We all have our favorite hiking trails, and those ones we would love to visit when the right time comes. But sometimes, even the most beautiful destinations can turn out to be the worst hiking experiences you ever had. The main hindrance with such tails is the unbearable heat, coupled with extreme exhaustion, and discomfort. Trust us, these are not trails for leisure!
In this post, we will take you to the most dangerous trails that you should stay away from this summer. If you really want to check them out, make sure you wait for summer to be over. When the heat is not as powerful, some of these trails can be quite interesting. There’s still to extra effort, but if you got the muscles, you can go for it.
Bright Angel Trail, Arizona
This is such beautiful scenery with amenities to match, but the extreme heat (which can go as high as 110 degrees) will be the deal breaker. If hikers are cautioned against the heat at this trail on a normal day, think about how many degrees it is during summer.
The worst part is when you reach the end of your trail and have to come back up. Any hiker who’s been here will tell you the upward trek is among the most difficult treks you will encounter in your life. Having kids on this hike will make it even more difficult.
You can carry a nice watch with you to keep track of the time during the uphill trek. To know about the best ones out there, check out our post on the best ABC watches in the market.
You will most probably need a ranger to help you with the upward trek, especially if you are a beginner hiker, and you don’t know how to maneuver such treks yet.
The Grand Enchantment Trail (Arizona and New Mexico)
Want to find out the not so urban side in the US? This trail will take you through a whole series of varied landscapes which includes a desert, mountain ridge lines and finally towering ponderosa pine forests.
It’s quite the trek, covering a whopping 770 miles, for those who work hard enough to complete the entire trip. The Grand Enchantment is best visited during spring, when there are ample sources to get your water from.
You may want to avoid this trail during summer because the water levels are still low and the snow is just beginning to melt. The hike will take you about three months and it’s hard to imagine going for that long surviving on very limited water sources.
The Hayduke Trail (Arizona and Utah)
This trail is most definitely not for the weak at heart or beginner hikers. It covers an amazing 812 miles and begins at Arches National Park and follows a whole lot of public land and canyons.
Very few people have managed to navigate the whole trail mostly because navigating through the bizarre canyon landscape is quite a hard task. It’s best left to expert hikers who will be rewarded with the most stunning sights: the red rocks.
Water is very scarce once you venture deeper into this trail and you can imagine just how frustrating it can get when trekking under the extreme summer heat with little water to keep you going. What will get to you is severe dehydration, which will have you cutting your trip short.
John Muir Trail California
If you have to try out this trail, you better do it during late summer or not all during the whole summer period.
Covering about 210 miles, it will take you about three weeks to complete the whole course. You will realize that past the midway point, there are no shelters to shield you against the extreme day heat and frigid nights when the temperatures plummet. So we advise that you carry a tent along with you.
Moreover, you will encounter about a 100-mile stretch that’s just pure wilderness which will require that you stock on foods and water among other supplies that can last you about 10 to 15 days. Most hikers love the fact that you can walk for up to 3 weeks without coming across a road; just pure stretches of magnificent nature.
Did we mention that you may encounter bears along the way? It’s best to pack your foods in bear-proof canisters as a precaution.
Continental Divide Trail (New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho & Montana)
This is among the most hectic trails you will ever encounter in your life. It covers about 3300 miles and will take you an average of six months to complete. That’s spending about half a year out on the trail, which very few people manage to finish.
You will be trekking on the remote and rugged crests of the mountains, which are rocky. It’s best to hit the trail on cooler seasons and avoid summer because you will be putting yourself at risk of summer lightning’s, which is every hiker’s nightmare.
You may also want to avoid winter because of the deep snow, which will definitely not have melted completely by the time it is summer.
There are very few joints along the trail where you can restock on your supplies, even water and about 30% of the trek, are not signposted yet, which makes it harder for hikers to find their way through the best routes.
You will also pass through the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Northern Montana, which is among the largest wilderness in the US because it covers such a wide stretch. Hiking under the hot summer temperatures can prove to be quite challenging and it’s made worse by the fact that you will encounter abundant wildlife along the trail (mostly grizzly bears).
Hiking will help you reconnect with nature, exercise and appreciate the world we live in all at the same time. It becomes a frustrating affair if you have to worry about the hard trails, wild animals and extreme temperatures at one go. Hiking ceases to be that amazing adventure for you.
To keep this from happening, always do your research before embarking on a hike so that you know which trails are fit for which seasons.
Want to share your thoughts about this post? Feel free to comment and let us know what your thoughts are and which other trails you think should have made the list. To top it off, please share with your friends, family and other hiking enthusiasts, to help them know which trails to avoid as we all gear up for summer.
Rebecca lives in USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favourite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another of her passion is the ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy. She also writes for hikingmastery.com/.
We are happy to feature this collaborative post to offer valuable information to our readers.