There are plenty of perilous and dangerous hiking trails around the world, and some people live to seek out, conquer and survive these hikes. These kinds of people are the same ones who live off the thrill that comes with scaling a mountain cliff without ropes, running across glaciers and crossing deserts. Perhaps it’s the adventure, perhaps it’s the challenge – or perhaps it’s that feeling of being alive that, ironically, comes with putting your life at risk.
Let’s take a look at 12 of the most extreme hiking routes in the world, the ones that will make your heart race, adrenaline flow and sweat pour.
Drakensberg Traverse, South Africa
The Drakensberg Traverse is a 65-kilometre trail through Natal National Park in South Africa. It takes in some of the most unsheltered alpine landscapes in the world. The first couple of kilometres lead up to the ridge along chain ladders, ancient cattle trails and rocky stairways. In addition to offering superb views, the Drakensberg Traverse also takes a life almost every year.
El Caminito del Rey, Spain
El Caminito del Rey is arguably one of the most famous dangerous hikes in the world. It’s not longer than three kilometres, but because it is a steel and concrete path that hangs on a sheer vertical cliff, it attracts only adventure-minded hikers. People who are afraid of heights don’t belong there.