Last Updated on January 23, 2021
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.