Hiking is a great way to get your “nature fix.” These can be exhilarating excursions in all kinds of environments. For many, the perfect hike is a steady incline along well-worn trails. No surprises. For others, it is the thrill of danger that makes the hike worth hiking. If you are looking for an adrenaline rush to go along with your hike, then you might want to consider some of these destinations. They are thought to be the most dangerous hikes around the world:
Angel’s Landing, Zion National Park, Utah
Don’t let the title of this trail fool you. Angel’s Landing is a treacherously narrow 5-mile path that alternates from “well maintained” to “slippery sandstone.” That last stretch of this hike will have you climbing up to 1,400 on a narrow path with hundred-foot drop-offs on either side. Yes, this trail has claimed many hikers’ lives.
Hua Shan Trail, Huayin City, China
Remember that Indian Jones movie where he fought the bad guys on a rickety wooden bridge that spanned over a deep drop into a canyon? That’s what you experience on the Hua Shan Trail just without the bad guy. There are no nets for the wooden planks suspended thousands of feet in the air that you need to traverse to get from point A to point B. What makes this trail especially ominous is that it is mostly two-way. This means you have to let those hikes coming down from the mountain peak squeeze pass you on those narrow planks. Good luck.
Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii
The goal at the end of a hike is a spectacular view. On the Kalalau Trail, those kinds of views are everywhere you look but don’t get too distracted. This 11-mile hike will take you up 4,000 feet along steep ocean cliffs. And this hiking trail is often muddy from a recent rainstorm and full of hairpin switchbacks. Not for the faint of heart or without hiking boots.
West Coast Trail, Vancouver Island, Canada
Timing is crucial to successfully navigate this 48-mile trail along the Pacific coast. That is because a lot of your hiking will take you around seaside terrain which can be overrun by the high tide. You could find yourself hiking in one direction with room to spare only to find yourself stranded on the return trip. Plus, there are wolves, cougars, and grizzlies that share this area. And expect inches of rain happening every few hours. This is the kind of hike that requires are a full set of gear that includes bear mace and a tent.
Whenever taking on any kind of hike, be sure to tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to return. That could end up being a literal lifesaver.