Hiking is a popular activity in our parks, and trailsâlong and short, easy to arduousâprovide almost unlimited opportunities for us to stretch our legs or challenge our abilities. Whether a hike on a particular trail seems "scary" is a pretty subjective question, since our tolerance for steep drop-offs, uncertain footing or other factors varies widely from person to person.
Over the years, articles in the Traveler have discussed the question of risks and reported on occasional incidents on some popular trails, such as Angel's Landing in Zion National Park and the Half Dome Cables at Yosemite National Park.
Trails for the "What am I doing here?" list
So,if you were asked by a friend which trails in any national park he might want to avoid if he wasn't fond of routes which rank highest on the "seriously sweaty palms" or "What in the world am doing here?" scale, which ones would you put on the list?
We'll open this question up to park hiking routes anywhere in the world.
For the sake of this discussion, let's limit suggestions to designated trails in parks, and exclude off-trail travel and technical climbing.
The World's "Most Dangerous Hiking Trail"?
I'll make one exception to the above criteria, just for the sake of perspective. I don't know that it's located in a national park, but parts of the Huashan Trail in China are so outlandish this route would probably fail to pass muster as an official hiking route in many other countries in the world!
If you think the trip up the cable route at Half Dome is scary, take a peek at some images from what's sometimes called "The World's Most Dangerous Hiking Trail."
By the way, there's absolutely no disgrace in deciding any trail is outside your comfort zone. It's a wise hiker who knows his or her limits when it comes to the white-knuckle test.