Gain rarely comes without pain, and higher rewards often imply higher risks. Hiking is no exception from these rules, as some of the most cherished views lie at the end of the most intimidating trails. Luckily for travelers who love to have their nerves tickled, the United States offers plenty of scary hikes.
From unexpected floods to extreme temperatures, avalanches, and wild animals, Mother Nature spares no effort to make explorers work for her most precious gems. Unhindered by her warnings, thousands of travelers depart on some of the most strenuous hikes in America in search of adventures and adrenaline. Sadly, not all of them come back.
Some 35 people a year die hiking, according to the National Park Service (NPS), and almost 1,000 get injured. While unfortunate incidents can happen almost anywhere, embarking on certain trips without proper knowledge and preparation is simply asking for trouble.
These are the most dangerous US hikes, which will take your breath away, thanks to both the stunning views and the hazards hidden along the way.
Washington’s Mount Rainier Is One of the Deadliest Hikes in the World
Rising 14,000 feet above sea level, the risks associated with this climb are as high as the peak. Not only is it an active volcano, it is also notorious for its unpredictable and unstable weather, with temperatures known to drop from balmy to freezing within an hour or two. Storms are frequent guests in this area, often accompanied by snow, fog, and 70-mph winds.
Avalanches, hypothermia, falling rocks, falling OFF the rocks, drowning… Mount Rainier offers all manner of possibilities for danger and death. Over the years, it has taken the lives of over 400 people, earning itself a reputation as one of the deadliest hiking spots on the planet.
If you attempt this trip, do not be deceived by the summer weather and make sure to check the forecast and bring along warm clothes. Two feet of snow in July might seem improbable to you, but the weather gods often disagree when it comes to Rainier.