Hiking sounds challenging for novice adventurers, but for mountaineers and trail runners, it is the weakest form of outdoor sports. The thrill of it all, the adrenaline, the sense of satisfaction, and being able to see spectacular views that only a few souls are able to see are why these adventurers continue to embark on these dangerous journeys.

But the difference is an adventure to America’s greatest heights is not for the faint-hearted. At the end of these hikes are great risks, and only the bravest can tackle these intimidating trails that the U.S. has to offer. Narrow trails, cliff sheers, extreme weather conditions, deadly water currents, and wild animal encounters sum up the possible experiences that one of these trails possesses.

That is why these notorious hikes are definitely not for novice hikers. Here is the list of the most dangerous hikes in the U.S.


More Dangerous Hikes In The United States

While it's possible to walk away from the most dangerous hike in the United States safe and sound, people have to know how to take the correct precautions for such an outcome. This list was updated to include more dangerous hikes in the United States, such as the Capitol Peak via the Knife Edge in Colorado and Huckleberry Trail in Glacier National Park.

11 Mist Trail, Yosemite National Park, California

Standing at 4,000 feet (1,200 meters), Mist Trail is the signature hike at Yosemite National Park in California. It comprises two spectacular falls, Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls, which are 900 feet tall combined. Hiking time runs between two to five hours, depending on how far a hiker goes. At the top is the striking view of Nevada Falls, the Liberty Cap, and the back of Half Dome from Muir Trail.

As one of the more dangerous hikes in the country, hikers should prepare for the danger it promises. It is not the cliffs or the waterfalls that cause deaths; it’s the river current. It might look less dangerous, but it has caused hikers to slip through its current and be swept into a deadly stream.

RELATED:The Ultimate Guide To Hiking In Yosemite National Park

10 Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Bright Angel Trail has an elevation of 6,850 feet with a depth of 4,350 feet. Despite available water stations along the way, there are still around 250 people being rescued from the Canyon every year. With its many destination points, being guided by bodies of water, it is dangerous for hikers. Moreover, this trail is not advisable for a one-day trek; some people camp out at the peak and head down the next day to avoid accidents.

Wild animals can be encountered along the way as well, so it is important to learn some safety precautions before heading on the hike to avoid human and animal injuries.

9 Camp Muir Snowfield, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Muir Snowfield requires tedious preparation before hiking. With its rapidly changing weather and challenging vertical climb, this trail is very dangerous. With an elevation of 2,800 vertical feet, hikers should pay attention to warnings and cautions along the way. Anyone who plans to visit this trail should prepare food, water, and equipment for an ice trek.

With an altitude as high as this hike, many accidents have happened, even during summer. Mountaineers have died and frozen trying to reach the summit. But those who make it to the top get to enjoy the view of Mt. Rainier, the glaciers, and the tall seracs.

8 Mt. Washington Trail Peak, New Hampshire

Mt. Washington is the highest mountain on the northeastern side of the country. It is a 12-mile trek that stands with an elevation of over 6,288 feet, making it one of the most dangerous hikes in the U.S. It is popular for its weather extremities, with the highest wind recorded at 231 miles per hour.

Despite the risks of weather conditions, it is still one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state. This challenge requires splendid workouts and physical training to avoid any injuries along the way.

7 Barr Trail, Manitou Springs, Colorado

This hike is also known as Pikes Peak and is one of the most difficult hikes in the region. Just like Mt. Washington, this trail is a 12-mile trek to the top that can take from six to ten hours, depending on how experienced a hiker is. With an elevation of over 7500 feet, it is definitely not an easy peak to trek. However, a breathtaking view of Manitou Springs and Pikes Peak makes the hassle worth it.

6 Angel’s Landing, Zion National Park, Utah

With an average of two deaths every year, Angel’s Landing is one of the more dangerous hikes in Zion National Park. This challenging hike is 1000 feet with narrow trails in some areas. Hence, it has bolted chains that serve as handholds for hikers. Even with the safety measures, it's still nerve-wracking looking at its sheer cliffs. But at the peak of this trail is a magnificent view and a chance for hikers to dangle their feet over the cliffs, which is an exhilarating reward for those who dared to hike Angel’s Landing.

RELATED:Angel's Landing Isn't The Most Dangerous Hike In The World, But It Is In The U.S.

5 Devil’s Path, Catskill Mountains, New York

The Devil’s Path in Catskills, New York, is the most underrated hike in the country, including Catskill’s seven peaks; combined, it has a grueling height of 14,000 feet. With such a dangerous trek, a 25-mile gorgeous sight awaits at the top. Its steep and vertical climbs cause regular accidents and rescues every year.

RELATED:Devil's Path: What To Know Before Hiking The Most Difficult Hike In The Catskills

4 Abrams Falls, Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

This 5-mile trek is one of the shortest hikes out of all the dangerous hikes in the country. It has an approximate 1,800 feet of elevation with a very deadly water current. More than the risky trail, the Abrams is a historic fall named after the Cherokee Indian Chief Oskuah, who changed his name.

The top of the Abrams Falls trail offers many scenic views, including the spectacular Great Smoky Mountains.

3 Maroon Bells South Ridge, White River National Forest, Colorado

At the peak of this 14,000-foot hike is a stunning view of the Rocky Mountains, White River, and Maroon Lake. Because of its distinctive colors, many hikers do not miss trekking the area to get a photo of its fall colors aspen trees.

For a more enjoyable hike, hikers can bring their dogs, but they must be kept on a leash to prevent possible accidents.

2 Capitol Peak Via The Knife Edge, Colorado

Near Aspen, in the Elk Range, Capitol Peak is a classic mountain dominating the horizon. However, it's also one of the most dangerous and most exposed peaks in the United States. For instance, the Elk Range has the most challenging, highest, and most charming mountains in Colorado. The sharp blade of granite rock that is 150-foot long is the Knife Ridge, the most infamous section of the Capitol Peak hike. It also has a drop-off of over 1000 feet on both sides and is not for the inexperienced or the faint of heart. The hike is 17 miles round-trip from the Capitol Creek Trailhead. It has 5,300 feet of elevation gain. Many people try to complete the hike in two days. While it's possible to do so, they will need to have climbing, hiking, and scrambling experience to safely achieve their objective.

1 Huckleberry Trail, Glacier National Park

Backpackers have to take precautions to stay safe in Glacier National Park since it has the highest grizzly bear population density in the Lower 48. This includes Huckleberry Mountain, which has a thriving grizzly habitat. During peak berry season, the National Park Service closes the Huckleberry Trails to protect tourists from the bears that come to munch on the fruits that grow on the slopes of the peak. This is why people who want to hike the Huckleberry Trail in Glacier National Park will need to pack bear spray. They will also have to avoid staying near food sources and always be aware of any bear presence.

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