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9 extremely challenging but worthwhile hikes

West Coast Trail in Vancouver

Photo: Paxson Woelber/Flickr

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Outdoor adventure

Few people think of hiking as an extreme sport. For most, hiking is more like a leisurely walk in a natural setting. However, there are some trails that go beyond a casual stroll. They provide the kind of challenge that turns a simple walk into an all-out adventure.  

Hikers who tackle challenging trails often have to face variables like unpredictable weather, rapid elevation changes, slippery pathways, and even aggressive wildlife. But these kinds of extreme walks are more than a test of skill. Often, as the difficulty of a trek rises so do the odds of encountering stunning views, rare species of wildlife and untouched natural landscapes. 

The following trails are certainly not for casual hikers, but with a high level of fitness, experienced guides, a knowledge of wilderness safety, and the right equipment adventure-seekers will certainly be able to handle the challenges on the trail. (Text: Josh Lew)