Most Dangerous National Parks

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 45nut, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. 45nut

    45nut Active Member

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    Most Dangerous National Parks

    by Joe Dorish on 21/04/09 at 8:53 am

    Rankings based upon survey of National Park Rangers (includes all National Park run sites).

    According to Government Executive, a business news daily for federal managers and executives, these are the top 10 most dangerous National Parks in the United States.

    1. Organ Pipe National Monument

    This beautiful desert park is along the Arizona-Mexico border. I’ve been here and it truly is a wonder but the border with Mexico also causes trouble for this park from illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

    2. Big Bend National Park

    Big Bend is a huge National Park along the Texas-Mexico border separated by the Rio Grande River. Many hikers underestimate the harsh climate of the area and need to be rescued. Personally I saw a tarantula
    on a hike here but the real dangers in Big Bend involve drug smuggling and illegal immigrant traffic along the 100 mile border with Mexico.

    3. Padre Island National Seashore

    Padre Island National Seashore protects the longest undeveloped stretch of barrier island in the world along the south coast of Texas. While such a long stretch of protected land is great for the environment it also plays into the hands of illegal immigrant traffic, drug smuggling, poaching and illegal commercial fishing.

    4. Shenandoah National Park

    Home to the spectacular Skyline Drive filled with many spectacular vistas, Shenandoah National Park is also home to poachers and the eastern side of the park has bad radio communications.

    5. Lake Mead National Recreation Area

    This large recreational area offers visitors the chance to boat, fish and swim in its huge lakes and to hike its vast desert area. Unfortunately the huge area is understaffed and can be far away from medical help when needed. I was here once and witnessed a helicopter picking up a seriously injured boater. I’m not sure how long that injured boater waited for the helicopter and but I know we were a decent ways away from civilization.

    6. Grand Canyon National Park

    Home to some of the best scenery on planet Earth, the Grand Canyon also sees its share of trouble. In the summer months crime is a problem due to overcrowding. And many people become exhausted trying to hike the canyon. I’ve hiked up and down the Grand Canyon a few times and the fittest people hiking the canyon are the rangers. They get too much work each year rescuing injured and exhausted hikers from dangerous places.

    7. San Juan National Historic Site

    The San Juan Historic Park contains the magnificent fortifications built in the area by Spain beginning in 1539. Unfortunately the site also is home to gang and drug problems.

    8. Yosemite National Park

    Over 1,200 square miles large, Yosemite National Park stills gets overcrowded and has too few rangers on hand to deal with all the trouble. My brother-in-law got stuck on top of one of the peaks in Yosemite a few years back after he lost track of the time while rock climbing. Had to spend the night freezing up there and no ranger was going to go looking for him until my sister made a fuss about it. The ranger then went out into the dark and yelled using a bullhorn at the peak until my brother-in-law answered he was all right. He huddled up with another climber for warmth and they climbed down at first light.

    9. Biscayne National Park

    Located within sight of downtown Miami, Biscayne National Park attracts illegal commercial fisherman and drug smugglers. Combine that with with congested boat channels and you can get trouble. Historically the area has also been home to pirates.

    10. Gateway National Recreation Area, Sandy Hook Unit

    Located at the northern tip of the New Jersey shore and containing seven beaches open to the public, Sandy Hook allows the consumption of alcohol and nude sunbathing. Add to that over 2 million yearly visitors, and most of those in the hot summer sun, and stuff is going to happen.


    The thread on concealed carry in National Parks got me to wondering about this side of the issue.

    What say you? Carry anyway?? :D
  2. I'm reminded of two very old sayings that still hold true:

    1. "It's much better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6."

    2. "It ain't illegal if you don't get caught." :D
  3. islenos

    islenos New Member

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    I have spent a lot of my free time in Big Bend and every summer at Padre Island and I must say the writer doesn't know a thing about those areas.

    Big Bend doesn't have and illegal/drug smuggling problem because the area is as rough as it comes, your more then likely to die from exhaustion, injury or eaten by a very large cat. Border jumpers like places such as El Paso, Del Rio and Larado, you can walk across and blend right in.

    Padre Island National Seashore is made up of mostly 4WD country. You only get the serious campers and fisherman that are willing to drive 4hrs @ 10mph through shifting sand and shell to reach and nice spot to pop a tent. With Park Rangers and Coast Guard Choppers making passes up and down the coastline, I doubt any illegal activity would go unnoticed.

    As for carry issues, no one in there right mind goes unarmed on Padre Island, the coyotes can be a big problem as night falls. As for Big Bend it all depends on where you go. Some of my favorite areas have a high chance of running into a big cat while most of the developed area for granola munchers are pretty safe.
  4. sabashimon

    sabashimon New Member

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    Without think'n twice
  5. techoca

    techoca New Member

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    1+ sabashimon
  6. mrkirker

    mrkirker New Member

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    Ditto on BBNP, islenos.
  7. 45nut

    45nut Active Member

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    I think they are ranking these as dangerous due to both crime and climate conditions re: dehydration etc.

    I remember a couple of murders in BBNP in the last few years. The problem there is the isolation of the area.
  8. artabr

    artabr New Member

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    I think I'd be more worried about the National Park Service's parks in Washington D.C. than any of the others. :rolleyes: ;)


    Art
  9. mrkirker

    mrkirker New Member

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    Multiple rescues and a fatality in Big Bend National Park
    Publish Date: June 15, 2009 |
    On Thursday, June 10, 2009, Big Bend National Park authorities received a visitor report of a group of people needing emergency medical attention in the Dugout Wells area. National Park EMT’s, and a Border Patrol EMT stationed within the park, responded to Dugout Wells and provided emergency care for a group of illegal immigrants who had been travelling in the over 100 degree temperatures for two days. Two people were transported by CareStar helicopter to hospital facilities. Others in the group were provided care on-scene and taken into custody. It is believed that this group’s trip originated from El Salvador.

    On this same day, a visitor was overcome by heat on the Old Ore Terminal Trail in the Rio Grande Village area and was rescued by park rangers. A third person working as part of a research trip on the Lower Canyons required helicopter evacuation after being bitten by a poisonous snake during this same evening. A Border patrol helicopter assisted with this evacuation, as well as with one of the heat related emergency transports.

    Additionally, one of the people at Dugout Wells reported that a member of their group was unable to reach Dugout Wells and was in need of care. Rangers and Border Patrol began a search and found the man already deceased. There was no identification found and it is believed the deceased could be a Mexican national. Because of the possibility that the individual was a citizen of Mexico, officials are in contact with the Mexican Consulate.

    The summer months with the often high temperatures and rough terrain of the park can combine to make the lower desert a very difficult environment for the unprepared, for those without adequate water and supplies, or those trying to cross the park illegally. Summertime is, however, an excellent time for park visitors to enjoy the higher and cooler Chisos Mountains which have numerous trails and abundant shade. Also, auto touring is enjoyable on the lower desert roads or hiking before the midday heat.

    **"In any National Park, the unprepared are subject to Darwin's Law"** eddie ruger
  10. 45nut

    45nut Active Member

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    You said a mouthful there. :eek: I remember reading in one of my John Gierach books where he wrote of all the assorted stuff he would find on the trails in the Rockies as he hiked in to fly fish for trout. The most astonishing article was underwear. He asked the Ranger about it and the ranger said that people not used to the altitude and out of shape, eating camp fare such as chili dogs, burgers etc., get overheated, exhausted and mess their drawers, clean up with them and toss them aside. WTH

    I thought it was pretty damned funny until I did it on the Conejos River in 07. Good thing I wasn't too far from the camp ground or going comando! :eek:
  11. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

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    What they don't know won't hurt you. And this especially goes for those shopping malls and movie theaters that sport the "gun free zone" (i.e. zero tolerance for self defense) stickers on their entry doors...
  12. mrkirker

    mrkirker New Member

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    I thought it was pretty damned funny until I did it on the Conejos River in 07.

    On the trail,
    and having fits,
    the water's bad,
    the 'mood' hits!

    Pelosi Wipes
  13. bcj1755

    bcj1755 New Member

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    I almost messed my pants from laughing so hard:eek::D:D:D
  14. Suwannee Tim

    Suwannee Tim New Member

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    This list is nonsense. The most dangerous national park is:

    The one I'm in.

    srsly.

    :p
  15. 358 winchester

    358 winchester *TFF Admin Staff*

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    That says it all for me as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  16. PharmrJohn

    PharmrJohn New Member

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    Great post 45.
  17. Suwannee Tim

    Suwannee Tim New Member

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    I always save up my old worn out undies for river camping. After a day (or two) I'll use them for tinder to start the fire. That way I don't have to haul them home.
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