“Walking? That’s child’s play,” you may scoff. But find yourself scrambling through dark claustrophobic caves, or edging along a precipitous mountain outcrop, and you’ll be laughing on the other side of your face. Take a look at the lowdown on some of the world’s most extreme walks, where putting one foot in front of the other has never been such a challenge.
The Maze, Utah
The sheer remoteness of the Maze presents the first challenge: that is, traversing the entire Canyonlands National Park just to find it. The lucky few who succeed must then navigate a dense maze of blind gullies and dead-end chasms, while holding their breath under the constant threat of rockfalls and flash floods. The clue is in the name; don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Grouse Grind, Vancouver
If you think Vancouver’s infamous Grouse Grind trail is an easy-peasy walk in the woods, think again. This almost-two-mile trail up the face of Grouse Mountain is one of the steepest in the world, and has gotten the better of even the most experienced hikers.
Devil’s Path, New York
This mountainous trail may be just two hours north of Manhattan, but don’t underestimate it. Rumored to be the most challenging hike on the East coast, Devil’s Path winds through the ferocious Catskills Mountains, covering 25 miles and six major peaks. Many sections are rocky and steep, so be prepared to scramble.
Crib Goch, Wales
Not one for the faint of heart, Crib Goch is a knife-edged mountain ridge in Snowdonia that requires a strong constitution. Bordered on either side by a sheer drop into the cavernous valley below, this walk is something of a perilous pilgrimage for mountaineers from across the world. It takes all sorts.
El Caminito del Rey, Spain
If you thought Crib Goch was bad, take a look at this monstrosity. Located in the precipitous El Chorro Gorge, the Caminito del Rey is a death defying balancing act along almost two miles of concrete and steel ledges. What’s more, there are several sections of trail missing that require a leap of faith. If you didn’t suffer from vertigo before, you will now.
Peek-a-boo Gulch, Utah
Replete with narrow enclosed passageways, dark tunnels, and potholes, Peek-a-boo Gulch is a daunting challenge at the best of times. This formidable slot canyon induces claustrophobia in even the toughest personalities, while the compulsory swim through a stagnant pool is unpleasant to say the least.
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