Hudson Valley area park made list of top 10 most dangerous national parks.  

Every 29 hours, someone dies in an American national park, most likely due to human factors. Every 11 days, a hiker perishes in a national park.

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Most Dangerous National Parks in America

America’s most dangerous national park is Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument located at Arizona’s southern border with Mexico, the park has 215,881 visitors every year, on average. While it is in the bottom 15% of the least visited parks included in the study, its mortality rates are strikingly high, counting 60 since 2013. This means that, over the course of 11 years, every 38,904th visit to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument ended in death.

The Virgin Islands are home to the second-most dangerous US national park which saw 33 people die since 2013, averaging three fatalities per year. This is unusually high for a park with relatively few visitors. Yearly mortality rates for parks with less than half a million visits per year average 0.56, meaning the Virgin Islands National Park is 535% more dangerous than parks with similar footfall levels.

What Park in the Hudson Valley Made the List?

Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River (PA, NY) stretches along 73.4 miles of the Delaware River between Hancock, NY and Sparrowbush, NY. It includes parts of Delaware County, Orange County, and Sullivan County in New York, as well as Pike County and Wayne County in Pennsylvania.

Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River Facebook
Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River Facebook

Most of the land in this unit is privately owned; the federal government only owns about 30 acres. Recreation on the Delaware River is mostly privately owned, but the waterway is open to public use, from numerous public access sites. Recreational opportunities include boating, fishing, and wildlife watching. While swimming is available, the river is swift and the rocks are slippery making it dangerous.

Personal injury lawyers caution families to be particularly careful this summer when visiting the Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River which turned out to be the third most dangerous national park in the U.S. with six deaths for every million visits.

The study from personal injury litigators at Triumph Law, P.C., scrutinized official fatality rates occurring in 153 popular national parks across America. The researchers evaluated official data from the US National Park Service spanning 11 years, from the beginning of 2013 until the end of 2023.

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Its crazy to see that right here in the Hudson Valley area, we have one of the most dangerous national parks in America with the the Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River. Check out the full top 10 list below.

*Fact: the Statue of Liberty National Monument in New York ranked second for being one of the safest national parks. It has one of the highest yearly footfalls of all national parks, yet only one fatality occurred there in over a decade.

Top 10 Most Dangerous National Parks in America


National ParkState(s)

/ District / Territory

Average yearly visitsTotal deaths (2013-2023)Deaths per 1 million visits
1Organ Pipe Cactus National MonumentAZ215,8816025.27
2Virgin Islands National ParkVI299,7563310.01
3Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational RiverNY, PA252,268176.13
4Colorado National MonumentCO441,356295.97
5Big Bend National ParkTX431,241285.90
6Denali National Park & PreserveAK478,153285.32
7New River Gorge National RiverWV1,291,650725.07
8Redwood National and State ParksCA444,254224.50
9Death Valley National ParkCA, NV1,219,446513.80
10Sequoia & Kings Canyon National ParksCA1,680,761693.73

The 11 National Parks Closest To Upstate New York

With New York's lack of National Parks, you may fancy driving to one nearby. Here are the 11 closest National Parks to Upstate, using Albany as a reference. Data compiled by Stacker and photos courtesy the National Park Service.

Gallery Credit: Cameron Coats

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