If you like to live life on the edge (or over the edge), you’re going to love these seven most insane and scariest cliff walks. Personally, I never follow the “don’t look down” rule — and if you’re going to make the adrenaline junky pilgrimage to these far flung places, neither should you. So without further adieu, it’s time to get high.
1) Dachstein Sky Walk – Austria
Kicking things off in the Austrian Alps is the Dachstein Sky Walk. After climbing to an altitude of almost 9,000 feet in the Dachstein Cable Car, you’ll have a variety of vertigo inducing viewpoints to choose from. There’s the Sky Walk (bottom right photo above) with a glass floor suspended over a 820 foot drop, the 256 foot long suspension bridge which will have you floating over an equally precarious drop, and the Stairway To Nothingness. As far as I could tell from researching online, the Stairway To Nothingness, which will lead those brave enough down 14 steps and out over a 1,300 foot drop has not yet been built, but may be completed this year.
From whichever viewpoint you choose, you’ll be able to see hundreds of mountain peaks (and into the Czech Republic on clear days) in the distance, and the Dachstein glacier below, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2) Capilano Suspension Bridge and Cliffwalk – Canada
The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, located in Vancouver, British Columbia, is kind of like a cliff walk amusement park in terms of it’s scale. Set among 27 acres of beautiful coastal rainforest you’ll find the 450 foot long suspension bridge which hangs 230 feet above the Capilano River, the Cliffwalk, a series of cantilevered and suspended walkways hanging off the cliffs (much of it featuring glass floors) and the Treetop Adventure, which takes you 100 feet up and over a series of platforms and bridges suspended throughout 1,300 year old trees.
3) Chang Kong Cliff Road – China
Perhaps the most insane cliff walk on this insane list is the Chang Kong Cliff Road located in China’s Shaanxi province. This narrow pathway (and at points, lack thereof) is made of one-foot wide wooden boards which were nailed into Mount Huashan’s sheer vertical cliff more than 700 years ago. For centuries, the mountain has held great religious significance, and in fact, the path was built by those looking to access a more peaceful place to practice their religious beliefs (and to find the immortals they believed were living in the mountains, as some stories go). For those brave enough to walk it, you’ll be given a safety harness…which hopefully won’t be as old as the walkway.
4) Titlis Cliff Walk – Switzerland
At 330 feet long, three feet wide, and 1,640 feet above a glacier, the Titlis Cliff Walk is Europe’s tallest suspension bridge. If you have what it takes to cross what’s been called “the scariest bridge in the world,” you’ll be rewarded with some of the most breathtaking views of Mount Titlis and the rest of the Alps available anywhere. To make it more exhilarating, you’ll have to make it through an underground tunnel to reach the entrance to the bridge.
5) El Caminito del Rey – Spain
This one is just plain crazy…and reminiscent in many ways to number three on this list. Spain’s El Camino del Rey (The King’s Pathway) clings to the cliffs, 700 feet above El Chorro, a river gorge located about two hours from Gibraltar. Finished in 1905 and built as a means to transport workers and materials between two hydroelectric power plants, the path has fallen into serious disrepair and in many places, the path no longer exists. So why wouldn’t you strap on a harness and walk it?! You can walk the path with Barbary Rock Adventures.
6) Aiguille du Midi’s “Step Into The Void” Skywalk - France
Located at the peak of Aiguille du Midi, a mountain high above Chamonix, France, is the Step Into The Void Skywalk. Part tourist attraction and part permanent art installation, Step Into The Void was built to give people a sense of being in the void, an area of nothingness surrounded by air. To get to the peak, located at 12,604 feet elevation, you’ll take the Aiguille du Midi cable car 8,858 feet up the side of the mountain. Then, you’ll board a second cable car to climb the remaining 4,790 feet. Once at the top and standing in the void you’ll experience incredible close up views of Mont Blanc and 3,395 feet of pure nothingness beneath your feet. To put that height in perspective, the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building located in Dubai, is 2,722 ft tall — so image standing at the top, then add on a few hundred more feet.
7) Grand Canyon Skywalk – USA
Although reviews on Yelp completely rip this place apart for being an incredibly expensive tourist trap, The Grand Canyon Skywalk is still an impressive feat in engineering and an insane Cliff Walk. Whether you want to brave the approximately 15 miles of unpaved roads to get there, the various times you’ll have to take out your wallet just to step onto the Skywalk and the fact that you can’t take photos while on the platform (professional photos are available for purchase) is a decision you’ll have to carefully weigh for yourself. If you make it there, you’ll be met with a glass floor and a 4,000 foot drop to the canyon floor below.
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Photo Credit: 1) www.derdachstein.at 2) Capilano Suspension Bridge Park 3) HAP/Quirky China News/Rex Feat 4) Clockwise: Alexandre Breveglieri, Terrie Schweitzer, Terrie Schweitzer, Ignac Hanak/Demotix 5) Barbary Rock Adventures 6) Reuters/Robert Pratta 7) Clockwise: Chris Murphy, lostinfog, Gabe, Sue.