According to the Beijing Red Cross - Blue Sky Rescue Team, and Chinese Mountaineering Association, China is home to several dangerous hiking locations. Many of the locations are within mountains that are virtually unknown, making them attractive, undiscovered country to hikers. Since 2009, more than 40 accidents have been reported in the mountains surrounding the cities of Beijing, Lijiang, Huayin and Guilin.
Tiger Leaping Gorge
Tiger Leaping Gorge offers two levels of hiking trails - "the high road" and "the low road." It is one of the planet's deepest gorges, sitting between two mountains with elevations of around 18,000 feet. Each trail offers amazing views of the surrounding mountains and waterfalls. The high road is easily accessible, marked and maintained. At 14 miles in length, it is used daily by the indigenous Naxi people. The low road extends about 120 miles and follows the Yangtze River. This is the more dangerous of the two hiking trails, as it is at times covered with river water and rock slides. It is not safe to use the low road when the river swells, as the Yangtze has been known to sweep people away with its forceful current.
Jiulong Mountain National Forest Park
Jiulong Mountain National Forest Park is made of numerous crags, peaks, ancient caves, waterfalls and flowing rivers. In all, the mountain park encompasses more than 5,200 acres. It is also home to several animal species including the giant salamander, golden cat and leopard. Visitors can hike up the mountain to Longyin Cave, which is about 3,000 feet above sea level. Constructed during the Ming Dynasty era, this ancient cave still contains a lotus-shaped throne and 41 Buddhist statues. As long as hikers remain on established mountain trails, this trek is a fairly safe one.
As the second highest peak near Beijing, Haituo Mountain is an undeveloped hiking area, reaching heights of over 7,000 feet. Many hikers come to this mountain for its breathtaking, snow-covered trails, but hiking in such conditions can be dangerous. Since 2009, rescue teams have been called in less than five times to treat hikers for exhaustion and disorientation, which was caused by the cold temperatures and high altitudes. Since the mountain remains untouched by tourism developers, venturing off into unknown areas can also put hikers at risk. Summer is the best time of year to hike here, for there are numerous green meadow areas, blooming flowers, and an abundance of pine trees.
Phoenix Mountain is close to the city of Beijing, making it one of the more popular hiking destinations. While this mountain may look like an easy hike, visitors should not be fooled. The ease of climbing this mountain causes hikers to lower their level of awareness. The leader of one of Beijing's rescue teams, Zhang Yong, states Phoenix Mountain is severely weathered, causing the mountain's stones and rock to crumble easily. This in turn has led to several accidents over the years. The Chinese Mountaineering Association receives annual reports of hikers falling off the cliffs.
Lingshan Mountain is part of the Mentougou District, about 75 miles from Beijing. Lingshan is the area's highest peak at 7,500 feet tall. As per reports from Beijing's Lantian rescue team, Lingshan Mountain has had more accidents than any other mountain in the area. Team experts’ state hikers often get lost on the mountain's trails. The higher altitudes and snow can severely affect hikers, causing a shortness of breath, disorientation and fatigue. Many of the hikes are exhausting and difficult, regardless of the time of year. This is said to make it difficult for hikers to return to the base of the mountain, on the same path they went up.
The Great Wall of China - Jiankou Section
Reports provided by the Bluesky Rescue Team, state that a particular section of the Great Wall of China is one of the most dangerous hiking spots in China. The Jiankou section is dangerously damaged, and is also surrounded by mountainous ridges and jagged, steep cliffs. A few scenic landmarks are situated along this section of the Great Wall, including the watch tower and sky stairs. Since 2009, more than two dozen accidents were reported for this section of the Great Wall, with one sadly resulting in death.
Also known as Mount Hua and The Yellow Mountain, Mount Huashan is considered the most dangerous hiking location in all of China. The mountain is comprised of more than 70 granite peaks. Many of the peaks have sheer face cliffs where the main hiking trails are located. If you are brave enough to take on this treacherous hike, the rewards at the end of the trails are boundless. The most dangerous part of hiking Mount Huashan is the 13-foot long, by 1-foot wide wood plank path that is mounted to the vertical mountain cliff. There is only that plank and a chain to hold on to that will guide you to the end of the hiking trail. Most daredevils who have successfully hiked this trail came equipped with a good pair of slip-resistant gloves, hiking shoes or boots, and a mountain climbing harness to clip onto the chain. Parts of the trail only offer a few carved, rock foot-holds and the chain to keep hikers from falling. There are no definitive records of how many hikers have had accidents, or died as a result of this trail, but Outpost Magazine claims it has been more than 100 people. Once you have mastered this dangerous hiking adventure, you must then move onto the almost completely vertical, Stairs to Heaven area, to reach the ancient landmark's remote temples and mountain-top restaurant.