Is it a huge predator with big fangs and claws?

The Most Dangerous Animal of Grand Canyon National Park. Christian Espanol. (Boise, ID)

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

3 Responses to The Most Dangerous Animal of Grand Canyon National Park

  1. Virginia says:

    I would have said that the most dangerous animal in the Grand Canyon is humans. If you have ever hiked down into the Grand Canyon with the throngs of people who do so every day, you would realize that they are the most dangerous animal. Besides having to camp so close to other campers that you can hear them in their tents, your entire experience in the Grand Canyon is dealing with people. Everyone needs to try harder not to destroy these beautiful places with their idiotic behavior, such as feeding wild animals. It is supposed to be a place where wildlife can be save from us as well.

  2. ChrisH says:

    I agree with Virginia regarding the most dangerous animal in any park. Having lived at and hiked extensively in the canyon, I can attest that the quirrels can be pesky. I can also attest to the fact that they were conditioned to be that way from being fed garbage food. If you avoid hiking on the Bright Angel Trail and use some of the less crowded trails like Hermit’s, Tanner, Grandview and Hance the squirrelsare not a problem. Those trails (to me) are more scenic, and offer a respite from the crowds.
    It’s also best to avoid eating outside on the canyon side of Bright Angel Lodge this is another place where both people and squirrel congregate to feed each other junk food. If you do go there it’s usually a good place to spots California Condors. They will be the huge birds with an equally huge # attached to there bodies somewhat like NASCAR. I would like to think thereis a better way to keep track of them.

  3. Thanks for your comment on my article. Very good point. I suppose from that perspective I agree. Humans would be by far the most dangerous animal of any Park. I wanted to take the perspective of visitors for this article. The National Park Service takes great care in trying to find a balance between providing guests an unforgettable experience and protecting the Park. Sometimes that job is very difficult. People really do need to take better care of the natural world around them. Thanks again for your input.


March 2009


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey