Don’t look down: the world’s most dangerous hikes


10. West Coast Trail, Canada

Biggest danger: Steep ladder sections, storms and animal attacks

Despite a relatively low death rate compared to some of the other hikes on this list, the West Coast Trail’s long, almost vertical ladder sections make it a real thrill-seeker’s hiking trail. The terrain is consistently uneven.

A pathway long the West Coast Trail
Dreamstime One of the more “stable” pathways now in place

Hikers should be equipped to wade through rivers, scramble across steep slopes and be prepared for slippery conditions throughout. Storms regularly damage the trails and structures, making them even more dangerous or often impassable. Oh, and did I mention that one may encounter the odd bear or cougar en route?

Further reading: Blisters and Bliss: A Trekker’s Guide to the West Coast Trail

11. Arctic Circle Trail, Greenland

Biggest danger: Wildfire, extreme weather, remote backcountry

When Peter headed to Greenland in 2019 to trek the Arctic Circle Trail, located entirely within the Arctic Circle, he would be unreachable for over a week. As such, he planned for a number of eventualities including managing extreme weather and packing enough supplies for an emergency on one of the world’s most remote long-distance hiking trails.  However, escaping a wildfire was not on his radar.

A cairn in the Arctic Circle Trail with a reindeer skull
Atlas & Boots A cairn along the Arctic Circle Trail

After a peat fire broke following a summer of unprecedented temperatures in the region, Peter was forced to evacuate from the trail. Since his evacuation, there have been multiple reports of trekkers being evacuated and more fires breaking out in the region. Sadly, wildfires such as this appear to be becoming the norm due to climate change.

Trekkers usually fly to Kangerlussuaq via Copenhagen in Denmark.

Further reading: Blisters and Bliss: A Trekker’s Guide to the West Coast Trail

Autor: Atlas & Boots
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