A recent incident at Zion National Park resulted in 3 hikers deaths and four additional missing people. The incident occurred last week when a flash flood occurred, sweeping away the hikers who were navigating a slot canyon in the park. Although the closure of the slot canyons happened too late to save the hikers from the flash flooding, as they were already well into their hike when the decision to close the canyons was made by the park services team, they were warned when they picked up the permit that morning that inclement weather was approaching and there was potentially a dangerous situation at hand. The procedures followed by the park service closed the canyons to entrances while the hikers were out, which is unfortunate but unavoidable. The news coverage of the event has cast a potentially negative light on the safety of national parks and their exploration, which is additionally unfortunate. National parks are actually some of the statistically safest places in America to visit, and the sad fact that accidents are going to occur in every space where human beings are present should not discourage those wanting to visit national parks from doing so.
From 2007 to 2013 there were 1,025 deaths of visitors in national parks. While this may seem like a large number, we must consider that there are literally billions of visitors over that timeframe to the country’s parks, and the number of deaths compared to the number of visitors each year is actually quite small. In fact, it is so small that if you compare it against the mortality rate of typical people going about their daily lives in communities across the United States, it paints a very different picture. The federal government’s statistics on mortality rates of the common population showed 825 deaths per 100,000 people in 2013, meaning that when compared to the statistics of deaths in national parks it is actually far safer to visit a national park than it is to go about your daily life!
One of the reasons that you are potentially safer when visiting national parks is the preparation that most people take against accidents happening. As an example, the tours that are lead by Bindlestiff Private Tours are headed up by experienced tour guides who are familiar with the national park you are touring. Because they have an intimate understanding of the area as well as a knowledge of the potential dangers that are posed by aspects of being in an undeveloped area away from services, they are actually more prepared for accidents than the typical person on any street in America. By being more prepared for the dangers that are out there, you actually increase your own safety rate above daily life. Bindlestiff Tours prides itself on providing an experience for our customers that is both safe as well as enjoyable, so we encourage you to explore the beauty of our national parks with our guides as your source of knowledge and safety. The areas are unfamiliar to most, and the best preparation is to not go it alone.