Not every hiking trail gives you bragging rights, but there are some which do.
As the saying goes, “bigger the prize is, bigger the peril will be”.
This philosophy also applies to hiking as well, after all the most treasured view is found at the end of the most daunting trails.
Now if you are one of those people who find contentment in a nerve-racking trail, then you are definitely in the right place.
In the following article, we shall see 10 of the most beautiful and yet extremely dangerous hiking trails which Uncle Sam has to offer.
Why are they considered dangerous? Well, that`s a good question.
Wild animals, avalanches and extreme temperature fluctuations, basically everything the Mother Nature is capable of throwing at us can be found in these trails.
So then, let`s begin.
Conquering the highest peak of North America is certainly a title worth earning, obviously, the hike is far from being easy.
Ice, strong winds and the thick bush is what awaits you. Also, make sure that you don't suffer from altitude sickness.
On top of that, grizzly bears, yep. Let me tell you, they hate visitors.
The success rate of hikers reaching the summit is only 50%. Unfortunately, at least 100 hikers have lost their lives in the past century.
On an average 3,000 hikers visit Half Dome, the infamous hiking spot rising over Yosemite`s mist trail, every other weekend.
Slippery slopes and electrical storms are just the beginning. Given that it`s a climb, you will be faced with other issues like dehydration and altitude sickness.
But those are not the glaring issues of this hike, the actual problem is the other hikers.
This is one of the most crowded tourist places on this planet, and I don`t have to tell you how dangerous a crowd tends to be on a steel cable.
Sadly people often neglect the safety guidelines laid out by the authorities, hence more than 60 people have lost their lives in the past few decades.
There has to be a reason for Mt Washington to have the title of “World`s Worst Weather”.
The weather here is the definition of unpredictability. The valley provides a warm welcome, and this weather soon turns into a freezing one.
Strong winds (Avg velocity 62 mph), avalanches and extreme hypothermia have taken dozens of life in the past, so make sure you have packed your winter appraisal like winter jacket as well.
With such a self-explanatory name, you might want to think twice about this trip, especially if you are not a map person.
With dead ends and an organized canyon system, you will get lost. Even Siri will desert you due to shoddy reception.
Nevertheless, if you decide to take up this adventure, make sure you are prepared to deal with navigation issues.
For instance, having an orienteering compass will sure come in handy.
Unexpectedly, there hasn’t been any hiker who lost his/her life on this trail.
The reason could be the park ranger's efficiency or the fact that only a few have the guts to explore this trail out.
Maroon Bells Trail- Colorado
Characterized by unstable terrain, steep slopes, and snowfields, the weather at 11K feet is anything but nice.
Despite that Maroon bells (also known as The Deadly Bells), is the most-photographed mountain in the US.
Alas! Many hikers have met their fate in a bid to get that prized shot of the mountain.
Huckleberry Mountain, Glacier National Park- Montana
If you are fond of a grizzly, then Glacier National Park is the one for you.
Now if you want to watch bears doing their business, then I suggest you pack a tree stand as well.
Hundreds of bears from around gather at the mountain during the Huckleberry season. In case you wanted to know how friendly they are, well they have killed at least a dozen people in the last 5 decades.
Abrams Falls, Great Smoky Mountains- Tennessee
A 2.5 miles hike definitely sounds easy. Well, it is, just not in this case.
If you are really fond of rain (like me), then you should definitely opt for this trail. Some peaks often experience rainfall over a staggering 85 inches.
Such heavy rainfall raises the inevitable issue of flooding. Yet another precarious issue is that of the park`s swimming fissures, those swift currents are quite fatal.
Kalalau Trail, Kauai- Hawaii
22-mile long trip sure sounds daunting, but the actual intimidating aspect of this trail is the narrow ridge which further gets squeezed into a small path.
Now, this path has a drop of 300 ft, needless to say, you need to be good with heights to venture this out.
After crossing all those levels of hurdles, you will be bestowed upon with one of the most immaculate beaches of this planet.
Mt Rainier- Washington
At 14,000 feet above sea level, Mt Rainier is considered one of the deadliest hikes on this planet.
Speaking about the risks involved, the temperature is completely unpredictably, I mean it will take only an hour or so to turn from a pleasant to freezing temperature.
Besides, you also get to experience strong 70-mph winds, fog, snow, recurring storms, avalanches, falling rocks, etc.
Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon- Arizona
Blistering heat (110+ degrees) of Arizona and a climb of 4,500 feet for 9.5 miles is enough to dissuade anybody.
On an Avg at least 250 hikers end up getting rescued each year, you can easily imagine with that numbers how hard-hitting this hike is.
Death hasn`t shied away either. With that in mind, the park authorities have prepared a special team composed of experienced rangers to help rescue hikers.
Read also: Waterproof Hiking Boots Buying Guide
There`s no place and time for unfortunate incidents, in any case, one should always be prepared for anything.
Alec Greg, an avid outdoor enthusiast and writer, intricately weaves passion for nature into captivating narratives. With expertise in hiking, camping, and wilderness survival, his evocative articles in top outdoor publications inspire readers to embrace and explore the beauty of the natural world.