Most Dangerous Trails and Bridges in the World from Most Dangerous Trails and Bridges in the World
Most Dangerous Trails and Bridges in the World
Most Dangerous Trails and Bridges in the World
One slip can change your life or end it. Perhaps it is the adrenaline rush of being vulnerable that makes crossing swinging bridges and dangerous hikes a popular adventure. Dangerous holes and rotten wood floors are not to be underestimated. Hikes along such terrain are certainly not a walk in the park. Imagine looking at the horizon and seeing nothing but rusted cables for miles? All you can feel is the strong wind. You look down and the bottom is hidden by a thick fog. Is your heart beating faster already?
Glass Skywalk Trail, China
Perched at an extreme height of almost 5,000 feet, this walkway would be frightening without the sections of glass flooring. Take the path and step out onto the 200-foot-long section of transparent glass where you can see mountains beneath your feet. The 2.5-inch thick glass is projected to withstand your weight and unexpected rock fall from above. The third glass skywalk in Tianmen Mountain Scenic Area “Coiled Dragon Cliff Glass Walkway” opened to the public on Aug. 1, 2016.
Hussaini Bridge, Pakistan
If somebody was looking at you walking on this bridge, it might seem like you were walking on thin clouds unsupported. The Hussaini Hanging Bridge is often referred to as the world’s most dangerous one. This perilous rope bridge will have you risk your life with every step. Many of the wooden planks are missing, and the wind, even if it’s not very strong, shakes the bridge.
El Caminito del Rey, Spain
El Caminito del Rey, or the King’s Little Pathway, is a narrow walkway set against the walls of a deep gorge that’s been called “the most dangerous path in the world.” Originally constructed in the early 1900s as a route for hydroelectric power plant workers, the meager trail fell into severe disrepair over the course of the century. By the year 2000, following four fatalities in the previous year, the pathway was closed to the public and was under construction for more than a decade.
Mount Titlis, Switzerland
Set alongside the tallest mountain in the Swiss Alps—Mount Titlis, this incredible bridge is a whopping 1,640 feet up from the ground below. Said to be the highest suspension bridge in all of Europe, the views are absolutely stunning, but crossing it is frightening to say the least. “To cross the bridge, you'll need nerves as strong as the steel cables from which it hangs,” reads the website.
Haiku Stairs, Hawaii
The Haiku Stairs are also famous by their nickname “Stairway to Heaven.” This is one of the most epic hikes in Hawaii, but it’s illegal. The trail is officially closed. This doesn’t discourage adventurous hikers from trying their luck reaching the spectacular Puu Keahiakahoe summit to take in the view of the lavish Koolau mountain range.
Vitim River Bridge, Russia
Few people have crossed this bridge. They even set up their own page on Facebook, describing the community to be “for any survivors who have crossed the world's most dangerous bridge ... the Vitim River road bridge, in extreme Siberia.” The old train bridge is covered in ice most of the time. It’s also not very wide – just about 6 feet – and it has no fence or anything to hold on.
Cascade Saddle, New Zealand
The trail is popular in the summer but the winter is a whole different story — the 11-mile route through a forest and meadows is very slippery. The biggest risk for people is falling and hurting themselves very badly, especially when the rocks are wet. Steep snow grass and tussock ridge brings you to the highest point, the Pylon at 6,020 feet. After a tourist fell to his death in 2012, the second man to die in 18 months, the coroner raised questions about the safety of the route.
Via Ferrata, Italy and Austria
Instead of using ladders to cross, like people did a few centuries ago, adventurers now use steel cables, ropes, suspension bridges, and wooden footpaths. No wonder the route is called Via Ferrata, which means “Iron Street” in Italian. The walkways get extremely icy when it snows. One woman died in 2009 after slipping. She fell 600 feet.
Mist Trail, Yosemite’s Half Dome, California
Peter Burger/Wikimedia Commons
Puente de Ojuela, Mexico
You have to see this 19th century suspension bridge to believe it actually exists. Walking over the squeaky wood floor, which is just about 2 feet wide, can be frightening, and the fact that you’re headed to a ghost town at the end of it doesn’t help shake off the scary feeling. The bridge is 1,043 feet long, set about 360 feet above a valley.
Newsweek has called Taghia the Yosemite of North Africa but without the people because it barely gets any visitors. “Climbing and hiking around these places can make you feel alternately fragile and durable, small and big, utterly dominated and chest-swellingly inspired. They can kill you—and they make you feel more alive than you’ve ever been.” The mountains and canyons are very steep and water is rare up high.
Stairs of Death, Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru
Many will agree that the Huayna Picchu mountain has the most stunning views of Machu Picchu, but getting there is no easy task. And you must be very brave. The mountain is steep, and the pathway, leading to the summit, is sometimes exposed, according to Bored Panda. Huayna Picchu, which gets very slippery during the rainy season, is 8,835 feet tall, which is about 850 feet higher than Machu Picchu.
Capilano Suspension Bridge, Canada
The panoramas surrounding this suspension footbridge, set 230 feet above sea level, are breathtaking – timeless and lavish green forest. But the very shaky, and somewhat narrow bridge, may keep your eyes away. Look up and you will feel excitement, awe, and terror all at the same time in a span of seconds. This is what makes the bridge one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vancouver.
Hua Shan Trail, China
Imagine what could be the most challenging hiking experience for you and multiply that by 100. This will give you an idea of how difficult it is to hike the Mount Huashan trail. The highest point is 7,087 feet. The routes to the top are barely walkable because you are walking on thin floating boards attached only by nails and giant “staples.” You must hold on to cables the whole time if you want to avoid flying toward the ground.
Keshwa Chaca, Peru
Bridges built by the Incas disappeared after the last of them in the early 17th century, according to Amusing Planet. The only one that survived, because local villagers rebuilt it, was the the Keshwa Chaca that spans the Apurimac River near Huinchiri. It consists of five parallel ropes twisted from the fibers of the maguey plant. The walkway is made of small sticks and canes, fastened diagonally with raw-hide strings.
U Bein Bridge, Myanmar
The world’s longest teak footbridge gently curves 1,300 yards (0.7 miles) across shallow Taungthaman Lake, creating one of Myanmar’s most photographed sites, according to Lonely Planet. In the dry season it feels surreally high and mostly crosses seasonal vegetable gardens. It’s about 200 years old. The ageing wood used to be part of the Royal Palace.
Maroon Bells South Ridge, Colorado
Just because this is a popular trail and many people actually complete it doesn’t mean it’s safe. This trail got its nickname is the “Deadly Bells” after eight people died in five different incidents, and many more on other occasions. The hike is 12 miles up to the top and challenges include unstable and loose rocks, steeps, and valleys. The South Ridge Route is very long. You spend lots of time above tree line. Lightning can be a problem.
Angels Landing, Zion National Park, Utah
With sheer cliffs on both sides, hikers have a narrow trail to follow to get up to the best views in Angels Landing. Despite the chains to help you hike up the narrow trail, the rocks can be quite slippery and many accidents have occurred because of hiking on the trail when the weather is storming. The National Park Service estimates that five people have fallen off Angels Landing, but claim they don’t have exact numbers.
Drakensberg Traverse, South Africa
The Drakensberg Grand Traverse is a 135-150-mile hike across the Drakensberg mountain range, the highest in the country. There is no designed route but there are eight checkpoints that you must pass in order to compete the DGT. They include all major peaks along the way and are over 9,800 feet. One of the worst parts is the beginning – wobbly chain ladders for visitors to use to trek to the ridge. There were 55 hiker deaths recorded in the period before 1985, mostly from falls and exposure, according to Australian Geographic.