14 Dangerous Hikes In The U.S.

When does reaching summit become more important than your life? For many hikers, the higher the risk, the higher the reward and defying death becomes a highlight of life. The accomplishment of achieving this goal can be an incredible high, but to survive your trek, the best thing to remember, is that there is no rush. [slideshow:977]

Many of these dangerous hikes are frequently completed successfully, and if you are a seasoned and fit hiker, there is no reason that you can't finish the higher difficulty trail. The majority of accidents and fatalities occur when people make poor decisions and ignore their prior hiking knowledge as a result of summit fever.

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Summit fever occurs when a climber or hiker is so desperate to reach the top that they ignore their physical state or surroundings. Many deaths on these intimidating trails occur from dehydration or fatigue. Hiking trails range in difficulty, lengths and elevations, but weather and climate conditions can make a seemingly easy hike life-threatening, too. Ignoring these weather conditions or your physical state leads to seriously harmful outcomes.

The National Park Service insists you pack your backpacks accordingly depending on the nature of your hike. They provide detailed lists and maps for each trail to better prepare you for your hike. And always check trail conditions and weather forecasts in preparation. Flash floods and slippery conditions are a common factor in the fatalities of hikers at many of these trails.

Not only is weather a threatening factor, but also wildlife. If you plan on going on one of these 14 dangerous hikes, research, research, research. There is no such thing as being over prepared when you could potentially be put in a life or death situation.

Don't let the accidents scare you away. From Yosemite to the Catskills, there are numerous hikes in the U.S. that you won't want to miss. While definitely dangerous, these 14 hikes produce some of the most amazing and rewarding views in the world that you will never forget