Sunday, November 2, 2008

The top 10 most dangerous hikes

The October issue of Backpacker Magazine lists the top 10 most dangerous hikes in America. The list was developed using casualty statistics as a result of lightning, altitude, extreme weather, drowning and several other measures.

Some of the trails you would naturally suspect to be on the list were all there, such as the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon, Mt. Washington in New Hampshire and the Mist Trail up to Half Dome in Yosemite.

However, one trail that caught me by surprise was none other than Abrams Falls in Great Smoky Mountains. The magazine ranked this trail as the ninth most dangerous trail as a result of high exposure to drowning and hypothermia hazards. The article also cited 29 deaths on this trail since 1971 as a result of water related accidents.

"All sorts of unknown hazards lie at the bottom of our streams and waterfalls," warns Bob Miller, park spokesman. Strong currents beneath the falls have swept capable swimmers into unseen traps, and slick rocks have tripped many unsuspecting hikers into the chilly depths.

Click here to see the full list.

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1 comment:

DonnaB said...

I am also surprised by the Abrams Falls listing, but seeing the water risks as the park service does, and the stats speak for themselves.

I have been on many of these most dangerous trails, so perhaps my view is distorted. My "most frightening" was the short and narrow trail to Angel's Landing in Zion National Park. They even have a sign that says "experienced hikers only."