Crossing El Camino del Rey, the Most Dangerous Hike in the World

El Camini­to del Rey (The King’s Lit­tle Path), often abbre­vi­at­ed to El Camino del Rey, is a walk­way that winds its way along the walls of El Chor­ro, a gorge in south­ern Spain near the vil­lage of Álo­ra. It is gen­er­al­ly con­sid­ered one of the most dan­ger­ous hikes in the world. The con­struc­tion of the walk­way was fin­ished in 1905, and after King Alfon­so XIII crossed it in 1921, it became known by its cur­rent name. In recent decades, large parts of the con­crete rest­ing on steel rails have dete­ri­o­rat­ed so bad­ly that it has become a life-threat­en­ing endeav­or to tra­verse the camino. After sev­er­al fatal acci­dents, author­i­ties offi­cial­ly closed the path in 2000. But there are still dar­ing hik­ers who man­age to get around the bar­ri­ers and make their way across the gorge. The video above shows in impres­sive detail how dan­ger­ous the camino is.

If you feel an inner urge to walk the camino, there are two impor­tant things to keep in mind:

  1. It real­ly is insane­ly dan­ger­ous. Mata­dor has some life-sav­ing tips if you want to trek the camino.
  2. If you want to get the true camino expe­ri­ence, you have to hur­ry up. The walk­way will be restored for 9 mil­lion euros between 2011 and 2015.

Bonus mate­r­i­al: The Cheap Route has a first-per­son account and some fan­tas­tic pho­tos of a camino hike.

By pro­fes­sion, Matthias Rasch­er teach­es Eng­lish and His­to­ry at a High School in north­ern Bavaria, Ger­many. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twit­ter.

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Comments (4)
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  • arantxa says:

    Too risky in my opin­ion. Views are awe­some but it’s extreme­ly dan­ger­ous .I’d wait til it’s restored for a safe hike

  • John Kramer says:

    Hi Matthias,

    Thanks for a great post. Your post was one of the ones that inspired me to give the Camino a try last week!! Check out the video we did!! hope you like it — can’t say I’d rec­om­mend any­one going up there at the moment. We have just had the wettest win­ter in the last 70 years and it has­n’t helped much. An Ital­ian climber fell off in March (2013), when the safe­ty cable snapped and mirac­u­lous­ly only suf­fered bro­ken ribs — he fell more than 80m!!

  • Drew says:

    What kind of safe­ty cable is that? Who’s the man­u­fac­tur­er? In USA the man­u­fac­tur­er would have prob­lems.

  • De Boever Nikolas says:

    i want to go for the hike butt i hear thats a ren­o­va­tion is going on? did you know more about it?

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