Why Do People Go Missing In National Parks? (7 Reasons Why)

Photo of author
Jean Richardson

Jean Richardson is a lover of knowledge, in all forms. He has spent over 15 years as a high school teacher, instructing students in history, geography, mathematics, and more.

National Parks are a great place to enjoy the scenery and the views. You can enjoy a variety of different activities and outdoor adventures. You can also typically camp, hike, and more.

Recently, in a TikTok trend, it’s become more noticed that several people tend to disappear in National Parks. What is the cause behind this? Take a look at what I found on the subject.

Why Do People Go Missing In National Parks?

1. Unprepared

Hanging out in a National Park is all fun and games if you are prepared for it. However, many people foray into the parks without really knowing how to prepare.

Whether you’re just hiking, enjoying the views, or even camping, you need to be properly prepared for the situation.

This is outdoors and national parks are typically vast areas with a lot of wildernesses. There are wild animals, places to get lost, and no one is tracking you.

Before you head out for an adventure, make sure you have the appropriate supplies. Take the time to let someone know where you are just in case.

2. Abandoning Trails

When you go to the national park of your choice, there are varying trails and designated areas to be.

The problem is that many people take it upon themselves to wander off the trails. This can be extremely dangerous.

The trails and designated areas are marked for a reason. It’s for your safety. While there may seem like additional adventure outside of those areas, it’s simply not safe.

Read More:  Why Is The Hudson River So Dirty? (9 Reasons Why)

Even the most talented wilderness explorers can find themselves turned around or lost. In a forest, all the trees start to look the same.

Stay on the trails. No adventure is worth getting lost and never found again. There are massive amounts of land covered by national parks. If you stray, it could be easy to disappear.

3. Wild Animals

These parks are designed to preserve wildlife as well as the nature of the area. There are likely trees, streams, and much more.

With that, there is also local wildlife. In some areas, this might include bears, cougars, and more.

Unfortunately, if you have an untimely meeting with one of these wild animals, it’s quite possible to never be seen again.

While we would hope we could pick up a trail in the search, it could come to a halt if the animal is never suspected or found. That wild animal could be long gone.

4. Evil In The Woods

Evil In The Woods

There is some ancient folklore about an evil spirit named Wendigo who terrorizes the woods. If you look him up, you see a creature that would certainly leave you scared.

The stories behind this spirit are that he changes forms. He may reveal as a spirit or he may reveal as a monster. There is no way to know.

Of course, if Wendigo finds you, there will likely be nothing left for others to find. He is said to be evil and involved in cannibalism, murder, and more.

Read More:  Why Is Lake Erie So Dangerous? (8 Reasons Why)

Not everyone believes folklore stories such as this. That is your prerogative. But if you’re curious about the number of missing people, it certainly could be a possibility to consider.

5. Distracted And Lost

With social media, everyone wants to discover that perfect picture moment. We become an adventurer to get it and that can lead to a terrible situation.

Too many people get so lost and distracted by their technology and social media, leading them astray.

The distracted mindset or the desire to find that unique photo shot could easily lead to getting lost. Once someone strays from a trail, they can be lost in the woods.

A person lost in the woods may not be recognized as missing right away. If they didn’t get that photo posted, it’s no one may know where they are or where to begin looking.

6. Could It Be Bigfoot?

We are well aware that not everyone believes in Bigfoot. But the truth remains that many do.

If you ask a Bigfoot believer why people are going missing from national parks, their answers will likely be related to this legend.

There are many unexplained disappearances in which no evidence could even be found in a search. However, there is a lot of evidence to back the theory of a potential Bigfoot out there.

Perhaps this legendary creature really is out there in the woods.

Read More:  Why Is The Sky Green? (5 Reasons Why)

7. Conspiracy Delight

Finally, there is the chance that conspiracies are really at play here. It is certainly disconcerting that so many go missing without a trace.

Many times, these mysteries remain unsolved. But those individuals have to be somewhere, even if they didn’t survive.

There are many stories and conspiracies that perhaps the park rangers are hiding away or concealing the true numbers and discoveries of disappearance.

There is little to substantiate this being true, which is why it is a conspiracy theory. However, when you consider the numbers, the potential quickly adds up.

Could there be a conspiracy behind those disappearances that remain unsolved?

To learn more, you can also read our post on why you can’t see the moon, why the Hudson River is so dirty, and why roses die so fast.


There are 423 labeled national parks throughout the USA. This number takes into consideration all 50 states as well as the territories like Puerto Rico.

The national parks span more than 80 million acres of land. That’s a lot of space that people can disappear into and never be found again. Always use caution and care at national parks.


  • Jean Richardson

    Jean Richardson is a lover of knowledge, in all forms. He has spent over 15 years as a high school teacher, instructing students in history, geography, mathematics, and more.

Leave a Comment