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Posted on May 12, 2010
Nature attracts us with its beauty, its promise of serenity and its utter unpredictability. The wilderness calls out with a challenge attracting the most daring to places like Mount Everest and Mount Kilimanjaro.
Then there other lesser-known places equally as dangerous—where death might be more eminent than when scaling one of the tallest mountains. Well, we haven’t compared deaths-per-year percentages, but we’re guessing it might be close, especially if people were allowed to actually visit some of the destinations.
Inspired by Listverse’s “Top 10 Places You Don’t Want to Visit,” we present the worst, most nauseating hikes in the world. Or these could be the greatest hikes for extreme thrill-seekers … if you’re into that sort of thing.
1. Ilha de Queimada Grande (a.k.a. Snake Island), Brazil – This 110-acre island off the coast of Brazil hosts a legendary amount of one of the most venomous snakes—the Golden Lancehead. Because of the high snake population (some say there’s five snakes for every square meter), the Brazilian Navy bans regular Joes, so you’re chances of actually hiking here are slim to none.
2. Eyjafjallajökull Glacier, Iceland – The Icelandic volcano, which was apparently named by a cat, has been all over the news lately. But did you know that it erupted near one of Iceland’s most popular hiking trails? Mt Pass Fimmvorduhals is about a 14-mile trek through the south coast of Iceland. During the first eruption on March 20 lava spewed across the trail, which is now closed until further notice.
3. Darvaza, Turkmenistan – Commonly known as the Door to Hell, a crater filled with poisonous gas that has been on fire since 1971. While there is no information on a trail near the crater, the area surrounding the fiery pit appears desolate. The only real danger threat would be taking a 20-meter plunge to the bottom.
4. The Maze, Utah – Named by Backpacker Magazine as one of the most dangerous hikes in America, The Maze is one of the least accessible sections of Canyonlands National Park. To top that, it’s one of the most remote spots in all of the States. Endless dead-end canyons that all seem to look the same can confuse hikers, and water is scarce. Backpacker aptly describes this place a “shadeless, 110°F funhouse.”
5. Mount Hua, China – This trek was pointed out by Galding as one of the craziest, most dangerous, most dizzying hikes in the world. What they didn’t mention is that those who aren’t so keen on absurdly steep paths can take a cable car and wave at your more adventurous friends on your way up to the top. Certain paths to the summit have actually been closed because of its extreme danger or revised for more security.
6. El Camino del Rey, Spain – With parts completely diminished, this walkway that sits 350 feet above a river has been closed by the government. However, that hasn’t kept adventurers from testing their luck along the 3-foot wide path. See the video below for nail-biting evidence.
Would you try any of these paths? Know of any other crazy trails? Let us know, and we’ll add ’em to the list.