The Nankoweap Trail is not for the faint of heart. There are steep drops reaching hundreds of feet, and the trail is very high. It’s the most treacherous and difficult trail in the Grand Canyon National Park. Trekkers get 11 miles of exposure to the sun and heat, which is why it’s so dangerous. Cell phones don’t work on the trail, and GPS signal is often blocked by precipitous cliffs, so if you’re in trouble, you won’t be able to reach anyone. This doesn’t sound like a trail we’d voluntarily go on. Additionally, the trail is not marked, so you’ll have to be an expert trail finder in order to safely and successfully walk this trail (Travel Channel).
Located in Yosemite, Half Dome is easily one of the most treacherous hikes in the national park, if not the world. It’s proven to be challenging by even the most experienced hikers. You’ll need a lot of preparation and determination in order to complete this hike. Each year, the Search and Rescue team responds to 100 calls from trekkers who need help, due to injury, dehydration, or getting lost. Despite the beauty of the waterfalls, it can make the trail very slippery and dangerous, so be extra careful with your footing (Trail And Summit).
In order to trek up to Mount Ijen Crater in Bali, you’ll need to leave in the middle of the night, which means it’ll still be dark. It’s recommended to bring a head torch to avoid injury. What makes it one of the most treacherous hikes in the world is your exposure to toxic sulfuric gas that’s emitted from inside the crater. You’ll need a lot of preparation beforehand for this hike. Additionally, it’s recommended you go with at least one other person. The views are indescribable. Hiking up to a volcano is one of the most incredible things you could ever do, and even though it’s dangerous, it’s still worth the effort. Just take extra precautions beforehand (Journey Era).
This desert lookout spot is not for the beginner hiker. There are stunning eroded cliffs, viewpoints overlooking Death Valley, and towering peaks looking at the Funeral mountains. One of the most popular spots is Red Cathedral, where you’ll see a canyon formed by flash floods. This portion of the trail requires minor scrambling. Additionally, it’s one of the most treacherous hikes in the world because of a precipitous cliff near the trail, on the left side. It gets extremely dangerous if you get close to the edge of the cliff, so don’t walk near the cliff and stay on the trail to be extra careful. It’s always better safe than sorry (Stavis Lost).
With sharp switchbacks, steep cliffs, and ropes to aid the trekker, Mt. Storm King in the USA is one of the most treacherous hikes in the world. It’s dangerous, and you’ll need a lot of focus and energy to complete the hike safely and successfully. Even then, there are still beautiful views of the Olympic Peninsula once you gain enough elevation. Even though it’s dangerous, it’s still a bucket list destination for many trekkers looking to embark on a terrifying, yet exciting journey (Wander In Raw).
In order to avoid the heat and make this trek as safe as possible, it’s recommended to start the Nong Khiaw Viewpoint early in the morning. Located in Laos, it’s one of the most treacherous hikes you can experience in Asia. Once you get to the peak, you’ll witness incredible views of the mountains, rivers, and surrounding towns. Make sure you bring plenty of water and food with you on the trek to avoid any negative mishaps! Additionally, be extra careful if the trail is slipper after a recent rain, or if you’re near the river where the stones are wet (Wanderers And Warriors).
Located in Utah, Chesler Park Loop is one of the most treacherous hikes in the world. It’s an 11-mile-long loop that offers brave trekkers the chance to see boulders, colorful spires, caves, and unique rock formations. This is a one-of-a-kind, mesmerizing hike that you’ll need tons of preparation for. Additionally, not very many people walk this trail, so you might have the entire place to yourself. This is both beneficial and not, since if something bad happens, there won’t be anyone nearby to help you. Make sure you bring at least one other person with you, if you’re feeling adventurous enough to complete this hike (National Park Obsessed).
What makes the Tararua Range one of the most treacherous hikes in the world is the tough winds that whip through the range, strong enough to knock you off your feet. According to Pete Smith, a member of the Tararua Trampers Club, “there are times when you can’t stand up. The wind, it cuts right through you, you’ve really got to get out of the wind.” Trekkers in New Zealand trying to conquer this hike need to be aware of the winds, since they can be deadly. Since 1970, around 22 trekkers have lost their lives on the hike, some due to the wind, others due to injury and dehydration (Stuff.co).
Head 14,000 feet up into the clouds on this hike, which is in Colorado. It’s one of the most treacherous hikes in the world and is a lengthy 13-miles. Rapidly changing weather conditions makes it incredibly dangerous. Additionally, the elevation gain exposes trekkers to potentially harmful altitude sickness. You’ll cross through three different ecosystems on the hike, with incredible sweeping views. It’s also known as the “most dangerous climb,” so beware if you do decide to embark on this adventure (Roots Rated).
Also known as the “longest slot canyon in the world,” Buckskin Gulch is one of the most treacherous hikes in the USA, if not the world. Because of the extreme danger of flash floods, trekkers must be incredibly careful on the trail. It’s 20.6 miles roundtrip, and can take upwards of two days to complete, depending on your trekking speed and schedule. If you do decide to head on this trail, make sure you’re well versed with the weather and any potential flash flood occurrences (Your Hike Guide).
Trek through the world’s last great mountain range. The Canol Trail is not only one of the most treacherous hikes in the world, but it’s also one of the toughest in the Northern hemisphere. This one is special because it follows the footsteps of men who walked this exact trail during the Second World War to pump gas. Along the way, you’ll catch glimpses of relics from the war, like Quonset huts. It’s over 300 kilometers, and you’ll be exposed to various weather and trail conditions that can make it quite dangerous, especially if you decide to trek the entire way (Spectacular NWT).
Just the name “The Devil’s Path” makes this trail sound like one of the most treacherous hikes in the world. We’re not sure we’d want to embark on a hike with the word “Devil” in it, but many other trekkers surely do. It’s over 20 miles long and is in the Catskill Mountains. If you do decide to walk the Devil’s Path, make sure you’re fully equipped with enough food and water in case something happens (The Nature Seeker).
This trail is in B.C. Canada and is considered by some one of the “10 Most Dangerous Hikes” in the world. It’s also one of the most treacherous hikes in the world. It’s extremely steep, and since 1999, at least three people have died on the trail, one of them including death by an avalanche. Hiking this trail in the winter probably isn’t the best idea, so make sure you carefully choose when you embark on this journey. People have also gotten injured from exposure to cold temperatures, loose shale, and ice build-up (The Globe And Mail).
Even though the view on this hike is one of the most spectacular views you’ll ever get, it’s still one of the most treacherous hikes. Because it’s so dangerous, the government closed the trail and made it illegal to climb. But that doesn’t stop the bravest souls from attempting to climb to the peak. It’s also known as the Stairway to Heaven and is a 2,000-foot trail that takes trekkers up 3,922 steps to the top. It was originally built so the US Coast Guard could have a secret radio antenna at the top during World War II (iexplore).
The Apgar Trail, also known as Huckleberry Trail, is considered one of the most treacherous and dangerous trails in the United States. Because it’s incredibly steep and rocky, and riddled with grizzly bears, it’s considered dangerous. If you see a grizzly bear in the distance, you need to turn around and go the other way, even if that means not completing the full hike. It’s located in Glacier National Park in Montana and promises sweeping views that’ll certainly take your breath away. Despite the beauty, it doesn’t come without risk. The grizzly bears may pose the greatest risk, so you need to be extra careful on this trail (Only In Your State).
If you’re looking for a wicked trail that’s both dangerous and difficult, then Huntington Ravine Trail is calling your name! While we don’t necessarily recommend hiking this trail because of the danger of weather and trail conditions, especially alone, it’s still one of the most beautiful places in the USA and White Mountains. The AMC White Mountain Guide said, “the exposure on several of the steepest ledges is likely to prove extremely unnerving.” That alone is reason enough to turn around. If you’re an inexperienced hiker, it’s definitely recommended that you skip this trail altogether (Hiking Up With the Pup).
The highest point of the Northeast of the USA is in Maine, and more specifically, Mount Washington. Despite the accomplishment that comes with climbing to the highest point, there are numerous risks. You’ll get some of the strongest winds in the world, which makes this trail one of the most treacherous hiking trails in the world. Adventurers are especially drawn to the lush forests that are over 400 million years old, the glaciers, and wildlife. Experienced hikers love Mount Katahdin solely because it’s one of the pinnacles to hiking in Northeast America (New England).
Colorado is home to some of the greatest hikes in the world. With sweeping views of mountain ranges and forests, it offers trekkers the opportunity to see spectacular, one-of-a-kind views. But that doesn’t mean they come without risk! It’s also home to some of the most treacherous hikes in the world, including Longs Peak. This trek reaches 14,259 feet in the air, with a 14.5-mile climb and huge, precipitous cliff that makes it insanely dangerous. Trekkers need to be very careful on this deadly mountain and should not attempt it if they’re an inexperienced hiker (Only In Your State).
Maroon Bells is another hiking area on this list that’s located in Colorado. Even though it offers spectacular scenery, it’s still one of the most treacherous hikes in the world because of its ascents, descents, and exposure to harsh weather conditions. It’s located in the Rocky Mountains, so it’s guaranteed you’ll see waterfalls, lakes, and golden aspens while exploring this part of the world. If you decide to hike this trail, make sure you’re well-versed in the dangers that come with these specific ascents and descents (Day Hikes Near Denver).
Yosemite Valley’s signature hike is Mist Trail, despite it being the most treacherous hike in the world. Even though it’s only 1.5-miles, many trekkers have died trying to get to the top of Vernal Falls. At the top is a barrier preventing trekkers from continuing any further, but many people choose not to listen to the warning and end up plummeting to their death. Not only that, but many other parts of the lower trail are also dangerous, and the river is prone to flooding. Additionally, even though 15 deaths out of 4.3 million visitors per year doesn’t sound like a lot, all of the deaths were preventable(Adventure Sports Journal).
Mount Rainier recently earned the nickname “one of the most dangerous parks in the country.” Even though this trek seems appealing to adventurers and trekkers, it’s still one of the most treacherous hikes in the world. The state’s crown jewel is an active volcano with places to climb, trek, and admire what nature has to offer. The mountain itself reaches over 14,410 feet high, and earns its dangerous reputation because of the active volcano, unpredictable weather patterns, and shifting temperatures at the peak (Only In Your State).
Abuna Yemata, located in Ethiopia, was originally climbed by Father Abuna Yemata, barefoot and unsecured to any harness or rope. Just looking at it makes us feel nervous. Believers in Ethiopia climb this in order to feel closer to God. According to BBC, “a man named Father Abuna Yemata built the church in Ethiopia’s northern province of Tigray as early as the 6th century AD.” Ever since then, worshipers have attempted the treacherous climb to follow their belief (World Traveled).
The only hike located in Antarctica on this list is Shackleton. Stepping foot on Antarctica is an achievement within itself, so we’re not sure we’d want to go a step further and hike a dangerous trail on the continent! It’s one of the most treacherous in the world not only because of its location, but because of weather conditions and possibility of freezing temperatures, and trekkers suffering frost bite. The trail is over 3 miles long, and is home to incredible glaciers and other sights like Shackleton’s Waterfall and Crean Lake (Oceanwide Expeditions).
In Nepal, Mount Everest isn’t the only dangerous hike. The Snowman Trek is another hike that’s considered to be one of the most treacherous hikes in the world. It’s also known as being one of the toughest and most demanding hikes in the Himalayas, with elevations that reach up to 4,500 meters. It takes almost one month to complete, and the highest point of the trail reaches up to 5,345 meters. Trekkers are prone to getting altitude sickness and suffering from other various injuries. They must also sleep in a tent for the entire duration of the hike and walk through all sorts of weather conditions. Only 50 people a year attempt to walk the Snowman Trek, and it’s said that more people have climbed Everest than completed this trek (Jontynz).
The Chadar Trek, located in India, is one of the most treacherous treks in the entire country. It’s over 100-kilometers long, and grants trekkers with incredible sights that might come at a deadly cost. Extreme weather conditions and low temperatures, which reach as low as -25 degrees Celsius, is what makes this trek so dangerous. Trekkers must be fully equipped with appropriate trekking gear in order to safely complete this hike, and even then, it’s still not guaranteed that trekkers will be completely safe (Adventure Gears).
Located in Borneo, an island in Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu offers trekkers the ability to hike to the highest peak in Borneo. Despite the achievement on this UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s still one of the most treacherous hikes in the world. It has diverse flora and fauna and is a very difficult hike that requires a lot of skill from hikers, who must be in good shape. At the top, you can even climb a vertical wall while attached to a steel cable (Book A Trekking)
Another trek located in Nepal is The Annapurna Circuit. Even though it’s one of the most stunning hikes in the world, it’s also one of the most treacherous. Narrow trails alongside steep cliffs make it incredibly dangerous. The trail is also prone to landslides and avalanches, especially later in the day. The pass, located at 5,416 meters, is where trekkers might experience altitude sickness. Despite the toughness of the trail, the view of the Himalayas makes it an incredibly spectacular experience. If you do decide to attempt this trek, make sure you have plenty of gear and keep an eye on trail conditions (Intrepid Travel).
Central Asia is home to some of the most spectacular, undiscovered scenery in the world. If you want a unique experience and a trail all to yourself, you’ll find it in Central Asia. The Pamir Mountains has some of these trails, albeit some of the most treacherous ones in the world. You’ll be at the “Roof of the World” with some of the harshest conditions on planet Earth. Rapidly changing weather conditions makes it very dangerous. The mountains reach up to 7,000 meters high Trekkers may experience altitude sickness if they trek above 3,000 meters. These mountains are the third highest in the world, so trekkers beware of the dangers that come with high altitude trekking (ntripping).
Trekking an active volcano is on every adventurer’s bucket list. Even though Mount Rinjani looks appealing because of this, it’s still one of the most treacherous hikes in the word. It reaches up to 3,726 meters high and is the second highest volcano in Indonesia. It’s located on Lombok Island. Indonesia sits on the “Ring of Fire,” which means it’s home to numerous amounts of the world’s volcanoes. People love taking risks and playing with fire, but if you do decide to hike this trail, make sure you’re aware of the volcanic activity beforehand. Hiring a guide is also extremely recommended (The Athlete Blog)
Fansipan Mountain is notorious for its danger. In 2016, 22-year-old Adrian Webb was found dead on the mountain, at 2,800 meters, only a few hundred meters below the peak. There are several routes to the peak, but he attempted the most treacherous one. He attempted to climb a new route, which is one of the reasons this trail is so dangerous. Unfortunately, he’s not the only trekker that’s died on the mountain, a 20-year-old student from Hanoi also died when he went missing in a portion of the trail with precipitous cliffs (Two Birds Breaking Free).
The Tiger Leaping Gorge trek is in China and offers gorgeous views of vertical cliffs and a turquoise waterway, with a view of Snow Dragon Snow Mountain. It’s a captivating hike that’s caught the attention of trekkers for many intrepid travelers. It takes about three days to safely complete the hike. It’s recommended to not attempt to complete this trail alone, and to take as much time as you need to safely complete it (NOMADasaurus).
The final treacherous hike on this list is Lesotho’s Drakensberg Traverse, located in Africa. Trekkers leave from Johannesburg, South Africa, and drive through plains and low ridges in order to end up at the trailhead. The climb itself is straightforward, but the famous chain ladders at the final section of the climb makes it quite dangerous. Trekkers must be fully and completely aware of their footing, so they do not mistakenly miss one of the rigs and fall to their demise (Mountain Life Media).