6 Most Dangerous Hiking Trails in The World

Are you a hiking enthusiast who loves to test the limits? Maybe you prefer to look at the gorgeous pictures other people take on the trails. If you are in the second category, these hikes might not be for you.

When we consider dangerous hikes, we often think of extreme elevation and steep climbs. But there are many hazards, such as creaky boards, eroding rock, deadly wildlife and harsh elements. Let’s check out some of the deadliest trails that the world has to offer:


6) Mount Hua Shan, Huashan Trail (China)

This mountain trail has been part of Chinese legend for many millennia. The mountain has five distinct peaks, and each one is adorned with shrines and teahouses. How to get around? An impossibly tiny pathway which has been carved into the cliff face. This mystical place has caught the imagination of hikers, climbers and travelers around the globe. If you suffer from vertigo, maybe don’t consider this one.

5) El Caminito del Rey (Spain)

This one is a lot like the Hua Shan trail in China. Except it’s in Spain. The attraction to this trial has always been the “concrete catwalk,” which curves around the length of the deep gorge. It was first built by sailors who were comfortable working while suspended from ropes. The old Caminito trail was officially closed by the Spanish government in 2000 after several deaths. The government began repairs, and the trail reopened in 2015. It is now more popular than ever.

4) Bright Angel Trail (Arizona)

The Bright Angel is one of the most popular trails in The Grand Canyon, but it can also be deadly. What starts as an easy, downward slope quickly becomes much more hazardous as the extreme heat wears away at hikers. As travelers make the upward trek back, many people need medical aid from local park rangers. This trail is steep and challenging. However, it’s a well-maintained route that offers dramatic views into the inner canyon. If you know what you’re doing, this trek is a great option for ambitious hikers. Rest Houses are also available a few miles in.

3) Shackleton’s Route (South Georgia Island)

Guided expeditions are available to retrace one of the most dangerous hikes in world history. This is a treacherous hike in a remote and mountainous island. Did we mention that it’s very cold? Exposure to the elements is the greatest risk here, and participants are required to carry their own food and supplies. Pretty extreme!

2) Mist Trail, Half Dome (California)

Like other trails in this list, Mist Trail has a sleek and steep grade. What sets it apart? The high chance of lightning strikes on the cables of the upper trail make this one of the deadliest trails in the world. If you’re in Yosemite National Park and you’re thinking about hiking Mist Trail, please check the forecast. You don’t want to chance a thunderstorm up there.

1) The Darien Gap (Panama)

The Darien gap is a break in the Pan-American highway that is at least 60 miles (and could be up to 100 miles) big. No one’s really sure how big it is because all expedition parties who go through don’t make it out alive. Well, of course some do, but this is certainly an extreme part of the world, and one which you should think twice about venturing into. In addition to the rugged terrain and elevation changes, its suspected that the route is used for drug and human trafficking. The area may be controlled by dangerous cartels. Pair the potential violence with unpleasant plants and wildlife, such as the Black Palm, the poisonous Golden Frog and lethal rainforest scorpions, and The Darien Gap may be the most dangerous trail in the world. You can try to hike it. But, you’ll most likely die.

(Seriously, don’t hike this one.)

Life Changing Experiences Can Be Worth The Risk

This world we live in is filled with incredible views and stunning rock formations. Since the beginning of time humans have been drawn to these special places – even though they can be somewhat dangerous. This is why proper planning, proper equipment, and an awareness of hydration and elevation are so important if you are to accomplish some of these life changing trails. 

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