America’s 10 Most Dangerous Trails

Have you ever wanted a bit more of an adrenaline rush out of your hikes? Does just walking along at a relaxed pace, soaking in nature, seem a bit too sedate for you? Then you’re in luck, because Backpacker has the perfect list for you. It’s their Top 10 Most Dangerous Hikes in the U.S.

These treks are spread out across the country from New Hampshire to Hawaii, with a little something for everyone. The article breaks down what you should be on the look out for when setting out on one of these beauties, and gives you a plan of action for how to survive on the trail and not fall victim to the dangers.

Amongst the trails on the list are The Maze, located in Canyonlands National Park in Utah. The Maze has yet to claim a single life, but true to it’s name, the labyrinth of canyons can confuse and confound anyone who isn’t use to navigating accurately. The trail sees less than 2000 visitors a year, making it a quiet and lonely place at times too.

The iconic Bright Angel Trail at the Grand Canyon in Arizona also gets a nod, but for completely different reasons. This trail is a physically demanding hike that often combines with hot weather, resulting in regular rescue calls throughout the year.

Other trails include Mt. Washington in New Hampshire and Mist Trail at Half Dome in Yosemite, amongst others.

Despite the salacious title, most of these trails aren’t all that dangerous to the experienced hiker who know that they should go out well prepared and in good physical condition, and remain aware of their surroundings. Then again, even the most experienced and prepared hikers and climbers can be caught unaware at times. Reading the “Survival Plan” for any of the hikes on the list will probably provide useful tips to consider on any number of other trails as well.

Kraig Becker

3 thoughts on “America’s 10 Most Dangerous Trails”

  1. The Maze ranks as the riskiest hike on this list–yet it’s claimed no lives so far. Plan trips for spring, when temps are lower and a few potholes may hold water. Practice off-trail canyon travel elsewhere. And chart your route with GPS, but carry maps.
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  2. I can see why many of these are listed here; the Maze in particular has potential for such risks.
    Having had my share of epics out there, I have started my own list of those that have shook me up some… 🙂

  3. If you hit enough trails in enough different situations, and you’re bound to get shook up from time to time. This is an interesting list, and there are some BIG trails on there, but a misstep or going out unprepared, on any decent local trail can lead to problems as well.

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