It seems as though the US really is filled with incredible secrets. Sadly, among all the beauty and wonder of the land, there are plenty of dangerous US destinations. The best bit? Thousands of people visit many of the dangerous destinations without ever realizing they could be putting their lives at risk. They sure do lead to an adrenaline-filled vacation.
The Maze, Utah
A maze sounds fun, right? That is until we take a look at The Maze in Utah. Even some of the most experienced hikers in the world have had to pull out of The Maze as it is just too tough to complete. To start, The Maze is miles away from any sign of life, and experts warn that people need to take everything they need to be self-sufficient.
Once you are inside The Maze, it’s not long before the walls and canyons all start to look the same. There are plenty of loose rocks and sharp edges that add to the danger, with many people finding themselves lost in The Maze for days on end.
The Red Triangle, California
It might not be comforting to learn the real reason why The Red Triangle has earned its name. It is found near the coast of northern California and is a triangle-sized part of the ocean from Monterey Bay up to San Francisco. These beaches are home to plenty of great white sharks.
It’s all the attacks that happen that have earned the common name of the area. Around 38% of all great white shark attacks on people in the US happened within The Red Triangle. Thankfully, the sharks don’t typically go after people. However, they will strike if humans get in the way or look like their usual meals.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona and Nevada
It can be easy to think of a lake being like a giant swimming pool, or having a day at the lake like you would at the bach. Unfortunately, not everything is that simple – as many visitors have learned over the years. There are plenty of dangers that come with lakes, and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area is no exception.
People swim in the water while others drive around on their boats. Plus, the area is often subject to high winds that can cause ten-foot-high waves. To top it off, the cold pockets of water can cause people to go into shock if they jump in after getting too hot.
Grand Prismatic Spring, Wyoming
The Grand Prismatic Spring is one of Mother Nature’s finest pieces of work. It’s a natural beauty that sees all the colors of the world come together and has some pretty impressive views as a result. Many people flock to the area to take a look at it for themselves. The Grand Prismatic Spring is also a hugely popular sight on social media.
However, it appears as though a lot of people need to stand back and read the warnings before they get too close. Some want to get close to that burning water and have lost their lives as a result. If people are lucky enough to survive, they often end up with severe burns.
Death Valley, California
While it might be at the top of many people’s bucket lists, it turns out that Death Valley is one of the most dangerous locations across the US. Why? The heat is the leading cause of people losing their lives. It’s common for temperatures to reach well into the hundreds – even in the shade.
Plus, people driving through the national park have fallen victim to the heat. Many end up dehydrated or suffer from heatstroke. Even driving near the park has been enough to see drivers pass out at the wheel and lose control of their cars. As if that wasn’t enough, the venomous animals and rocky roads sure up the danger level.
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
The sun. The sea. The waves. It all sounds too good to be true. New Smyrna Beach is a majorly popular destination in Florida. There are 17 miles of uninterrupted beaches where people can tie the knot, honeymoon, enjoy a day with the family, or even take part in one of the many events that happen throughout the year.
However, there is a small price to pay for all that natural beauty: sharks. People started keeping track of shark attacks back in the late 19th century, and there have been more than 200 in that time. In fact, in August 2019, there were three people bitten in one weekend. Thankfully, no one has lost their lives.
Many of us like a little bit of adrenaline on our vacation. What about wondering if you will fall victim to a tornado or two along the way? It’s not everyone’s idea of a good time. Many teams have named Huntsville as the worst city for tornadoes in the US.
One of the largest tornadoes on record happened in the city back in 2011, causing nine people to lose their lives. There have been more than a dozen since the 1970s. They have a habit of destroying everything in their path, and many have had to evacuate the city and leave everything behind.
Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
Would you believe that Mount Rainier is actually a volcano? Thankfully, it hasn’t erupted for the last 1,000 years or so, meaning it’s considered to be dormant. Although it’s a volcano, the weather around Mount Rainier is typically cold. It is also a popular hiking destination.
There is one route that has come under questioning more than the others: Liberty Ridge. The path is only taken by around 2% of hikers as it’s dangerous, freezing cold, and the weather is almost entirely unpredictable. However, Liberty Ridge is still responsible for 25% of all people who lose their lives on Mount Rainier.
Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
The image of great sand dunes can have many of us thinking about far away desserts, but you might not have to go far to see the real deal. That’s because the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado is one of the largest wonders across the US. It covers 107,000 acres and was named as a national park back in 2004.
Although it’s still relatively new, plenty of people have already learned about the dangers firsthand. The sand dunes themselves can reach up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning burned feet and heat exhaustion are common. Plus, there are sinkholes and lightning strikes to worry about along the way.
The Big Island, Hawaii
Hawaii is more than just a state. It’s made up of eight islands that attract thousands of people every year. Each one is unique in its own right, and some are more popular than others. The Big Island earned its name thanks to its sheer size, but there’s a problem: it also had a lot of volcano activity.
Lava doesn’t wait for anyone, and the eruptions claim anything that stands in their way. Officials say that volcanoes only affect a small portion of the island, but many tourists no longer want to take their chance. Although it’s a beautiful island, is it really worth the risk?
Maroon Bells, Colorado
Did you know that the Maroon Bells are referred to as the most photographed place in Colorado? The two peaks, North Maroon Peak and Maroon Peak, come together to form the Bells. It’s taken 300 million years to create these incredible formations that attract plenty of visitors every year.
It’s often not until people get a little closer that they learn why the Maroon Bells are one of the most dangerous places in the US. The peaks are made from mudstone that easily breaks apart. In 1965 alone, eight hikers lost their lives during five various hikes. As well as risking slipping on the rocks, there are also sporadic avalanches.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Being so close to the ocean means that New Orleans has been hit by more than one hurricane over the years. The most devastating of those was Hurricane Katrina. Katrina was also a part of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season that broke all the records thanks to the number of storms that took over the world.
It left behind billions of dollars in repairs and caused many people to lose their lives. The power outages and destruction led to a lot of looting, and New Orleans has never recovered. As well as needing to rebuild huge areas of the city, New Orleans also has the highest rate of crime in the US.
Mount Washington, New Hampshire
There are a whole host of dangers that plague Mount Washington. It held the record for the fastest wind speed on Earth for more than six decades as machines recorded speeds up to 231mph. As if the biting cold winds weren’t enough, the temperatures are freezing, and Mount Washington is no stranger to a snowstorm or two.
It might not be the biggest mountain in the world, but Mount Washington has claimed more than 130 lives since 1849. Many hikers still try to tackle the paths. Sadly, the winds often blow people off their track. It might not be long before they are several feet from where they are supposed to be – and in a lot of danger.
Jacob’s Well, Texas
It can be tempting to jump into some cold water in the heat of the summer sun. you might just want to make sure that you stay at the top of Jacob’s Well. the dive is so dangerous that only registered scuba divers are now allowed to make their way down the one-mile deep cave.
It is a hot spring that has been used by native tribes for hundreds of years. If you go down far enough, there is an intricate cave system that could have been there for millions of years. Sadly, at least nine people have lost their lives trying to explore what lies beneath.
Half Dome, California
Yosemite National Park attracts plenty of people every year. The breathtaking views and scenery like no other in the world might not make it hard to see why. However, some have been left scratching their heads when it comes to the Half Dome. This is a hike that’s unlike any other in the world – and there’s probably a good reason.
It takes anywhere between 10 and 12 hours to make it both ways. Plus, the Half Dome Cables allow hikers to climb to the summit of the mountain without any equipment. Sounds safe, right? Sadly, more than 60 hikers have lost their lives on the hike from falling or slipping from the mountain.
Red Rock Canyon, Nevada
What is it about people wanting to climb up sheer rock faces? Red Rock Canyon is beautiful, and this is just why so many people want to enjoy it all for themselves. While there are plenty of guided tours that head throughout the area, there are also so many different trails for people who want to head out on their own.
Amazingly, it’s even home to the likes of desert tortoises, ground squirrels, and wild burros. Sadly, some people want to get a new view of Red Rock Canyon and soon find themselves in a lot of danger. Inexperienced climbers may find themselves overwhelmed while the popularity of taking selfies while climbing adds its own risks.
Devil’s Hole, New York
Some things sound inviting, but names can be deceiving. Devil’s Hole doesn’t quite have that effect. It’s close to Niagara Falls, and many have gazed at the national park’s wonder over the years. Tragically, it’s the history that has seen so many people visit the park over the years.
Devil’s Hole was once an important place for Native American tribes as they used the area to transport their canoes. Sadly, it was also where European settlers were lured to their end when Native Americans tried to claim back the land. Although there are hiking trails in the area, officials have banned people from leaving the path thanks to the dangers.
What comes to mind when you think of Hawaii? Perhaps it’s the delicious food? How about spending hours on the beach and catching some waves? If you’re a keen surfer, then you might want to stay away from Kauai. The water is often considered to be so dangerous that people stay out of it altogether.
There are strong currents all around the island, and the waves can get pretty high pretty quickly. Surfers are advised to stick to the land to keep safe. Just make sure you’re far enough away as some people have even been dragged from the rocks at the edge of the water before they are swept out to sea, never to be heard from again.
Hanakapiai Beach, Hawaii
It seems as though Hawaii is more dangerous than many of us ever believed. Hanakapiai Beach has been named as one of the most dangerous in the world. On the surface, it looks just like any other glorious beach in the world. That is until you step into the water. That’s where things start to get a little interesting.
There are plenty of rip currents that quickly pull people many miles away from the shore. However, the lack of reefs make them tough to spot. The bach is also home to impressively large waves that quickly take people further out into the water than they ever planned.
Appalachian Trail, Tennessee
Sure, there are plenty of hiking trails in the world, but the Appalachian Trail is like no other. It takes people months to complete and is the longest of its kind in the world. It was thought up in 1921 before becoming an official trail in 1937 and now runs for around 2,200 miles.
Although approximately 2 million people attempt the trail at least once a year, only around 850 people make it from one end to the other. It gives hikers some of the best views of the US. However, the Appalachian Trail is also home to plenty of dangerous animals as well as chances to slip and fall and viruses, parasites, and pathogens.
Everglades National Park, Florida
Did you know that South Florida is the only location on the planet where crocodiles and alligators live side by side? Yes, that really does mean double the danger for half the price. They have been around for millions of years where these creatures have learned everything they need to be as stealthy as possible.
They typically hide among the swampy land where they often look like logs in the water. It’s their stealth teamed with the fact they have incredibly sharp teeth and powerful jaws that make them so dangerous. While officials recommend that you stay at least 15 feet away from them at all times, that might not always be an option.
Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico
Mother Nature has been praised as the world’s best artist. After all, there are so many naturally beautiful areas hidden across the planet. Many of us have been left in awe as a result. Just because something is breathtaking doesn’t always mean that we should take a closer look.
The Carlsbad Caverns are known for their impressive stalagmites and stalactites. There are plenty of tours so that people can take it all in for themselves, but it’s not the rocks that are so dangerous; it’s the poisonous gases. They often occur deep in the caverns. However, in 2019, there were high levels of radon found in the air.
Yellowstone National Park, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming
It turns out that it’s not just certain aspects of Yellowstone National Park that are dangerous, but it’s actually the entire area itself. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations across the US thanks to the number of things people can do. Horse riding, hiking, cycling – you name it, you can probably do it in Yellowstone.
Sadly, it turns out that most people leave reading off their list. Rangers have set up a whole host of warnings around the park as many visitors have strayed from the trails over the years. The animals don’t always take kindly to strangers while there is usually a reason we don’t walk on the other parts.
Pikes Peak, Colorado
There is a good reason that many things are left to the professionals. The road up Pikes Peak is one of the highest roads in the US and takes people well above the clouds to experience views like none other in the world. Many professional drivers gather every year as they take part in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
The race, also known as the Race to the Clouds, has claimed the lives of seven people over the years as the drivers aim to be the fastest to the top. Others prefer to use their ones and twos and hike to the top instead. Unfortunately, it’s not recommended for amateurs.
Tuckerman Ravine, New Hampshire
It can be tough to find something that beats the feeling of flying down a mountain with the wind in your hair. Some skiers want to push the adrenaline levels that bit further, and some are brave enough to take on Tuckerman Ravine. It’s a part of the White Mountains found in New Hampshire.
However, it’s not just the extreme skiing that makes Tuckerman Ravine so dangerous. The weather is known to change in an instant. Many people have made their way up the mountain only to find themselves caught in a sudden storm. There are competitions at Tuckerman Ravine, but they have to be carefully planned around the weather.
Utqiagvik, previously known as Barrow, is part of Alaska. People have been living here for more than 1,500 years as archeologists discovered the remains of mounds that are thought to have been built back in 500 CE. It is now populated by one of the most northern colonies in the world but is still believed to be a pretty dangerous vacation destination.
Visitors can only get to the city by boat or air. However, there’s no light from November to January as it’s so close to the top of the globe. The weather is usually below freezing throughout the year, meaning it’s easy to be a victim of the cold.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
While national parks are beautiful areas of the land, it comes to something when the danger list is longer than things you need to pack. Of course, fallen trees, damage from forest fires, slippery rocks, and avalanches are all dangers that people face in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Another risk is getting struck by lightning. Rangers advise getting below the tree line as soon as you see a storm on its way. To top it off, there is also the risk of bears and lions. Oh, and did we mention the illnesses? Even the plague is known to have taken over the park on more than one occasion.
Antelope Canyon, Arizona
There are many reasons that people head to Antelope Canyon. It is a type of slot canyon that means it was formed from water rushing through the rocks and is now a lot deeper than it is wide. Some parts of Antelope Canyon are an impressive 164 feet deep, making it the most remarkable slot canyon in the world.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways that visitors can enjoy Antelope Canyon. You might just want to make sure there are no falling rocks or flash floods in sight. Many people have been crushed or caught in a storm over the years. In fact, one flood is believed to have ended the lives of 11 hikers.
Denali National Park, Alaska
Denali National Park isn’t just impressive. It covered more than 6 million acres, making it a hugely vast area of land. There are forests at the lowest parts of the park and glaciers and snow at the highest parts. These all make for some of the most impressive views on the planet.
However, it’s the wildlife and weather that causes so many issues for tourists. There are plenty of grizzly bears living amongst the park, and some have been known to attack people over the years. The sudden rain has also caused a host of mudslides over the years. 300 tourists were once stuck in the park as mudslides blocked the exits.
The Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Grand Canyon is thought to be almost 2 billion years old. Many geologists have studied the area over the years, and believe that the Colorado River first flowed through the area around 5 or 6 million years ago. It’s been named as one of the Natural Wonders of the World as well as being one of the top-visited attractions in the US.
The Grand Canyon really is a sight to behold. Although some people slip and fall, this isn’t the most dangerous aspect of the Grand Canyon. It’s believed one in 400,000 visitors fall and lose their life. However, the most common taker of life is dehydration.