Part 2: Today, I want to talk to you about the dangers of Yellowstone National Park. As a writer who has dabbled in the horror genre, I can tell you that Yellowstone is a place where danger lurks around every corner. From boiling hot springs to massive geysers, and creatures with knife-like claws and horns, Yellowstone is a place where one wrong step could lead to disaster. So, if you’re planning a trip to this national park, I urge you to be cautious and aware of the dangers that await.
The bermuda triangle of the west
First, let’s discuss the topic many wanderers to Yellowstone prefer to avoid. It is perhaps the most alarming danger in Yellowstone – the apparent ability to disappear without a trace. I’ve heard more than a few wanderers refer to the unexplained events they encounter while treking into the less travelled areas of the park, such as Lamar Valley or the areas burnt to a crisp during the infamous Yellowstone fires. If you visit these landscapes, you may find them haunting and eerily inviting. This is a natural reaction. But do not be lured by their siren song for unknown dangers do indeed lurk in the quiet spaces beyond the common trails at Yellowstone.
It is very common to see news reports of missing persons. Usually, it is a single soul with a troubled life who seeks peace in nature’s embrace. They take a well used trail but for some unknown reason are enticed to wander off into the dark woods. Days later, after an exhaustive search, a small remnant of their clothing may be found. Or, more likely, nothing. They simply disappear.
When solo hiking in Yellowstone, it is critical to notify the nearest Ranger’s Station and inform them of your plans. Oh, and also leave them detailed directions on who to contact in the case of your disappearance – and where to send your remains, if any are ever found. As was the case of one poor young man during our last visit to Yellowstone National Park.
Critical advice: respect God’s creation
Yes . . . the geysers. Renowned for their impressive spouts of boiling hot water. The most famous in the world. Everyone knows Old Faithful, but there are hundreds of others that are more dangerous. These geysers can shoot boiling water and steam over 300 feet into the air, and they can erupt at any time without warning. Imagine walking through the park, enjoying the serenity, when suddenly you hear a hissing sound and boiling water shooting out of the ground in front of you. It’s a scene straight out of a horror movie.
But the dangers of Yellowstone don’t stop there. The hot springs in the park are another potential danger. These springs can reach temperatures of up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and if you fall in, there’s no chance of survival. Unfortunately, many young tourists (primarily teenage boys) thought they were smarter than mother nature – acted accordingly – and now are deceased, their bodies never recovered. That’s because the acidic waters can dissolve your skin and bones in a matter of minutes, leaving nothing but a grisly mess behind. It’s not a pleasant thought, but it’s a reality in Yellowstone. In fact, it happened just before our last visit.
The sturdily constructed boardwalks throughout the geyser areas are there for a reason – DO NOT DEPART FROM THEM. That is always how it starts – some “tourists” foolishly stepping off the boardwalk. They quickly realize the ground around it is hollows and collapse into boiling waters As mentioned above, your chances of rescue are zero and the chances of survival even lower. Just after our last visit, one poor teenage boy did indeed put pride above humility as he walked off of the boardwalk . . . and sadly onto the nightly news as yet another victim of Yellowstone.
Wildlife at Yellowstone is, ineed, wild
And let’s not forget about the wildlife. Yellowstone is home to some of the most dangerous animals in North America, including bears, wolves, and mountain lions. While these animals are beautiful to look at from a distance, they can be deadly if provoked. A bear can outrun a human and crush a skull with one swipe of its paw. And its razor sharp claws can be up to 12″ long, leaving you in quite a desperate state if they are unleashed upon you.
A wolf can tear through flesh and bone with its powerful jaws and dine on you for lunch – and dinner. And a mountain lion can silently stalk its prey before pouncing with lightning speed. If you’re not careful, you could easily become prey to one of these predators.
And the mighty bison with their impressive horns can turn deadly as well. Unfortunately, far too many tourists suffer from “Disney Syndrome” – all animals are soft, cuddly, human-like stuffed animals. So they venture too close and the bison strikes hard. Please abandon any pretense that wild animals are Disney cartoon characters. They definitely are not. If you insist on retaining such a viewpoint, be sure to where an old shirt while doing so since you will be able to mend the large whole that is torn, nore remove the signifcant blood stains drenching the shirt, as the massive creature tears into your belly.
The dangers of Yellowstone imperil more than the park
But perhaps the most insidious danger in Yellowstone is the supervolcano that lies beneath the park. This volcano is so massive that it could wipe out most of the United States if it were to erupt. And while scientists assure us that an eruption is not imminent, the fact remains that it could happen at any time. Because, well, scientists are wrong about many things in this world. Imagine being in the park when the ground starts shaking and the sky turns dark with ash. It’s a scenario straight out of a Stephen King novel, or worse yet, a cheesey Hollywood movie.
So, my dear readers, I hope you can see why Yellowstone is a place where danger lurks around every corner. It’s a beautiful park, to be sure, but it’s also a place where one wrong move could lead to disaster. As someone a writer, I can tell you that the dangers of Yellowstone could easily inspire a novel or a movie. But as someone who cares about your safety, I urge you to be cautious if you’re planning a trip to our most beautiful national park. Know the dangers, be aware of your surroundings, and most importantly, respect God’s Creation.
Next up, Part 3 where we take a look the “Must See’ parts of Yellowstone National Park.
Also, be sure to check out Part 1 to discover the 5 critical things you should take with you on your roadtrip to Yellowstone.