The 5 most dangerous hiking trails in the world

06 May 2019

Why do we go hiking? For some, just going out on a walk in the countryside is good exercise, an excellent form of soul searching and a good way to escape the hustle of big city life. But there is so much more to hiking and camping. The views are a spectacular reason to why you might go for a long, difficult walk. But, how can you make a hike more interesting?

Challenging yourself!

Walking around our local park or visiting a national park with several hiking trails is excellent exercise, that is undeniable. Some parks have astonishing views that will take your breath away. But for some of us, that isn't enough. That is because, well, they aren't challenging enough. You will appreciate a view more if you had to hike up a dangerous trail to reach there. Danger also adds a lot more excitement to the hiking trail. Who doesn't enjoy the rush of adrenaline as you look down a sheer drop? Danger and great views, more often than not, go hand in hand. The reward for risking your life on a dangerous hiking trail will be far greater than a non-challenging walk in a national park.

This might not be for everyone, but for those of you who are seeking a new challenge in your hiking careers, here are 5 dangerous trails that will offer incredible views. And the kudos of being able to say that you were there and completed the trail.

1. El Caminito Del Rey, Spain

This trail, which translates to "The King's Path" is found in the Malaga province of Spain. It is a two-mile (3 km) trail built over 100 years ago, built on steel supports. Originally made as a maintenance path to a local hydroelectric plant, it has long since been disused for that purpose. It has been opened for you, a hiking enthusiast with a desire for more thrilling paths. This dangerous hiking trail clings to the cliffs of the mountain and is barely wide enough to walk along. And, if that wasn't enough, some of the path as collapsed, leaving you to edge yourself across the drops with no support underneath.

2. Mount Pinatubo, Philippines

What makes this hiking trail so dangerous? Well, it is on a live volcano. Found in the Zambales Mountains, Philippines, this trek has taken the lives of over 70 hikers. The danger lies in the gases that are released from the active volcano, not to mention the fact that can go off again at any moment, without warning. In 1991, the volcano erupted, and it was the second largest eruption of the 20th century.

3. The Maze, Canyonlands, Utah

As the name implies, this trekking hot spot in the USA, attracting over 2,000 visitors a year, is extremely confusing. It is full of dead ends, complicated paths, that all look the same, and a lack of any life amongst the red rock. These characteristics make it incredibly difficult for you to navigate through. So, how can this possibly get any worse? Well, consider this: You are under a blistering desert sun, and the location is prone to flash floods. Great! Oh, we forgot to mention the impromptu rock slides too. This is why rangers on the site make sure trekking enthusiasts, such as yourself, have planned properly and have good means on remaining in contact. Bring your walkies!

4. Via Ferrata, Italy, and Austria

Mean "Iron Way" in Italian; this trekking route is a must for the adventurous hiker. Made in the 15th century and was used by troops during WW1 and WW2, this hiking trail is full of history. And risk. How dangerous can it be, if troops used it? I hear you ask. Well, the troops didn't have the safety harnesses we have today, that need to clip into the "ferrata set" (a special carabiner designed for this trek) or well-maintained bridges and cables. They had to deal with sheer drops while clinging on to cliff faces and ridiculously tall ledges. These obstacles, even today with all the safety equipment, are not to be taken lightly.

5. Kalalau, Hawaii

When you think of Hawaii, you think of white beaches, cocktails, surfing and leaf skirts. Well, this is a different side of the island. The first thing you need to know about the Kalalau trail is that it is 20 miles long (over 32 km), which is very long. The views and scenery are continually changing as you hike through jungles, volcanoes and along to the best beaches you will have ever seen. The reward is worth the risk. Your biggest enemy on this dangerous hiking trail will be water. Slippery waterfalls, wet jungle trails and large streams that you will have to cross will prove a challenge with every step. With it being a jungle, you can also imagine how dangerous a torrential downpour can become. Be prepared to get wet when hiking along this treacherous trail!

Ready to go?

Are your bags packed? Are you jumping around with excitement to go on your next adventure? Good! We hope that you have the chance to experience one of these trails in your lifetime. And, if you already have been fortunate to walk these extremely dangerous hiking trails, we congratulate you, they are no easy challenge. We are sure you will have photos that you will show off with pride, photos not many people have been able to take.

When tackling any of the trails mentioned in this article remember that safety is incredibly important. Remember the 5 P's: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance, and in this case, a bad hike or a misfortune while trekking. Take safety serious, always listen to rangers or guides if they are available and plan your journey to ensure the best route.

What are you waiting for? Start planning your next amazing hiking adventure and make sure to include one of the most dangerous hiking trails in the world. This will be a trek you will never forget and one that, hopefully, will open your appetite to try more dangerous treks.

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