The 5 Scariest Hikes in the World

Is it still considered a 'hike' if people routinely die?

By Diane Rommel

 
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29 March 2017

Everybody knows that Everest is dangerous. So, too, though, are many less vertical — and, at least on paper, non-technical — peaks. Below, five of the most dangerous hiking paths in the world, from the merely challenging (like the Drakensberg Traverse, in South Africa's highest mountain range) to the downright ridiculous (we're going to take a pass on Mount Huashan — but if you want to see what a no-hands approach looks like, see the video below.) 

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Caminito del Rey, Spain
Nearly a half-dozen people died climbing along the Caminito del Rey before the renovation of the three-foot-wide walkway, which reopened to the public in 2015. The path is now stable — but the 300-foot drop down the gorge wall remains. It's now accessible by reservation only

Huayna Picchu, Peru
To see the ruins of Macchu Picchu from above, you'll want to climb a final 1,000 feet to the summit of Huayna Picchu — but it's near-vertical in places, crumbling, massively exposed, and — worst — slippery, which is why the trek is closed during the entirety of the rainy season. 

Mount Huashan, China
A.K.A. "the Number One Precipitous Mountain Under Heaven," Mount Huashan, near Xian, involves a "cliffside path" of boardwalk, handhold, and little else. Hikers can clip in with a safety harness — or, you know, can also decide not to. (See video above.) It's rumored that 100 people die each year trying to summit this, one of the "Five Great Mountains of China." 

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West Coast Trail, Canada
Bears, cougars, cold, wolves, rain, hypothermia and — most dangerous and silent of all — slippery rocks and logs, on this 47-mile trail along British Columbia's Vancouver Island. 

Drakensberg Traverse, South Africa
Maybe you'll die from cold. Maybe you'll just be robbed. The Drakensberg Traverse in South Africa's Natal National Park, which runs along the border between S.A. and Lesotho, is mind-blowingly gorgeous — and has reportedly claimed dozens of lives over the past century.

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