For some, that means a laid back stroll, while others prefer an adrenaline inducing brush with death.
This list is for the latter: these are the 15 most terrifying, dangerous, and deadly hikes in the world.
Half Dome, Mist Trail, California
According to a Yosemite hiking website, over 60 people have died on Half Dome and the trail leading up to it. In fact, at least five people have died there the past 10 years alone, mostly when the rock was wet from rain.
Although steel cables help climbers on the last part of the ascent, rain causes it to become incredibly slippery.
Mount Hua Shan, China
This hair-rising path is literally no more than a few rotting wooden planks bolted into the side of a cliff with rusty nails, hundreds of feet above the ground.
Called the most dangerous hike in the world, it is rumored that 100 people die on Hua Shan annually, although there are no official death statistics. However, it doesn’t seem too far off considering that there’s a point in the hike where even the planks of wood disappear, and where hikers must rely on small cavities carved into stone.
Striding Edge, United Kingdom
Striding Edge is one of the most difficult hikes in the UK. The most dangerous part is arguably the descent onto Swirral Edge, which can be incredibly slippery, especially in wintry conditions. In fact, a married couple recently plunged more than 400 feet off the peak, but survived.
El Caminito del Rey, Spain
El Caminito del Rey features a narrow path that hangs 100 feet in the air. Built 10 decades ago, parts of the pathway has started crumbling, making it extra dangerous. In fact, the hike was shut down for several years after four adventurers plummeted to their deaths in 2000.
The path has since been fixed, reinforced, and reopened. While it’s safer than before, the park has now capped the number of visitors to 600 per day.
The Maze, Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Although The Maze hasn’t taken any lives yet , it is still one of the most dangerous treks in the world. The hike is so remote that if you needed help, it would take rescuers three days to get to you.
Plus, without a clear path and dead ends at every turn, it’s not called The Maze for nothing. There are also dangerous rockfalls, and the risk of deadly flash floods.
Kjeragbolten, Kjerag Mountain, Norway
Although the hike up Kjerag Mountain isn’t particularly difficult, climbing onto Kjeragbolten, a rock sandwiched between two cliffs and suspended over a 984-foot drop, can get dicey.
Although no one has fallen off of the rock yet, it seems like it is only a matter of time.
Via Ferrata, Italy and Austria
The paths of Via Ferrata, or “iron roads” in Italian, were first built by troops during WWI. They are little more than metal cables tacked onto steep cliffs that hikers affix themselves to in order to avoid certain death.
Although there are no official death statistics, the hike has definitely taken some lives, including that of a woman who slipped in the snow and plunged 600 feet to her death on an intermediate trail back in 2009.
Drakensberg Traverse, South Africa
Rumor has it that so many people have died on this 40-mile trek that officials have simply stopped counting. That’s not to say that deaths aren’t reported almost every year, though.
The most dangerous part of this trail may be at the very beginning, where hikers climb two rickety chain ladders to a narrow ridge where animal tracks, herding trails, and rocks make up the trail.
Angel’s Landing, Utah
Although a fairly tame hike, what makes Angel’s Landing so dangerous is how narrow it is. In fact, at the final ascent, the path is only wide enough for one person, with an over 1,000-foot drop on either side.
Huayna Picchu Trail, Peru
Huayna Picchu Trail is known for its “stairs of death,” which date back to the Incas. Although well-preserved, there are no handrails, and humidity often causes them to get very slippery.
No deaths have been reported from falling off the stairs, although two hikers have died on the trail.
Bright Angel Trail, The Grand Canyon, Arizona
Arizona is known for its intense summer heat, which makes hiking Bright Angel Trail during the hottest months extremely dangerous. Hikers have died of heat stroke, and rangers have even found people dead of dehydration — despite still carrying water.
Park officials claim that 90% of incidents occur in one section of the trail, a part of the South Rim where the Bright Angel Trail follows Garden Creek to Pipe Creek.
Pacaya Volcano, Guatemala
Pacaya Volcano is an active volcano, which means it could erupt on hikers at any moment. In fact, a 2010 eruption claimed three lives, another eruption three years later sent lava flowing down one side of the mountain, and just last year it spewed hot ash.
However, none of that deters hikers from climbing it — not even the fact that it can get hot enough to melt the soles of your shoes. On the plus side, people have roasted marshmallows on the side of the volcano before.
Devil’s Path, New York
Devil’s Path traverses 25 miles with six major peaks that plunge into deep valleys between steep climbs. According to officials, someone dies on Devil’s Path annually.
Kalalau Trail, Hawaii
Rising water levels, narrow trails on the edge of 300 foot drops, heavy rain, mud, and falling rocks make this trail extremely tricky. The statistics speak for themselves: In recent years, a hiker was swept down Hanahoa stream, another onefell to his death on the trail, and 121 stranded hikers had to be rescued from the trail.