Most Extreme Hiking Trails in the World

Travis GneitingAdventure Leave a Comment

Adrenaline Destinations: The Most extreme hiking trails in the world! From China to Swizterland. Perhaps too extreme, most all of these tours have claimed lives – yet over the years added chains, ladders, rickety bridges and collapsing paved pathways have added SOME safety to the most challenging treks in the world. Sounds like the perfect cup of tea for the adrenaline addict. So for those with nerves of steel, no aversion for self harm, and want to see epic views only seen from a helicopter: get out your bucket list for the adrenaline rush of a lifetime!  Called iron ways or “via ferratas” in french, these paths will provide you with a bunch of challenges and thrills. Not for amateurs!

Hua Shan

Hua Shan, in the Shaanxi Province, China, is regarded as one of the most challenging and rewarding routes in the country. Mount Hua, is one of Five Sacred Taoist Mountains with a long history of religious significance. Today the plank pathway is a paid tourist attraction attempted by not the faint of heart. Before the government installed railings, widened the pathways and added stone steps in the 1990’s, the trail was extremely dangerous, but since then has become more accessible and less dangerous than it once was.

Yet all things considered, the Hua Shan trail is regarded as the MOST DANGEROUS TOURIST MOUNTAIN ROUTE IN THE WORLD. It’s hard to confirm as there aren’t many statistics on accidents – yet despite the reputation, more and more inexperienced tourists take the route and, in some cases, a lack of good hiking abilities appears fatal for irresponsible hikers.

Mt. Hua Shan. By Clint Koehler
Photo By  nordique

Photo By  nordique

El Camino del Rey

Epic views and a seriously strenuous toll on your body if you can handle it – El Camino del Rey (the King’s little pathway) will be a highlight of your life. Taking you along steep cliffs and the narrow gorge in El Chorro, Spain, the trail was first traveled in the early 1900’s for the workers constructing the hydroelectric power plants so they could cross between the falls. The path became famous and an adrenaline destination renown in 1921 when the king of Spain Alfonso XII crossed the walkway.

At certain points in the trail, conditions are hazardous. Many portions of the trail have been paved in concrete – yet much has collapsed, and only steel beams remain.  So prepare for a balancing act.  No handrails.  In recent years several people have lost their lives on the hike. We won’t put it lightly. People have died. So – be prepared, don’t pack what you don’t need and don’t take any amateurs with you.

By Omad
By Omad
By omadBy omad


Roche Veyrand

France is a mecca for over 125 ferratas or (iron road) routes, ranging from easy to extremely difficult. Roche Veyrand one of the difficult routes, to put it lightly. Located in St Pierre d’Entremont, the Rhône-Alpes region, in the south-eastern part of the country.

The route is divided into two main sections – the first is moderately difficult for intermediate hikers – and the latter portion should only be attempted by seasoned hikers. There are a plethora of vertical climbing routes, so a rock climbing background – and conditioned muscles are a necessity. FOr those who make it to the summit – epic views, breathtaking landscapes of France vineyards and miles of lush green valleys. The payoff is epic. Yet the way back down is just as daunting as it was up!

By clobs


By clobs


Don’t even think about this unless you are a seriously conditioned athlete with a strong track record. This is the most challenging and longest trek in all of Switzerland.   The Lukerbad  iron road, located in the Bernese Alps, in Dalatal, is a narrow route traced with vertical and extremely ladders dangling over sheer cliffs. The adrenaline rush is immense, the walls are steep and the climbing demands are intense – so this requires an athlete with a dynamic skillset for the outdoors. The safety of the trail is very dependent on the weather. You must absolutely be aware of weather conditions before attempting, or you may end up waiting out the storm.

The trek has two portions, the small portion – with 3 ladders, with a total length of 76meters!  The large via ferrata part is even more challenging, with large nails as footholds and a serious danger of rock falling.

Mountains above Leukerbad. By Olivier Bruchez

Michielli Strobel

A well traversed route, Michielli Strobel via ferrata is with fixed cables. Located in the Italian Dolomites, near Cortina, the trail is not extremely difficult in comparison to other European “iron roads”; still, it is the epic views and the namesake itself in that the got it’s moniker from a famous tour guide (Michielli Strobel) who died trying trying to climb the vertical rock wall Pomagagnon Boite valley where the ferrata leads.

The trail traverses vertical cliffs, while you have fixed cables – don’t overestimate your physical or mental abilities. Staring down sheer cliffs with just 12 inches of footing to secure you and a cable is enough to set some over the deep – or give you the adventure of a lifetime.

Michielli Strobel. By pracucci

Leave a Reply