Look around. We are so lucky to live in a place like Idaho. Natural beauty surrounds us every day, and after being here for a while, it's easy to take for granted. As you drive through the state, you find many wide open spaces—places that have yet to be turned into factories, hotels, apartment complexes, and office buildings.

All of that beauty and wide-open landscapes may come at a price, though. A disturbing trend has emerged in Yellowstone National Park, just 6.5 hours from Boise.

According to the National Parks Service, a shocking amount of people are going missing each year in our National Parks. Author David Paulides says that 1,200 people have gone missing, and many of those cases have yet to be resolved.

Photo by Nicolasintravel on Unsplash
Photo by Nicolasintravel on Unsplash

Yellowstone, 3,471 square miles, is one of the largest parks in the United States and partially lies in Idaho. With its size being so large, it's no surprise that it has had its share of missing people. The number, however, seems to be more than it should be. It is estimated that more than 244 people disappear there each year, and many of them are never found.

Circumstances surrounding these people range from people getting lost while hiking to some just seeming to vanish without a trace. While the Park Service investigates each case and locates the missing person, the mysteries often continue.

Photo by Jaron Nix on Unsplash
Photo by Jaron Nix on Unsplash

When visiting a National Park, be sure to be prepared. Stay on the designated trails, inform your friends and family of your trip, and pay attention to the weather and the park's warnings and regulations.

LOOK: Closest national parks to Boise

Stacker compiled a list of the closest national parks to Boise City, ID Metro Area.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

Gallery Credit: Hannah Lang

LOOK: Must-do activities at every national park

Stacker lists the must-do activities at every national park ranked by the annual number of visitors. 

Gallery Credit: Angela Underwood

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

Gallery Credit: Alexander Raeburn

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