missing persons. At least three hikers have disappeared in
the park and never been seen again. Meanwhile, plenty of people get hurt or killed
each year due to plenty of other hazards — everything from falling off waterfalls to bee attacks. “Ya like jazz?” Thanks for watching! Click the Grunge icon to subscribe to our
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