Outside magazine. They have compiled their selection of the 20 most dangerous hikes in the world, giving us a taste of just how dangerous hiking can be when you throw in extreme conditions, dangerous wildlife, and trails that are literally falling apart around you. This list isn't meant for those who enjoy walking the nature trail in their local park. These trails are for the truly adventurous who enjoy a bit of a challenge while they're in the wilderness.
Make no mistake, there are some truly spectacular hikes on this list. Many offer sweeping views or access to some of the truly great wilderness areas on our planet. But, as the name implies, they also offer some unique dangers as well. Those dangers come in a variety of forms that are sometimes unexpected. Take for example, the Huayna Picchu route in Peru, a trail that goes beyond Machu Picchu and up a 1000 feet of ancient stairs that the Inca carved out of stone. Those stairs are slippery, in need of repair, and shrouded in mist. Many people who set out on the hike, have no idea how dangerous it is, and often aren't wearing the proper boots, or carrying enough water.
Other outstanding – yet dangerous – trails include the Maze in Utah, which consists of a series of twisting canyons that are easy to get lost in, and Mount Hua Shan in China, which is infamous for its wooden platforms precariously bolted to the vertical cliffs of the sacred mountain. Other trails that make the list include the amazing Drakensberg Traverse in South Africa, Kalalau in Hawaii, and El Caminito del Rey, in Spain, which I recently shared on this blog in video form.
The list offers trails that can be found in just about every corner of the globe, although the U.S. is heavily represented. The Outside authors offer advice on the things that make each of these routes dangerous, and what we should be aware of before setting out. Of course, further research is highly recommended, but this makes for an interesting read none the less.