6 of America’s Most Dangerous Hiking Trails

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2. Mist Trail, Half Dome, California

Tucked away in world-renowned Yosemite National Park, the Mist Trail attracts thousands of visitors every year to climb to Half Dome’s 8,836-foot-high peak. Hike through beautiful pine forests, bustling waterfalls, and what seems to be a vertical staircase before reaching the steel cables that will take you the last 400 vertical feet to the top of the dome.

Even with cables to assist, the final ascent to Half Dome requires extreme strength and is only for the brave at heart. Without the cables, the hike to the summit of this beautiful landmark would be virtually impossible. And even with this assistance, there have still been unfortunate causalities on this Californian adventure. Since 1995, six deaths have occurred at Half Dome — one when a hiker was attempting to pass other climbers on the cables.

Another danger to be aware of is the altitude change. Within four hours of starting the climb, hikers can gain 1,463 vertical meters. Additionally, during winter, spring, and fall, rainfall often makes rocks slippery and especially hazardous.

Since most falls from this trail have happened when the rocks are wet, it is best to be conscious of the weather reports during your climb. Leather gloves, great hiking boots, and an excellent fitness level are requirements for anyone who dares attempt it.

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