If you’re ever feeling like your local hikes aren’t cutting it the same way anymore, maybe you should try out something a bit more challenging. These trails are some of the most dangerous hikes in America! Be ready to carry a lot of water and supplies if you want to make it through the hike’s entirety!
7 Most Dangerous Hikes in America
1. Mist Trail, Half Dome, California
This treacherous hike can be found in Yosemite National Park. After the initial seven-mile trail, there is a final vertical climb of 400 feet up the rock to get to the dome’s crown. The Half dome has steel cables in the granite to aid climbers in the hike to stand on top of the Half Dome’s crown. Aside from the vertical climb, the dangers of this trail increase during electrical storms and after a rainy day. If you get caught in the storm, you’re likely to get electrocuted because of the steel cables and the height. After the rain, the rock is extremely slippery and increases the danger. There are over 200 incidents each year on this beautifully dangerous hike.
2. Barr Trail, Colorado
The Barr Trail in Colorado is “shockingly” dangerous. The pikes peak is 14,115 feet high and perfect for electrocution. The path is over 13 miles one way and leaves hikers with no shelter from the electricity shock they mat endure. This hike is no joke!
3. Devil’s Path Hiking Trail, New York
Devil’s Path is located at the border of Greene and Ulster countries and was named by an early Dutch settler who saw the rugged and dangerous peaks and stated that only the devil could live there.
At first, the path may seem easy. You may even find yourself questioning if you’re on the correct trail! Don’t be fooled, Devil’s Path Hiking Trail has an elevation of 14,000 feet and 5 peaks that are well over 3,300 feet. The amazing views may just be worth the difficult climbing and water that you must get through. Devil’s Path is known as the most dangerous hiking trail in the East of the United States if not the entire country.
You can expect fast rushing water, slippery rocks, and steep slabs of climbing. The hike can be made in its totality within three days, but sections of the trail are available for day trips. This trail is open year-round so you can experience the terrain in any weather.
4. Maroon Bells South Ride, Colorado
The Maroon Bells Traverse is beautiful, especially during autumn. Its captivating beauty might distract you from the difficult hike. It is recommended that only those with alpine experience take a crack at these.
The South Maroon peak is known for being less dangerous but still stands at 14,156 feet above sea level. It is a class 3 route and offers a path of least resistance in comparison to its monstrous sister.
The 14,014-foot North Maroon Peak is the epitome of the Napoleon Complex. Although it is smaller, it’s a weather-beaten path and can be much more dangerous than its sister. Moving swiftly and sure footed may just save your life!
If you choose to move through the summit of these two peaks and enjoy their beauty from a lower elevation, beware of the falling rock!
5. The Maze, Utah
The Maze is notorious for being Utah’s most dangerous hike and the most remote. For starters, you’ll need a permit to hike this treacherous path. To reach the maze district, you’ll have to travel for 46 miles before you reach the ranger station. From there, you’re looking at another drive that will run you 4-6 hours before you reach the terrain. Because you’re far away from civilization, you must be self sufficient and carry extra gas. You won’t find an Exxon Mobile over here!
The Maze is certainly not a day hike; most hikers spend 3-7 days hiking minimum. Water is not readily available so you must bring plenty of it, plus food and anything else you would need on a camp trip.
One of the most pressing dangers is getting lost or falling off the trail. GPS is not your best friend because it is so remote and secluded. Carry a compass, a map, and your confidence to make it back safely. Due to the remoteness, you may not be able to get help for an extremely long time.
Travel in a group and be careful in the summer heat where the temperature can reach well over 100 degrees.
6. Buckskin Gulch, Utah
Buckskin Gulch, Utah is a deep slot canyon in the southwest and will captivate you with its narrow walls. The slots are roughly 10 feet wide and it is 400 feet deep. It is, however, subject to flash floods as it drains a huge watershed.
The neatly carved slots are as smooth as butter and makes it the perfect place for large amounts of water to rush through. Water can reach 20 feet deep within minutes of flooding. If you hear water rushing down, try to find a ledge and scramble out. If you’re unable to find anything to hold on to, ride the water down and out. Hopefully if you’re lucky you’ll be able to survive.
7. Cactus to Clouds, Palm Springs, California
Cactus to Clouds sounds like a cute and fluffy trail that you would take your dog or kids on for a quick stroll. It may sound cute but please do some research before you decide to head out here and try the hike yourself!
The hike starts behind the Palm Spring art museum at an elevation of 500 feet. The route then continues to the San Jacinto mountains and the skyline trail begins. In roughly 10 miles, you’ll climb 8,000 feet before you reach the Palm Spring Aerial Tramway. From here you can call it quits and take the tram back to the beginning… or you can go for another 5.5 miles to reach the Peak.
The desert heat makes all of this very difficult, so most people start out around 4 AM!