The Best Hiking Trails in the World That Are a Must on Your Bucket List
If you’re looking for a life of adventure, chances are hiking would be a good hobby for you. If you're already a hiker, maybe you’re looking for more thrilling experiences than your local trails. If you're interested in challenging your survival skills, then here are five of the best hiking trails in the world that are a must for your bucket list.
However, do be careful and stay sharp, as according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hiking is the third leading cause of injuries in terms of outdoor recreational activities.
- Bright Angel Trail in Arizona: The sheer beauty of the Bright Angel Trail in Arizona makes it any hiker's dream destination, but it's just as dangerous. Hiking unprepared has led others to be extremely exhausted and dehydrated as they may not have brought enough water, they start too late, or they don’t get enough rest prior to the hike. In fact, the Bright Angel Trail has become such a risk to the unprepared that the National Park Service has a rescue crew on standby. This is because the hiking trail can reach temperatures of up to 110 degrees.
- The Maze in Utah's Canyonlands: If mazes are your thing, then the Canyonlands National Park's Maze is the test of survival for you. The labyrinthine trail has attracted hikers worldwide for its difficulty level, but it's also twice as deadly due to dangerous rockfalls and flash floods. If you're attempting to conquer this trail, be sure to maintain constant communication with your peers. If you get lost on the trail in the event of an unforeseen weather condition, your life may be at risk.
- Mount Hua Shan in China: Some pilgrims take a spiritual journey to vast lands to reflect on their spirituality. Others go to the temples at the summit of Mount Hua Shan. The mountainous trail has numerous iron chains, vertical stairways, and plank trails to support hikers. At some point, however, the supports disappear and hikers have to rely on small divots that are located in the rocks. Your instincts and your senses will be put to the test, as you'll have to make it through with thick fog blocking your path. Make sure you study the path well.
- El Caminito del Rey in Spain: If you're up for a trip to the past, then El Caminito del Rey is the hike for you. The trail, which is over a century old, is built on a steel path designed for workers to reach a hydroelectric power plant. Imagine being one of the workers that were required to cross this narrow ridge every day. Be wary of every step, as while the path is made of steel, harsh winds and distractions can spell your doom. Take time to know the area and ask locals just what equipment to bring to keep yourself safe.
- Angel's Landing in Utah: If narrow and steep paths are your thing, then Utah's Angel's Landing is for you. The hike, while short, has been a must-do experience for hikers due to its challenge. The hike begins with a narrow sandstone ridge surrounded with steep drop-offs, which foreshadows the rest of the tricky hike. In fact, the path to the final ascent is just a stone staircase narrow enough for a person. Be careful when crossing the last portion of the hike, as more than five people have actually lost their lives by falling to their deaths.
A knack for a challenge, sharp instincts, and a sense of survival are three of the best traits a hiker can possess. Those characteristics can make any hiking experience a fruitful one. Up the ante with the challenging trails above, especially if you want your survival skills to be tested. After all, if it's you versus the wilderness, you've got to know what to do to make it out alive. If you're in the mood for sharing your experiences, perhaps making a hiking blog can also inspire others to take up hiking as a hobby.
Ray Jennings is a former steel mill worker who currently writes about work safety at Comfort Work Boots. He also shares his passion about hiking that can be useful to his readers.