Hiking is an exhilarating experience that provides the opportunity to connect with nature and revel in breathtaking landscapes. However, not all trails are created equal, and some hikes around the globe are deemed exceptionally perilous. They are often located in Asia, America, and Europe which can carry certain dangers. Extraordinary, breathtaking and even crazy, these are the most dangerous hikes in the world!
Let’s explore nine hiking destinations worldwide that are reserved for the brave-hearted and should only be attempted by experienced hikers.
America: Hikes of All Dangers
In North and South America, there is an abundance of hikes classified as dangerous. Despite offering sublime landscapes, these trails are often poorly marked and feature numerous highly risky passages, as we will see.
1. Climbing Longs Peak
Longs Peak is the highest mountain in the entire Rocky Mountain range. This hiking trail is located in the United States and more precisely in the state of Colorado. This hike is known to all mountaineers for the almost vertical climb to the summit! The hike is only 24 kilometers long but experienced sportsmen still take 3 days to complete it when they get there!
2. Huayna Picchu, the second slope
Have you ever heard of the abandoned village of Machu Picchu in Peru? But yes, it is indeed this Inca city perched in the Andes at an altitude of 2440 meters! Well, the summit of Huayna Picchu is located a hundred meters as the crow flies from this city listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its summit even overlooks the ruins, offering you one of the most beautiful archaeological panoramas in all of South America.
To reach this destination, you’ll have to ascend vertigo-inducing stairs, where only a rope will prevent you from falling. If you suffer from vertigo, it’s strongly advised to abstain, even though the view is undeniably worth the challenge!
3. To the top of Half Dome
Do you know Yosemite National Park, California? It is a land belonging to the Sierra Nevada where man has never settled. Today, this park is one of the most beautiful natural regions in North America. Thanks, in particular, to the various granite domes that overlook the fertile valley.
The Half Dome is the perfect example, which culminates at 2693 meters above sea level. By climbing this granite summit, you will be 1440m higher than the valley, which gives you access to an exceptional landscape! But, to enjoy such a spectacle, you will have to climb the famous Half Dome hiking trail, which is one of the most dangerous in the United States.
A marked route 13.5 kilometers long allows you to start from the bottom of the valley and go through the famous path with the cables. It is neither more nor less than a steel staircase held by metal cables 200 meters long. This is the most difficult part of the path since the slope is 30° at this point!
The Perilous Treks of Asia
The hikes on the Asian Continent are relatively unknown in America or Europe, but they are nevertheless worth a look! Some of them are even categorized as “very dangerous hikes” by local authorities. Among these, here are the 3 most at risk!
4. The Kokoda track – Papua New Guinea
Our journey in Asia begins with the famous track of Kokoda, in Papua New Guinea! In the heart of the tropical forest, 96 kilometers of trails through streams, jungle, and mountains await you.
Only practicable on foot, the Kokoda track was the scene of clashes between the Australians and the Japanese during the Second World War. The path has not changed one iota since then and it is with astonishment that you will come across the graves of soldiers who died in combat throughout the course!
With great historical value, the Kokoda trail is nonetheless dangerous because of the snakes, scorpions, and other flooded rivers you will encounter along the way!
5. The Pu’u Manamana Trail in Hawaii
Of course, Hawaii is not strictly speaking in Asia, since the archipelago is an integral part of the United States of America, but it is nevertheless geographically located in the Pacific Ocean. This Pu’u Manamana hike is only 6 kilometers long but offers an elevation gain of 660 meters!
As you can see in this photo of the trail, it is one of the most dangerous on the planet due to the lack of protection against possible falls! If you lose your footing, you won’t be able to catch up!
Ready to attempt the impossible?
6. Crazy Hike to Mount Hua Shan
To be honest, the hike of Mount Hua Shan, in China, is officially considered the most dangerous in the world! Moreover, the Chinese authorities count dozens of deaths per year on this trail… Truly sacred in China, this mountainside hike leads directly to a temple.
The Chinese are therefore thousands each year to take this incredible path! Throughout the course, you will walk on simple iron bars above a ravine, take a staircase carved into the rock, or walk on wooden planks nailed above a 1000-meter void!
Want to know more? This video will already give you cold sweats:
Europe: The Most Dangerous Hikes
You don’t need to travel to the other side of the planet to discover hiking trails that are both magnificent and incredibly dangerous. Europe has some surprises in store at this level!
7. The Crib Goch in Wales
With its landscape of hills and mid-mountains, Wales has nothing to envy of Scotland or Norway from the point of view of exceptional landscapes! This is also the case with this hike along the ridge of Mount Snowdon or Crib Goch in Welsh.
Over several kilometers, you gradually climb to an altitude of 923m, at the top of the “red comb” as the locals call it. More than a hike, this getaway is more like mountaineering! Because after the effort, comes the comfort; the view from the top is considered to be the most beautiful in all of the UK!
8. Hike from Liathach, Scotland
Let’s now go a little further north and more particularly in Scotland, within the famous Torridon Hills! There, the Liathach hike will allow you to climb the crest of the Torridon Hills, which is one of the oldest sandstone mountains in Europe. The sandstone that composes them would have formed about 4 billion years ago!
More than incredible geology, the Liathach hike is known for its difficulty and its majesty. When you arrive at the top, at 1055 meters above sea level, you’ll be rewarded with a panoramic view of Loch Torridon below and, weather permitting, the vast expanse of the North Atlantic Ocean. But its route also made its reputation, which is made of trails barely 30 centimeters wide. On each side of this path, you will find a slope of more than 60%!
9. The Caminito del Rey near Malaga
Do you have vertigo? Then you will not be able to embark on the Caminito del Rey, near Malaga in Spain. In the heart of beautiful Andalusia, set off on an extraordinary journey! As if suspended in the void, you will walk along this wooden and iron footbridge which was placed on the mountainside to link the two villages together.
The path was built between 1901 and 1905. Then it was abandoned for several decades because of its great danger. Today, it can again be taken with a protective helmet and the appropriate mountaineering equipment.
In the photo above you can see the most critical areas of the Caminito where the wood has disappeared after a few steps! You will therefore have to walk on the half-rusted steel bars that somehow resist the erosion of time.
Dangerous hikes can be found all over the world. Contrary to what one might assume, these are not abandoned or prohibited trails but legitimate hiking paths recognized as extremely challenging. All dangerous, they must be apprehended by very sporty hikers who are not afraid of heights. All require to be informed before leaving on the roads. Because these hikes are classified among the most dangerous in the world and finding death is not uncommon for some trails.
As we have already seen, accidents are common in the mountains, but they are much more so in this context! Increasingly monitored and marked, these hiking trails present great risks. However, there are also sources of lasting memories for hikers who arrive at the end of the path. In Europe, America or Asia, the most dangerous hikes also seem the most enchanting!
These guides might be helpful for you…