The Most Dangerous Treks In The World

The Most Dangerous Treks in the World

For decades, climbers have been succeeding and failing while attempting to trek up these dangerous mountains. Extreme conditions such as deadly winds, high altitudes and hot/cold weather have caused serious health complications.

Some of the most dangerous treks include narrow pathways, slippery steps and vertical climbs. While on others, you may encounter severe weather conditions such as lightening and rain storms.

*Related: How Many Bodies Are Still Out on Everest?

If you are an adventure seeker who is not afraid of heights, these dangerous treks may be tempting to you.

El Caminito del Rey, Spain

[Related: 11 Reasons Why Spain Should Be Your Next Adventure Destination] This trail is approximately 3 feet, 3 inches wide and rises more than 350 feet above a river – it's no wonder it is one of the most dangerous. It's a short hike, without handrails, on a very narrow pathway. According to The Guardian, five people have died in the gorge in 1999 and 2000; this resulted in the walkway's closure.

Maroon Bells, Colorado

Maroon Bells, also known as the "deadly bells," is a gorgeous yet, extremely dangerous trek. It got its name when eight people died in five separate accidents in 1965. Even expert climbers take their time because of the dangers here. There are tight spots and weak rocks that tend to break away unexpectedly.

The Maze, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

You better have a good memory for this trek – the interconnecting canyons all seem to look the same, which makes this hike one of the most difficult. You will hike along dry washes beneath high cliffs and you're often denied a vantage point from which to scout landmarks, according to backpacker.

Huayna Picchu Trail, Peru

Located by the mythical Machu Picchu is this dangerous trek. The trail circles around the top of the mountain; it's a very steep hike and it takes a few casualties each year. "The Stairs of Death" is said to be the most dangerous part of the trail. They are almost completely vertical and can get slippery, especially in the morning.

Cerro Torre, Argentina

Located in Patagonia is this insane climb. Although Cerro Torre is tall, climbers have said that its height is not what makes it difficult – it's the extreme weather conditions. The 7,000-foot south face is said to have the worst weather, says, "often the top of Cerro Torre is covered in a crown of rim ice and some climbers have been known to call it a day just below this crown because of the difficulty of climbing the often over hanging ice." 

Barr Trail, Pikes Peak, Colorado

This is another trek that is dangerous due to its extreme weather conditions. It's approximately 13 miles long and is located in the Pike National Forest. Hikers often find themselves trapped due to lightning. Backpacker says: "Don't wait to see lightning before retreating: The storm's first flash can prove fatal, so descend as soon as you see clouds thickening and darkening."

Annapurna, Nepal

The height of this mountain is approximately 26,545 feet. 183 climbers have attempted to climb this mountain, 61 climbers died trying. Annapurna has the highest fatality rate in the world. According to Adventure Journal, "the first 8,000-meter peak to go down is also arguably the worst." In October 2014, 39 people were killed because of snowstorms and avalanches.

Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon, Arizona

[Related: How Many People Die in the Grand Canyon and is it Becoming Too Dangerous?] This trek offers some of the most spectacular views; however, in order to experience them, you must take caution. It reaches 4,380 feet in altitude and the weather is said to get extremely hot. This combination can lead to health dangers such as dehydration and heat exhaustion. Fox News reported that rangers at the Grand Canyon perform more rescues than at any other park; this includes 300 helicopter rescues a year.

Mount Hua Shan, Shaanxi, China

This mountain has five peaks, but the most dangerous is the Plankwalk. It has been said that there are approximately 100 causalities per year. There are very steep drops, vertical passes up and narrow stairs. It is also a two-way trail which calls for extreme dangers because you may be required to pass on the outside of other climbers at times.

Siula Grande, Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru

This is one of the most famous peaks in the world; however, it is extremely difficult to climb. It consists of sheer granite faces and is said to be a very technical climb. Extreme weather conditions have forced climbers to repel back down the face. Siula Grande has claimed the lives of dozens of climbers.

K2, Gilgit-Balistan, Pakistan

This mountain is about 28,251 feet high – making it the second tallest mountain on the planet. It is also called Chogori or the Savage Mountain. First you drive to the mountain, which, according to experts, is extremely dangerous, and then you endure an 8-day hike. K2 has approximately 300 successful summits and 80 fatalities. It has never been attempted to climb during the winter.

Amarnath, Kashmir, India

Hindus of various physical abilities embark on this steep climb. It is known as a sacred mountain and has a cave that reaches an elevation of approximately 12,470 feet – Amarnath cave. Many individuals have trouble handling the lack of oxygen and suffer due to the change in altitude. There were approximately 130 fatalities in 2012.

Drakensberg Traverse, South Africa

This is the highest mountain range in South Africa. It is a hazardous hike across the Drakensberg mountain range. Dangerous lightning storms are common. According to Australian Geographic, 55 hiker deaths were recorded in the period before 1985, mostly from exposure and falls.

Kalalau, Hawaii

[Related: The Top 6 Adventure Sports in Hawaii] This is one of the most beautiful treks in the world, but also a very dangerous one. Rocks have a tendency to fall from the cliffs and hit hikers,and the trail is very narrow and slippery with sheer cliffs. Hikers have died falling over the edge and drowning during flash flooding. Over 100 people have died while swimming on the trails beaches.

Mount Washington, New Hampshire

The extreme weather on this mountain is what makes it dangerous to hikers. According to, trees stop growing on the White Mountains at about 4,400 feet – due to the weather conditions. This leaves hikers totally exposed to about a mile of hiking before reaching the summit. Research concluded that about 26 people died in the last quarter century from falls and exposure to brutal wind and cold temperatures. More than 100 lives have been claimed on this mountain.

Via Ferrata, Italy and Austria

Sheer faces and tall ledges are some of the many things you have to look out for while trekking up the "iron paths" of the Dolomites in Italy. People have died on routes of all difficulty levels, some due to slipping and others due to gear failure. An individual died in 2012 because the elastic lanyards on the energy-absorbing systems failed.