Turn Up The Heat With These Active Volcano Hikes

Hiking can be a calming, therapeutic adventure. But for some, hiking and climbing is about the thrill, reaching new and death-defying heights that make life more exciting. And with all the outdoors has to offer, there is plenty opportunity to test your limits. [slideshow:1127]

Previously, we discussed the most dangerous hikes that take many lives and require practiced survival skills to complete. The difficult trails require a fit body and mind to complete. But, what if you could feel dangerous and hike a bit easier? Well, Mother Nature has you covered. A booming, hazardous volcano is just the ticket. Sounds crazy right? But actually, many active volcanoes are very safe to climb. Visitors flock from all ends of the world to see the deep craters, colorful fires, steaming ash, and hot lava.

The trick is to know the dangers a volcano poses. Many active sites are closed off to the public, or have designated areas for crater viewing. The regularly active volcanoes are monitored and scientists attempt to predict future explosions. With many tragedies in the past, modern science hopes to keep tabs on the activity happening at the planet's crust, but, some eruptions still can come as a surprise. So while some of these summits are easy to reach, the danger posed by climbing an active volcano is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Mount Agung, Indonesia

Mount Agung last erupted in 1963, devastating numerous villages and killing over a thousand people. Today the large, very deep crater occasionally spouts smoke and ash and is often visited by hikers. There are two routes up the mountain and the volcano can be climbed fairly easily without any ropes.

Cotopaxi, Ecuador

The sight of the wide crater atop Cotopaxi is well worth the trek, though eruptions still pose a high risk. Hundreds of climbers attempt to reach the difficult summit each week and are required to use crampons and ice axes among the icy snow.

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