Top 10 Most Dangerous and Challenging Hikes Around the World

Tags: #Hiking ,   #KalalauTrail ,   #HuaShanTrail ,   #IncaTrail ,   #DrakensbergGrandTraverse

Alex O'Brien

Alex O'Brien

Last updated:  2021-05-06 10:41:05

Hiking is by far the best way to reconnect with nature. Along with getting in shape, you'll discover some incredible places and enjoy nature. Moreover, high altitudes bring more fresh air into your lungs, as the benefits of walking on human health are enormous. Some hikes are considered to be very demanding and require you to be in great shape. Moreover, a number of trails have a reputation as highly dangerous and even deadly. However, we think that the risk can be avoided if you follow the safety measures. Hence, it's easy to be safe, so don't jeopardize your life to get an authentic selfie for social media. Let's take a look at the most dangerous and challenging hiking trails!

10. Kalalau Trail, Hawaii

Kalalau Trail offers genuinely spectacular views with a lot of adrenaline-boosting parts along the trail

The steep volcanic slopes, isolated jungle, and at the end, the stunning undeveloped beach make the Kalalau Trail so spectacular. The beautiful 11-mile trail along Na Pali Coast in Hawaii crosses through five lush valleys and towering sea cliffs.

However, this paradise hike bears its share of risk, as it can be unsafe during the rain. The narrow trail crosses few streams, as the three major ones can be hazardous during the heavy rain, causing a flash flood. Moreover, the rocks might be slippery from the water, causing a fall of the cliffs. The main danger around waterfalls comes from the falling rocks.  

9. Aonach Eagach, Scotland

If you wish to explore Scotland's Highlands, the Aonach Eagach hiking is the best way to do so

Scotland is famous for its exquisite landscapes, and is there a better way to explore it than by hiking? Aonach Eagach is one of Scotland's most iconic Highland climbs, followed by beautiful sceneries. This four-mile path crosses two mountains along the Glen Coe Valley. The slopes are perilous, with steep grass and scree slopes hiding even abrupter ascends.

The central part of the route requires a bit of rock climbing, so you need to be well prepared. At this point, the ridge is so narrow and exposed that once you're up, there is no easy way down, so you must follow the route to the end.

8. West Coast Trail (Vancouver Island, Canada)

West Coast Trail is a very challenging one, as you'll need at least six days to finish it

West Coast Trail in British Columbia on Vancouver Island is a unique experience not fit for everyone. This 47 miles long trail requires a hiking background, as well as a bit of nature surviving skills. Therefore, the adventurers will face many obstacles during their six to seven days of hiking, such as rugged terrain, ladders, cable cars, suspension bridges, and mud pools.

Yet, throughout the hike, the beautiful landscapes will just appear in front of you, as the trail leads through the old forest, down the streams and rivers, to the coastline with gorgeous sandy and rocky beaches. Along the way, the hikers pass the surreal flora and fauna and meet hospitable locals.

7. Rim to Rim (Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona)

Rim to Rim hiking is quite challenging due to high elevations

The beauty of the Grand Canyon is surreal, scenic, and unforgettable. Hiking Rim to Rim is even more appealing but still quite challenging. The trail has three high elevations, crosses the mighty Colorado River, and peaks at 5760 feet. Moreover, as the track is 23 miles long, you need to be in excellent shape for this one. 

Temperatures vary with altitude change, so this is another factor that makes this trail such a challenging one. However, it's totally worth it, as you'll pass by some geological and historical wonders along the way, including gorgeous waterfalls, spectacular rock formations, and ancient ruins.

6. The Maze, Utah, USA

The Maze is an exciting labyrinth of narrow passageways and interconnecting canyons

The Maze is the most isolated segment of Canyonlands National Park in Utah. The scenery is absolutely stunning and totally worth the trouble. The most demanding part is not to get lost in the labyrinth of dead-ends full of narrow passageways and interconnecting canyons.

The danger of rockfalls follows a 40-mile track on exposed alpine terrain. The path is demanding, as the shaky chain ladders get the hikers to the ridge, followed by rock climbing and the navigation through the stone labyrinth. Hence, the Maze track is not in high demand due to its remote location, as it's a big challenge even for experienced hikers.

5. Half Dome Cable Route (Yosemite National Park, California)

Yosemite National Park is full of beautiful hiking trails. However, the most challenging one, Half Dome Cable Route, attracts many visitors despite the danger that comes with it

Yosemite National Park in California is well known for its beauty, and the magnificent landscapes are something you must see. Half Dome is a part of the park, as a rock formation shaped like a dome cut in the half. However, besides the incredible view, it's well known for the Cable Route to the top. 

The hiking trail lures many visitors to climb it, as it's an 8.2 miles trail with an elevation of 4800 feet. The last 400 feet of the track is a very steep climb up the rock using two steel cables as handholds. Demanding, a bit terrifying but worth the trouble once you take a look at Yosemite Valley from the top of the Half Dome.  

4. Drakensberg Grand Traverse, South Africa

It takes up to 15 days to complete Drakensberg Grand Traverse

This one is just for experienced and fit hikers, as the Drakensberg Grand Traverse is around 150 miles long, taking between 12 to 15 days to complete. There are no shops or hotels along the way, so the hikers need to have some wilderness experience to survive this thrilling trail. Along the way, it's possible to encounter some wild animals, and rock scrambles don't make the track easier. 

Moreover, it includes Drakensberg's five peaks and few river crossings.   However, according to the passionate hikers who have completed the trail, the magnificent views make it the most beautiful route and the one for the bucket list. 

3. Angel's Landing, United States Zion Park

The Angel's Landing is quite a challenging hike, but safe if you are careful

Angel's Landing hiking trail is located in Zion National Park in Utah. The path is almost 2.5 miles long, the most challenging being the final half-mile. The narrow and steep ridge includes dangerous drop-offs, as the only safety is chains and guardrails. In the end, you will need to ascend a steep stone stair fit for just one person supported by chains, so there is no passing by.

On the top of Angel's Landing is an exposed platform with the most picturesque views imaginable. However, this is where most accidents happen because the people enchanted with the landscape get careless and don't watch their steps.

2. Inca Trail to Machu Picchu - Huayna Picchu, Peru

Huayna Picchu or Wayana Picchu is worth every step you make

The Inca Trail is among the most exciting in the world, leading to the ancient Inca site Machu Picchu. Huayna Picchu, or Hike of Death, is a part of the track made of stairs carved into the granite. Moreover, when you add that the climb is about 1000 feet in less than a mile on slippery stairs, you'll get the explanation for the infamous title Stairs of Death. 

The trail is full of slippery stones, rotting, crumbling rock, exposed corners, and at some points, you need to cling to old steel cables. However, the hike is worth the trouble because of the gorgeous views on Machu Picchu from above.

1. HuaShan Trail, China

HuaShan Trail is just for adrenaline junkies, pretty unsafe and challenging

Mount HuaShan is one of five sacred mountains in China, consisting of five peaks with beautiful views. The way up to the mountain tops is notoriously known as the most dangerous hiking trail in the world since it was initially made for the pilgrims to access the high-altitude temples.

You'll need to pass the narrow wooden platforms, iron handrails, and chains on the hiking trail, which is quite unsafe. Well, add to that almost vertical stairs, and at some point, just small steps carved into the rock, and you'll get the idea why this is such a dangerous path. We need to mention that this is a two-way trail, so you'll pass by other people at 7000 feet. Nonetheless, there's no need for worrying, as you'll have your carabiners for safety.

Here's a little tip: suppose you search the internet for the most dangerous hikes. In that case, we are sure you'll come upon El Caminito del Rey in Spain. However, this was a hazardous place before being transformed into a totally safe and beautiful area to explore, surrounded by gorgeous scenery. To conclude, good hiking means that you need to be prepared, in good shape, and most of all, to follow the safety instructions.

Do you enjoy hiking? Would you dare to go on the HuaShan Trail? Please write to us in the comment section, as we would like to hear your thoughts.


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