There is no other thrill like that of an exhilarating hiking trip. The adventurous activity involves minimal equipment and a thirst for exploring the treacherous terrains to get the adrenaline flowing.
Sometimes, the best hikes are in extreme places; nonetheless, the hike enthusiasts do not waver in the face of adversity and take up the challenge. Here are five of the most dangerous hiking trails in the world, which offer a healthy dose of fear and thrill to hiking lovers.
Huayna Picchu, Peru
It is well established that the trek to Peru’s Machu Picchu is challenging and rewarding. The Huayna Picchu trek leads to a wonderful location overlooking the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, which is considered to be the most dangerous. Known as the “Hike of Death,” the climb of over 850 feet straight up can leave even the expert hikers gasping for air. Besides, rain and low-hanging clouds make this trail much more difficult. The trail loops around the very top of the mountain, offering architectural remnants of altars, narrow staircases, tunnels and terraces of the ancient civilization.
El Caminito del Rey, Spain
Constructed in 1905, this infamous trail in Spain was originally built to allow hydroelectric power plant workers access between Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls in Spain. Also known as the “King’s Little Pathway,” the trail had fallen into disrepair and was partially closed for over a decade. In 2015, it reopened after four years of extensive preservations and renovations. It consists of a narrow walkway pinned to the walls of a steep and constricted gorge, offering thrilling heights and spectacular views.
Mount Hua, China
A spiritual destination for centuries, the hike to Mount Hua has been called one of the most perilous hikes in the world. The trail begins at the base of the mountain on the Heavenly Stairs, a massive stone stairway sliced into the mountainside. While the seemingly endless stairs are difficult to navigate through, the real ordeal is presented by the plank path to the peak. There is an adventure and risk in walking the unstable wooden planks, with merely a chain bolted to the rock above the path to steady yourself. However, the local government has opened new tracks and created one-way routes on some of the most dangerous parts to ensure the safety of the hikers.
Angels Landing, Utah
Angels Landing in Utah’s Zion National Park is a short hike that attracts a lot of people. The trail starts with a constricted sandstone ridge with steep drop-offs that leads from Scout Lookout to the summit. This part is the most treacherous of the climb. During the final ascent is a sharp stone staircase. Even though the route is secured with fixed chains that act as a handrail, it is only a few feet wide in places, with huge descents on both sides.
Via Ferrata, Italy and Austria
Via Ferrata, Italian for “iron path,” is a very difficult hike in the Dolomites mountain range. It was heavily used during World War I to move troops through the mountainous regions of Italy and Austria. It is a great and adrenaline-filled path to enjoy the sheer beauty of the Dolomites, providing newer and more accessible ways allowing tourists to explore walkways and suspension bridges while tethered to steel cables.