This Popular Washington Hike is One of America’s Deadliest Claiming Over 400 Lives
One of America’s deadliest destinations and hikes is known for its breathtaking beauty, massive glaciers, rivers, forests, amazing meadows, rock formations, easy park access, abundant wildlife, and for its status as an active volcano.
Mount Rainier attracts millions of visitors each year
Since 1897, Mount Rainier National Park has lured millions and millions of visitors - averaging 1.5 million people each year. Mount Rainier has a history of attracting humans with numerous archaeological sites around the Mountain which have produced artifacts dating back 9,000 years.
Being on the mountain can be dangerous whether you’re on man-made paths, scenic drive routes, or making a challenging trip to the summit. Over the last 126 years, Mount Rainier has claimed nearly 450 lives - an average of 3 to 4 deaths a year. That's more than the treacherous and popular Angel's Landing hike in Zion National Park in Utah. Statically, Mount Rainier is one of the deadliest hikes in America.
Unfortunately, hiking accidents resulting in death happen at Mount Rainier National Park
The cause of deadly accidents on the Mountain varies from falls, avalanches, falling rocks, extreme and sudden weather changes, drownings, traffic accidents, heat stroke, hidden crevasses, hypothermia, or a simple misstep off a trail. So, if you plan to do more than a sightseeing trip from the car with stops at the museums and lodges, you’ll need to make a plan. If you want to hike to the summit, you’ll need to train for it, be in good physical shape, have the correct gear, and have an experienced guide. It takes months of planning - learn more about the requirements of the summit from the National Parks Service.
Surprisingly, out of all the 450 or so deaths recorded on Mount Rainier, the trip to the summit has claimed the fewest deaths with approximately 90. According to the National Parks Traveler website, underestimating the mountain and its challenges is one of the biggest pitfalls for hikers.
Overall, as long as visitors know their limits, Mount Rainier National Park is safe for all ages and levels of hiking experience. It’s a must-see bucket list experience for sure. You can learn more about the park and all it has to offer from the National Parks Service.