World's Scariest Hikes.

5:37 p.m. on July 26, 2012 (EDT)
1,379 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts


This guy has some scary stuff, but there are a bunch where it sounds like he's just trying to hype them. For example, the West Coast Trail is hard, but I don't think it's 'scary' unless you're afraid of the simple physical challenge of doing it.

Now the El Caminto del Rey, on the other hand...

6:50 p.m. on July 26, 2012 (EDT)
25 reviewer rep
3,193 forum posts

A thought provoking list.  I think that predators, altitude, exposed topography and especially remoteness all add to the scary factor.  Most of my really scary hikes have not been on trails, but in places no one has heard of. 

An exception would be the South Fork of the Shoshone R in the Absaroka Range of Wyoming.  There was a trail, but it was 1,600 feet above the River and about 6 inches wide.  We were horseback with a pack string that we rented from some friends.  My partner stopped before the exposed trail and smoked a bowl and blew the smoke up his horse's nose to keep him calm.  Bears with humps, moose in camp, 50 miles from the nearest dirt road. and then a rock slide caused by an earthquake took out a 1/4 mile of trail.  I took a nap one day and badger walked across my sleeping bag.  We were younger then.

10:57 a.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
244 reviewer rep
5,245 forum posts


One of my favorite hikes is along the top of the Redwall above the Bright Angel trail in the Grand Canyon. It actually follows a Big Horn Sheep route and in places the trail follows a edge that is 2 feet wide with a 300 foot drop on one side and a 600 foot wall on the other. Its only this way for about 5 feet but with a pack on its hard sometimes to do. The route goes out to the Battleship, a butte on the southwest side of the B.A. Trail. It goes off from the creek just down from the 2 mile point on the BA Trail.

9:52 a.m. on July 31, 2012 (EDT)
1,379 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

The scariest one I've taken a group on is like yours, Gary.

It's the Crypt Lake Trail at Waterton National Park. It includes a cliff traverse (one section briefly narrows down to a foot wide) with a 185 metre drop to one side, a climb up a ladder then a crawl through a tunnel. Next, there is another traverse, then a scramble with a steel cable to hang onto with a sheer drop of almost 200 metres below. That last section sounds kind of like the Half Dome climb.

That being said, I've seen a mother doing it with her 12 year-old daughter clipped to the cable, and people even take their dogs up there!

I think I posted a TR on the one we did last year.

1:00 p.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
25 reviewer rep
3,193 forum posts

Upon reflection, I think the scariest hikes have been the ones where someone has been injured, or there is a natural disaster to contend with like this week's forest fire.

7:18 p.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
26 reviewer rep
98 forum posts

The scariest trail is the one you are on unprepared for whatever it might present to you.

May 25, 2018
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: Collegiate wilderness trip Newer: Adirondacks
All forums: Older: Klymit Air Beam inflates your pack's frame sheet Newer: Looking for a CLARK JUNGLE HAMMOCK