Are you dreaming to conquer the hardest hikes out there? Are you sure? Then we challenge you to get your hiking gear on and get into one (or multiple) of the hardest hikes in the United States. And spoiler alert: there are very, very difficult hikes. The U.S. is home to some terrifying hikes that are known for their physically demanding nature, difficult terrain, and risky natural environments. But some hikers find joy and thrill only when the hikes are very hard to conquer. So based on a few factors, like risks, logistics, physical difficulties, and uncontrollable environmental consideration, here the 5 hardest hikes in the country.
1. The Maze
There is a valid reason why it is called that way: The Maze is actually a labyrinth of Redrock and dead-end canyons that only experts can plan and find their way out of. It’s located in Canyonlands, Utah, and it is 14 miles long (22.7 KM). It is one of the hardest hikes because it includes interconnecting canyons that look the same and high cliffs with zero vantage points. If you want to know more about The Maze, then watch the movie 127 hours to understand how hard it is.
2. Bright Angel Trail and South Kaibab Trail
Want to know why this is considered one of the hardest hikes? The Bright Angel Trail and South Kaibab Trail descend into a gigantic hole that you need to climb back out of. These trails are located in the center of the Grand Canyon and it’s no short hike because it’s 17 miles long (28KM)!! Here is an expert tip: DO NOT challenge yourself or “keep pushing” because this trail is what is also called the Death Zone; the temperature increases to up 122°F (50°C), which might leave you dealing with extreme exhaustion and heat illness.
3. Kalalau Trail
This trail is not only one of the hardest hikes, but it’s also dangerous and breathtaking at the same time! The Kalalau Trail is highly popular due to its panoramic view, but once you start it, you will have to go through unpredictable conditions, and there might be a few slippery cliffs that seem too difficult to tackle. The Kalalau Trail is 11 miles long and it’s located in Kauai, Hawaii, which explains the gorgeous views. So if you are planning to hit this trail one day, make sure you have walking poles to keep your balance and prevent you from slipping.
4. Mist Trail to Half Dome
The best description for Half Dome is beautiful chunks of granite, a massive rock, and well, one of the hardest hikes any person may experience. But regardless of its dangers, this trail sees up to 3,000 people every weekend in the summer! The Mist Hike is located in Yosemite, California, and it’s 14 miles long that it might push you to dehydration, fatigue, altitude sickness, and more. Plus, you need to be very good with heights because you will need to hike the rock all the way to the top, using steel cables that are bolted into it.
5. Muir Snowflied Trail
Muir Snowfield Trail belongs to the hardest hikes of the US because of its extremely cold temperature. To reach the summit, you need to go through an arctic landscape that looks endless, which leaves you with very little hope to reach it. The Muir Snowfield Trail is located on Mount Rainier, Washington. Some of the most experienced climbers slipped dangerously or ended up frozen as they are going through the 3 miles tall giant! In the beginning, the trail will seem easy as you walk through meadows that are filled with pretty flowers.
So don’t forget to pause and smell them because, soon enough, the trail will take a turn when you will be faced with a vertical climb-up mountain. Don’t forget to check the weather before you go to not end up in a storm, and if you did end up in one, do NOT hike. Bring a tracking device with you and wait for the park ranger to rescue you. If you want to go on an extreme hike, then don’t worry because the US is filled with so many unique regions where you can find your next challenge. Just be careful as much as possible, and leave fear home because you will need to be very brave for such hikes!