(CNN) – Hiking is often derided by adrenaline junkies as somehow less of a more challenging climbing experience like rock climbing or skiing.
But as these challenging trails show, putting one foot in front of the other isn’t always an easy choice.
To do these famous hikes, you won’t just need an expensive dose of medicine.
These routes are dangerous and are only for experienced hikers. That means people with the right equipment, the ability to get themselves out of tough situations, and a willingness to plan for the worst and pack accordingly.
Whether you want to try out an English Lake District classic or tackle the “most dangerous climb in the world” in rural China, this list has you covered.
Striding Edge, Lake District, England
The Lake County’s notoriously changeable weather can make even the most difficult hikes a challenge.
But the Striding Edge – a spiky path leading to Helvellyn Peak, the third highest peak in the Lake District National Park – is secluded in this corner of England.
Hikers may choose to follow the trails that run along the slopes, but for the thrill-seekers, the ridge is where it is.
On a clear day, the view is sensational, stretching as far as Scotland.
This is not for the novice or the faint of heart: hikers will need to be prepared to scramble, have good climbing skills for the final push to the top, and know how to navigate properly if clouds roll in. .
Ice and snow make it deadly in winter, so it’s important to be prepared and ready to return.
Maze, Canyonlands, Utah, USA
The National Park Service cuts to the chase when it comes to the Maze.
It calls hiking here “very challenging,” warning about slippery rocks and steep slopes.
It’s the most remote part of the Canyonlands, with visitors needing to make a long drive over dirt roads before entering the deep seagulls, where rockfalls and flash floods are not uncommon, and water comes from several streams in the area. areas are hard to get to (packing enough liquids for a multi-day trip is a must).
Rangers ask all visitors to share their itinerary and stay in touch as often as possible. Those who arrive will be treated to landscapes that feel completely timeless and also won’t encounter other people during their adventures.
On this trail, hikers must follow wooden planks that are fastened to the rock face.
Maciej Bledowski / iStock Editorial / Getty Images
This epic trail to South HuaShan Peak, one of China’s Five Great Mountains, is often considered the most dangerous hike in the world, and for good reason.
To reach the 7,070-foot summit, hikers need to balance uneven steps and a series of ladders before hooking themselves onto chains with harnesses and carabiners to navigate the “walk.” by its famous plank”.
This sounds so basic – wooden planks are firmly anchored to the rock face that you follow both up and down the mountain.
While many tourists arrive with only sneakers and t-shirts, this is not a place to go unprepared.
A proper hiking warm-up, plenty of food and water and a good level of fitness are essential.
Visiting Sorapiss, Italy
The Dolomites were the site of a series of earthquakes via the ferrata (literally railway) – paths of metal steps hammered into stone during World War I, when the Italian and Austrian armies fought evil. on the limestone peaks of the region.
Today, hikers looking for the thrill of climbing without fear of the long falls flock here during the spring and summer months.
The Giro del Sorapiss offers the biggest challenge of the bunch, starting at Rifugio Vandelli before heading high into the mountains along sheer rock faces and hitting three separate people through the ferrata.
Hikers will need a harness to climb onto the trail, as well as a helmet and, ideally, a guide who can provide the necessary gear and directions.
Drakensberg Grand Traverse, South Africa and Lesotho
Multi-day hikes offer intrepid hikers the chance to test their skills to the limit, with variable weather and the need to carry multiple supplies creating a real challenge the.
Drakensberg Grand Traverse definitely represents one. An epic, 230-kilometer (143-mile) journey that can take up to two weeks to complete, it begins with climbing a set of chained ladders to the Drakensberg Cliffs, before crossing the border with Lesotho and ending Let’s go back to South Africa.
This monster of a long distance can be done alone, but hikers should be aware that the trail itself is more of a concept than a tangible path, meaning anyone with a plan Planning to get here will need all the KZN Wildlife Drakensberg walking maps, GPS, and enough food and water to last the entire trip.
It is recommended to visit in the spring or fall, avoiding the lush, hard-to-reach lawns of summer and the cold days of winter.
Cascade Saddle, New Zealand
Reward? Endless scenery of snow-capped peaks.
Ondrej / Adobe Stock
Located in the heart of Mount Aspiring National Park on New Zealand’s South Island, Cascade Saddle offers some of the best mountain views in the world.
But having seen a number of deaths earlier this century from slippery rocks and dangerous conditions, the country’s conservation department wants to stress that this is a route “only for the skilled”. navigational skills and experience, high level,” warns workers to be prepared to turn back if things get tough.
Completed in two days, with the option of camping or huddled in mountain huts along the way, the route includes wild scrambles, rocky outcrops and ankle-cracking high grass hiking.
The bonus is endless views of snow-capped peaks, including the stunning Mount Aspiring, also known as Tiitea in the Maori language.
Kalalau Trail, Hawaii
Stretching 22 miles “out and back” along Kauai’s Na Pali Coast, the Kalalau Trail is not only Hawaii’s deadliest hike, it’s also one of the deadliest in the entire United States. .
The forest trail cuts to the shoreline, with the raging Pacific Ocean below.
You will need a permit to go beyond Hanakapiai Beach to Hanakoa Valley to camp in the valley or at Kalalau beach.
As idyllic as it sounds, the trio crossing the stream here can become devastating during heavy rain, when the water rises to extremely dangerous levels.
Throw yourself on a long winding road along Crawler’s Ledge and it’s a recipe for disaster for the inexperienced. Only those with suitable outdoor smart devices should apply.
Huayna Picchu, Peru
Anyone who has ever seen a photo of Peru’s wild famous Machu Picchu will catch a glimpse of Huayna Picchu. It is the towering peak behind the famous lost Incas city, seen in countless Instagram posts and on postcards sent home from South America.
Getting to the top, however, requires you to scale up the so-called ”stairs of death”, a segment of 500-year-old steps with sheer stairs descending into the valley. under.
Throwing at the ramps makes even the most demanding hikers nauseous, and this is a route not to be underestimated. Although a lot of things are not prepared in advance, it is advisable to wear hiking boots and the help of a local guide. It may seem daunting, but the view of the citadel below is worth the three-hour effort.
Kokoda Trail, Papua New Guinea
The Kokoda Trail takes up to two weeks to complete.
Andrew Peacock / Stone RF / Getty Images
At 96 km (about 60 miles), the Kokoda Track charts a route from just outside the Papuan capital Port Moresby to the village of Kokoda, across the Owen Stanley Range.
This is isolated terrain, with a trip taking up to two weeks to complete thanks to afternoon storms, raging tornadoes and conditions that can become dangerously slippery due to eye-deep mud. Ankles and plant roots grow slippery in the tropical heat.
After the deaths of 13 Australians on a light plane in 2009, authorities took steps to make access to the road safer.
A permit is required and all visitors must walk with a licensed operator, in order to help the local community benefit from tourism. To prepare for sweaty days and bitter nights in this remote part of the world, organizers recommend training for up to a year.
As you walk through this verdant and wild road, you should remember it was the scene of fierce battles between Japanese and Allied Australian and Papuan forces during the Second World War.
Daikiretto Traverse, Japan
Japan’s Northern Alps are arguably the best and certainly the most challenging hiking in the country. And the Daikiretto Traverse is definitely the route to try for hikers looking for a niche adventure – one they’ll likely technically climb without a rope.
The journey itself stretches for less than two miles but can take hours to complete and is best done as part of a longer guided trek through this stunning mountain range.
The road crossed using chains and ladders, following a knife-edge ridge with an elevation of more than a hundred meters on either side.
A high level of fitness and a head for height are essential. Helmets and gloves will make walking easier, and it should be noted that trying alone, especially in winter, is not advisable.
Mount Washington, New Hampshire, USA
Mount Washington is known for having “the worst weather in the world” (at least according to the Mount Washington Observatory).
In January 2004, temperatures at the summit dropped to -47º F (-44º C), while it also set the record for the fastest wind on record over land, 231 mph (372 kph) in in 1934, only surpassed in 1996 on Barrow Island, Australia.
All that said, hiking here requires serious preparation. Conditions can change at any time, meaning you’ll need to pack your winter gear even during the peak of summer.
The ascent is no joke, with hikers needing to be in excellent shape to achieve it. Yes, you can drive or take the iconic cogwheel train to the top, but anyone well prepared and up for a challenge should put on their shoes, pack a backpack, and hike.