With temperatures rising, many of you are gearing up for a vacation with family or friends. You might be dreaming of the world's most stunning canyons or America's newest monuments, but we know that some of you are also looking for a serious challenge this year. For those who are brave enough, prep those hiking boots, gather your supplies, and tackle some of America's most challenging and scenic hiking excursions.
Mist Trail, Half Dome, California
Tucked away in world-renowned Yosemite National Park, the Mist Trail attracts thousands of visitors every year to climb to Half Dome's 8,836-foot-high peak. Hike through beautiful pine forests, bustling waterfalls, and what seems to be a vertical staircase before reaching the steel cables that will take you the last 400 vertical feet to the top of the dome.
Even with cables to assist, the final ascent to Half Dome requires extreme strength and is only for the brave at heart. Without the cables, the hike to the summit of this beautiful landmark would be virtually impossible. And even with this assistance, there have still been unfortunate causalities on this Californian adventure. Since 1995, six deaths have occurred at Half Dome -- one when a hiker was attempting to pass other climbers on the cables.