most dangerous hiking trails in the world

15 “dangerous” hiking trails in the world (5 of them are in Spain!)

One of the aspects of hiking that we enjoy the most is overcoming challenges. Successfully traversing a particularly difficult trail leaves us with a sense of victory that increases our self-esteem and reaffirms that we are capable of overcoming any obstacle we face.

However, we should not take lightly some routes that have taken more than pride, the life of hikers unprepared for the challenge. From Walkaholic we show you 10 of these giants that are any hiker´s motivation and should be treated with the respect.

And, so that you do not have the excuse that you have to go far to challenge yourself, ¡we add 5 spanish dangerous routes!

The 10 most dangerous hiking trails in the world

1. Annapurna, Nepal

Senderismo Peligroso Annapurna España
Annapurna Campo Base

If we talk about difficult and prolonged climbs, this is one of the most fearsome. Conquer Annapurna involves a journey of at least 2 weeks, and 41% of those who have tried to overcome the challenge have died. Therefore, this mountain is considered the most lethal in the world.

We did the ascension to the Annapurna base camp and the Annapurna circuit in February 2016 (Annapurna is a range of peaks named Annapurna I, Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Gangapurna and Annapurna South). The Annapurna circuit, even when it doesn’t have the difficulty of climbing the Annapurna I or the other peaks, is a challenging journey and we recommend you to inform yourself before trying it.

2. Aokigahara, Japan

Senderismo en Aokigahara Bosque Suicida
Aokigahara/whc.unesco.org/

To travel the Aokigahara is to walk through the forest where more people have died in the world. Although it is dense, full of treacherous and slippery roots and rocks, this trail at the base of Mount Fuji is not particularly deadly. Its fame lies in the fact that this is the second favorite place in the world to commit suicide, which is why it is also known as the Suicide´s Forest.

3. Aonach Eagach Ridge, Scotland

Senderismo Escocia Aonach Eagach Ridge
Aonach Eagach/szepvilagunk.weebly.com

If you think “Scottish Highlands”, the Aonach Eagach is a classic. With only 6 kilometers, it is full of cuts and grass, technical climbing and a lot of danger if the weather goes sideways. However, after arriving at the Sgorr nam Fiannaidh (its final summit), descend is quite simple.

4. The labyrinth, USA

El Laberinto Utah senderismo peligroso EEUU
The labyrinth / elrincondeltrotamundos.com

In Utah’s Canyonlands National Park lays The Maze, a natural labyrinth of red rock, full of holes and pitches where it is very difficult to get orientated, in addition to frequent landslides and floods. Every year it accumulates many accidents, although there have been many efforts to trace safe routes.

5. Huayna Picchu, Peru

Huayna Picchu Escalera de la Muerta Senderismo
Huayna Picchu / boletomachupicchu.com

Getting to Machu Picchu is difficult, but following the trail to the Inca city of Huayna Picchu can be quite deadly. Full of landslides, precipices and slippery areas it is difficult to climb its 300-meter slope, but it’s worse to go down. For this reason, it has been renamed the “Hike of Death”.

6. Kalalau, Hawaii

Kalalau Senderismo Peligroso senderismo Hawai
Kalalau / honolulumagazine.com

Kalalau ,this circular trail of 35 kilometers in an almost virgin jungle seems paradisiacal, but it can become infernal in seconds. Flooded areas, rock falls, cliffs and crossing three large rivers impose challenges that have led to a large number of accidents.

7. Mist Trail, USA

Mist Trail estados unidos
Mist Trail /albertocabana.blogspot.com

This 20-kilometer route in the Half Dome of Yosemite in California has claimed more than 60 victims. It requires a very high technical level. Although it has metallic cables to help hikers, a good physical condition is needed, because if it rains the road becomes slippery, and there is a high risk of being struck by lightning.

8. Mount Hua Shan, China

Hua Shan Hiking Dangerous China
Mount Hua Shan / nipponcookery.blogspot.com

Called “The magnificent mountain”, Mount Hua Shan has two paths nicknamed “the path of the soldiers” and the “celestial stairs”, the latter with a thousand steps sculpted on an immense cliff. The reward for defeating the mountain is to delight yourself in the Tea House that crowns the summit, meditating on the greatness of its magnificent landscapes.

9. Kokoda Trail, Papua New Guinea

Dangerous Hiking Kokoda Papua New Guinea
Kokoda Trail, Papua New Guinea / viajestic.atresmedia.com

With 96 kilometers crossing the Owen Stanley Range, this trail was the stage of a great battle between Australians and Japanese in World War II. It can be overcome in 7 to 10 days and is full of dangers: areas of mud up to the ankles, unexpected waterfalls, slippery roots, extreme temperatures, abundant rainfall and the risk of malaria.

10. Crossing Drakensberg, South Africa

Hiking Drakensberg South Africa
Drakensberg Sudáfrica/filmeseriale.info

The highest mountain range in South Africa is formed by the Drakensberg Mountains, full of fern forests, steppes and waterfalls. With its 65 kilometers, it has claimed the lives of more than 50 people in recent years.

5 dangerous routes to enjoy in Spain

It really is not about dangerous routes, they are simply hiking routes that if they do not have the safety and adaptations they have today could be.

Routes with breathtaking views, mountain walls, river beds, tunnels, hanging bridges, are just some of the attractions that you can enjoy on these trails.

1. Caminito del Rey, Málaga

The King´s little road
The King´s little road / malaga.es

We have the honor of having one of the most dangerous trail in the world Caminito del Rey, and it is undoubtedly one of the greatest attractions in Spain.

It was built over Guadalhorce River and inaugurated in 1921 by King Alfonso XIII, it is a 7.7 km journey that can be done between four to five hours. With many sections in the walls of the Gaitanes gorge, less than a meter wide and sometimes without rails; it claimed the lives of many people in the 90s due to its deteriorating state.

Caminito del Rey was reopened to the public in 2015, and it averages about 300,000 visitors a year. Prepare the Caminito del Rey route and reserve your place here.

2. Route of the Cahorros de Monachil, Granada

Puppy route
Route of the Cahorros de Monachil

The Monachil river canyon offers the Cahorros Route , a very challenging climbing trail. Starting in the Monachil town, it goes to the river, full of vertical pits, stone steps and a 63-meters-high suspension bridge. The 9.5 kilometers of the trail can be covered in about four hours. It is called the puppy route because in many sections it is necessary to bend down.

3. Catwalk Montfalcó, La Noguera

Catwalk Montfalcó spain
Catwalk Montfalcó /clubrural.com

Connecting the uninhabited nucleus of Montfalcó with the La Masieta-Corçà stage of the GR-1 Historic Path, the Montfalcó Natural Path to the Congost de Mont-Rebei stands out for the spectacular nature of some stretches. The hiker must overcome the vertigo on his stairs perched upright, with a drop of 83 meters summarized in 291 steps. On the climb you can enjoy magnificent views of the Montsec mountain range, the reservoir and the footbridge itself.

4. The Xanas route, Asturias

the Xanas route
View of the Xanas route

Also called the Divine Gorge, the Xanas route is not suitable for those who suffer from vertigo. Even when its difficulty is average, the cliffs that you should overcome requires been especially careful. Its abundance of tunnels, precipices and high walls, that get to reach 80 meters over the river, transforms this route into a very attractive trail.

5. Fregeneda-Vega Terrón railway route, Salamanca

Railway route La Fregeneda-Vega Terrón hiking dangerous spain
Fregeneda-Vega Terrón railway route / dipsanet.es

Like many railway routes, this 77-kilometer stretch linking Salamanca to Portugal was suppressed by Renfe in 1985. Active since 1887, after its retirement it has become a delight for hikers, who can enjoy this engineering marvel that has 20 tunnels and 13 bridges. The last 17 kilometers, from Fregeneda to the Vega Terrón dock, are suitable only for expert hikers, because of the risk imposed by the deteriorated road.

Have you travel any of these dangerous routes? Which one drives you more? Tell us about your experience or concerns about the most dangerous routes in Spain and the world.

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