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).