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Go to hell! And, of course, we mean that in the most ingratiating way possible.

Several cool (or should we say, red hot?) U.S. destinations are peppered with the word “Hell” or “Devil,” and some of them are pretty damn cool. Whether it’s a geological wonder or a trendy neighborhood, these destinations will make you want to go straight to hell (hand baskets not included).

RELATED: 5 super haunted American hotels

Devil's Marbleyard, Virginia, travel

Devil’s Marbleyard | Flickr photo by abdurrafeykhan

Devil’s Marbleyard: Near Lexington, Virginia

For those who fall somewhere in between novice hiker and intrepid rock climber, this ascent near Lexington is a worthy one. Your reward for completing this 3-mile loop awaits you at the top, where you’ll be spoiled by views of the verdant valley overlooking the James River Face Wilderness area. But what really sets this hike apart is the marbleyard, which is an expansive field of white rocks filled with boulders ranging in size from a tire to a VW bus. And, because we know you’re curious, yes, you can scramble around on them. It’s not a cardinal sin. In fact, negotiating the boulders will earn you some of the best views of the valley. After the hike, you’ve more than earned yourself a pint (or two) from Devil’s Backbone Brewing Co. in nearby Lexington.
Fear Factor: (7) The uphill portion of this hike will set your calves on fire, a reminder you’re in the devil’s company.

Devil's Golf Course, Death Valley National Park, California

Devil’s Golf Course

Devil’s Golf Course: Death Valley National Park

The National Parks just celebrated their 100th birthday, and these centenarians are full of life. Death Valley National Park is no exception, despite its name. (Let’s be honest, it’s outright morbid!) Yes, this national park is one of the hottest and driest places on earth, but, it’s also one of the greatest for stargazers, thanks to minimal nearby artificial lights (which helped it nab a dark skies designation). While you’re waiting for the sun to set, make your way to “Devil’s Golf Course” off of Badwater Road. Death Valley is set in a graben (AKA a sunken chunk of Earth’s crust. Err, that sounds an awful lot like hell, yes?). In the so-called golf course, rain and wind transformed rock salt into jagged spires. They’re so serrated that “only the devil could play golf on such rough links,” according to the National Park Service.  We should mention that a visit to the craggy golf course is a multi-sensory experience. Listen closely, and you can hear pings and pops reverberating, thanks to iddy-biddy salt crystals busting apart.
Fear Factor: (10) We were at an 8 because Death Valley once reached a scorching 134 degrees. The scorpions, rattlesnakes and black widow spiders native to this park brought us up to a 9. But we’ve gotta’ give the devil his due and allot extra credit for doubling down on the doom-and-gloom references.

Dare Devil Dive: Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell, GA

You’ve heard the lyric: “The devil went down to Georgia.” Dare devils have reason to flock here, too. At Six Flags Over Georgia, the Dare Devil Dive coaster takes riders on a 95-foot tall, straight up lift before dropping them on a straight-down free fall. The rest of the ride on this steel coaster zips through loops, turns and twists. Of course, you can be gluttonous at this theme park, too. (Hear our confession: funnel cakes drizzled in chocolate and bacon-cheddar ranch fries).
Fear Factor: (9) This bad boy zooms around at speeds of up to 52 mph and will twist you upside down a few times.

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Devil's Garden, Utah, Arches National Park

Devil’s Garden | Flickr photo by jemartin03

Devil’s Garden Arches: Arches National Park, UT

Say what you will about the devil, but if the awe-inspiring rock garden in Arches National Park is any evidence, he’s got a green thumb. Garden Arches is one of the popular destinations within the park, which is near Moab and houses some 2,000 natural sandstone arches. If you can manage the 8.1-mile hike via the Primitive Loop hiking trail that winds through the park, you’ll get up-close-and-personal with 7 natural arches. Among them? The Dark Angel, a 150-foot sandstone tower that sits atop a hill above Devils Garden.
Fear Factor: (3) But that’s only if you spend a night with the devil by reserving a campground in his garden.

Hell's Kitchen, NYC

Hell’s Kitchen | Flickr photo by urban_data

Hell’s Kitchen: New York City

Mysteries surround how this easternmost section of Midtown Manhattan got its name, but what we do know is that from the mid-1800s until about 25 years ago, it was a rough and tumble ‘hood that was home to street gangs, rampant poverty and the occasional gruesome murder. These days it has joined the rest of the island in becoming a playground for affluent, white collar types. Think luxury high rises, farm-to-fork eateries and fancy retail a stone’s throw from the heart of Broadway. Yet still, you can stumble into some dive bars here, or catch an up-and-coming actor or comedian at the unassuming Ars Nova theater.
Fear Factor: (6) The price of a cocktail in in this ritzy nabe will scare the bejeezus out of you.

Devil's Backbone

Devil’s Backbone | Flickr photo by Glenn Scofield Williams

Devil’s Backbone: Loveland, Colorado

This northern Colorado park’s name comes from the iconic rock formations that jut out of the ground and twist through the open space, up and down a hilly landscape. In all, 12 miles of trails make up Devil’s Backbone Open Space. Other sights vying for your attention are the soaring red-tailed hawks and wildflowers that blanket the area in spring and summer. The trails are open for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking.
Fear Factor: (1) How can anybody be too scared in a city that’s nicknamed the “Sweetheart City” and where you can re-route your mail on Valentine’s Day so it gets a lovely stamp? Plus, you can always redeem yourself later at Colorado’s Garden of the Gods, a park filled with stunning red rocks.

Hell's Canyon National Recreation Area, Idaho, Oregon

Hell’s Canyon National Recreation Area

Hells Canyon National Recreation Area in Idaho and Oregon

Straddling both Idaho and Oregon, this 216,981 acre pastoral oasis is filled with canyon rim rocks and vistas. A crown jewel of the recreation area is the Seven Devils Mountain Range, which the national forest service says got its name because a Native American lost in the area had a vision of “seven dancing devils.” The mountainous peaks rise more than 9,000 feet and mostly delight in devilish names: She Devil, He Devil, Ogre, Goblin, Devil’s Throne, Mt. Belial and Twin Imps.
Fear Factor: (6) Chase this thrill by going whitewater rafting through Hells Canyon, which is rippling with Class III rapids. Rafting outfitters say it’s home to the deepest gorge in North America.

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Tagged: California, Feature, New York, Top 10 Lists, Virginia

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Brittany Anas

Brittany Anas

Brittany Anas

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