You should know the level of danger of the hike you are considering taking on and the answer to the question, where have hikers died the most?
You might have slipped your foot off a slippery rock or felt dehydrated on some of your hikes. Although these instances are not dangerous enough to be potentially fatal when you are on hikes that are deemed safe, there are trails that have engulfed several lives and are extremely deadly.
There are some trails across the globe, such as the Angel’s Landing in Utah, Hua Shan Trail in China, Kalalau Trail in Hawaii, and Wendenstock in Switzerland that has taken the lives of many hikers and are considered the most deadly and dangerous.
I have detailed some deaths of hikers on these trails, as well as the factors that make each hike dangerous or fatal.
These are definitely not the only dangerous hikes around the world but definitely qualify as some of the most fatal ones, as per reported deaths.
Where Have Hikers Died?
Here is a list of hikes that have proved to be the most fatal until now.
Angel'S Landing: Zion National Park, Utah
Since 2004, there have been at least five deaths at Angel's Landing in Zion National Park.
In 2013, a hiker died after falling from the trail, while in 2015, a man and woman died in separate incidents after falling from the summit of Angel's Landing.
These deaths underscore the dangers of hiking to the summit of Angel's Landing. The trail is narrow and exposed in many places, with drop-offs of hundreds of feet. Hikers need to be aware of the risks and take necessary precautions.
If you're considering hiking to the summit of Angel's Landing, be sure to:
- Check the weather forecast in advance and hike when conditions are favorable.
- Wear proper footwear and clothing.
- Bring plenty of water and snacks.
- Start early in the day to avoid crowds and afternoon thunderstorms.
- Be aware of your surroundings and hike carefully.
- Do not attempt to hike Angel's Landing if you are not comfortable with heights.
Hua Shan Trail: Huayin City, China
Since the early 2000s, there have been a number of reported deaths on the Hua Shan Trail in Huayin City, China. The trail is notoriously dangerous, with narrow ledges and steep drop-offs. In some cases, hikers have fallen to their deaths while attempting to take photos or selfies. Others have died after losing their footing and slipping off the trail.
In 2015, an Australian man died after falling 30 meters while attempting to take a photo. And in 2016, a Taiwanese woman died after she slipped and fell while taking a selfie on the trail.
In 2017, a 22-year-old Chinese man died after he lost his footing and fell from a cliff. His body was not found for nine days.
The Hua Shan Trail has been closed on multiple occasions due to safety concerns. In 2016, it was shut down for two months after a series of accidents. It reopened in 2017 with new safety measures, but the trail remains dangerous.
If you're planning on hiking the Hua Shan Trail, be sure to take extra precautions and follow all safety guidelines.
El Caminito Del Rey: El Chorro, Spain
Since 1999, at least ten people have died while attempting to hike the El Caminito del Rey, a treacherous trail in Spain's El Chorro gorge. The trail, which is just over three feet wide in some places and hangs precariously over a sheer cliff face, has been dubbed the world's most dangerous walkway.
In 2014, a man and a woman died after falling from the trail. And in 2015, a hiker plummeted to his death after his backpack became caught on a wire fence.
Despite its dangers, the El Caminito del Rey is a popular destination for thrill-seekers and adventure seekers from all over the world.
Kalalau Trail: Kauai, Hawaii
Since the early 2000s, there have been a number of deaths reported at Kalalau Trail on Kauai. In 2003, two hikers died after falling from a cliff, and in 2007, a hiker was killed by a fall from a ledge.
These deaths have occurred despite the fact that the trail is considered to be one of the most dangerous in Hawaii. In fact, it is so dangerous that the state has placed warning signs at the trailhead and along the trail itself.
Despite these warnings, hikers continue to attempt to hike the trail each year. And unfortunately, some of them do not make it back alive.
Since the early 1900s, people have been dying at WENDENSTOCK, SWITZERLAND. The mountain has been nicknamed "The Death Mountain" because of the high number of fatalities that occur there each year.
Most of the deaths at WENDENSTOCK are caused by avalanches. In fact, WENDENSTOCK is one of the most avalanche-prone mountains in the world. Avalanches are often triggered by skiers or hikers who venture off-piste into areas where they are not supposed to go.
Another common cause of death at WENDENSTOCK falls. The mountain is very steep and treacherous, and many people have fallen to their deaths while attempting to climb it.
In recent years, the number of deaths at WENDENSTOCK has been decreasing. This is due to improved safety measures, such as better avalanche forecasting and more stringent regulations on where skiers and hikers are allowed to go.
Despite these improvements, WENDENSTOCK remains a very dangerous mountain, and people should take care if they plan to visit it.
West Coast Trail: Vancouver Island, Canada
Since the early 1990s, there have been a number of deaths on the WEST COAST TRAIL on Vancouver Island, Canada. The trail is considered to be one of the most dangerous in the world and has been nicknamed the "Killer Trail" by some.
In 2001, six people died while hiking the trail, and another six died in 2002. In 2003, there were four deaths, and in 2004, there were three.
The majority of the deaths have been due to falls, but there have also been drownings and other accidents. Many of the victims have been experienced hikers who were well-prepared for the trail, but some have been inexperienced hikers who were not prepared for the challenges of the trail.
Half Dome: Yosemite National Park, California
Half Dome is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Yosemite National Park, and it's also one of the most dangerous. There have been many deaths on Half Dome, both from falls and lightning strikes. The cable route to the summit is particularly dangerous, with several people dying each year. If you're planning on hiking Half Dome, be sure to be prepared for the dangers.
In recent years, there have been several deaths on Half Dome. In 2015, five people died after being struck by lightning while on the summit. In 2014, a hiker fell to his death while attempting to climb the cable route without proper equipment. And in 2013, another hiker fell to his death while descending the cable route.
Rim To Rim: Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Since the early days of exploration and tourism in the Grand Canyon, a number of people have died while attempting to cross from one rim to the other. The most common cause of death is a heat-related illness, but there are also a number of deaths each year due to falls, drowning, and other accidents.
In recent years, the number of deaths has been increasing as more and more people attempt to cross the canyon. In 2017, there were 11 deaths reported, which is the highest number in the past decade.
The best way to avoid becoming a statistic is to be prepared before you attempt to cross the canyon. Make sure you are in good physical shape and have plenty of water and food. It is also a good idea to hike with a partner and to let someone know your plans.
Paintbrush-Cascade Canyon Loop: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Since the early 2000s, there have been a number of deaths at the PAINTBRUSH-CASCADE CANYON LOOP in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. The most recent death occurred in July 2016, when a hiker fell to his death after slipping on wet rocks.
In June 2014, a woman died after being hit by a rock that fell from the cliff above her.
In August 2011, a man died after falling off a cliff while hiking in the Cascade Canyon area.
And in July 2010, a woman died after she slipped and fell into the cascade waterfall.
Longs Peak: Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Since the early 1900s, there have been more than 60 reported deaths on Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. Most of these fatalities have been caused by falls, avalanches, or exposure to the elements.
In July of 1925, two climbers fell to their deaths while attempting to ascend the East face of Longs Peak.
In June of 1933, two men died from exposure after being stranded overnight near the summit of Longs Peak.
In July of 1955, a man died after falling from a ridgeline on Longs Peak.
In July of 2010, a man died after falling from the summit of Longs Peak.
In August of 2014, two people died in an avalanche on the North Face of Longs Peak.
In September of 2015, a climber fell to his death while descending the East face of Longs Peak.
As you can see, climbing Longs Peak can be a very dangerous endeavor. If you are planning on attempting to summit this peak, make sure that you are prepared for the dangers that you may face. Have a plan and make sure that someone knows where you are going and when you are expected to return. Most importantly, never climb alone. Make sure that you have at least one other person with you so that if something happens, there is someone there to help.
About THE AUTHOR
I’m a hiker, backpacker, and general outdoor enthusiast. I started hiking out of college while working for the National Forest Service, and have been hiking ever since. I’ve been solo hiking and leading hiking groups for two decades and have completed hundreds of small hikes and some majorones such as the Appalachian Train and the Pacific Crest Trail, and hiked on four continents. I’d love to share some of my insight with you.Read More About Peter Brooks