Any hiking trail can be dangerous for a multitude of reasons. It could be dangerous because of the amount of wildlife that hikers can expect to encounter along the path. It could be dangerous due to the natural environment – maybe it’s extremely hot or extremely cold. Or perhaps the hiking trail is at a high altitude, where the air is thinner and it’s therefore more difficult to breathe.
The fact is, no matter where you’re hiking, there’s always an element of danger. When you’re out in the elements, anything can and will happen. But, where in the world is that danger at its most extreme? Well, we’re going to show you 28 breathtaking pictures of what many people argue is the world’s most dangerous hiking path.
Now, while those potential dangers we mentioned earlier are, to some extent, present on this hiking trail, they’re not what make it especially dangerous. But, if it’s not the wildlife, the environment or even the altitude, then what is it? What makes the world’s most dangerous hiking trail as dangerous as it is?
Well, you’re going to have to click through and see for yourself; we don’t want to spoil it. Oh! And while you’re clicking through, make sure you’re holding onto something when you get to #18, especially if you’re afraid of heights!
1. Where Is the Most Dangerous Hiking Trail?
If you want to visit the most dangerous hiking trail in the world, then you’re going to have to travel to Mt Huashan in China.
2. Where Does the Trail Begin?
If you’re feeling intrepid enough to take on Mt. Huashan, then you’re going to have to travel to the city of Xi’an.
3. It Starts Innocently Enough…
After all, it’s just a bunch of stairs, right? That’s all there is to it, right?
There are a lot of steps on those stairs. In fact, there are 370 of them.
5. And, They’re Steep. Really Steep.
For some of the path, you’re going to have to use chains to hoist yourself up.
6. You’re Going to Have to Pull Yourself Up Like This
You might think that a hiking trail is all about your legs. On the “Heavenly Stairs” of Mr. Huashan, it’s all about your arms.
7. You Made It, Right?
Wrong. Those steps were only the beginning of the hiking path. The most treacherous parts are still ahead!
8. Keep Climbing
After the first leg of the hike, you’re going to have to keep climbing to reach the North Peak, which is 1,614 meters up! That’s where the cable car lets off.
9. We’re Done With the Stairs, Right?
Wrong. They don’t call this hiking trail the “Heavenly Stairs” for nothing!
10. How Many More Stairs?
If you thought the initial 370 stairs was bad, then you’re not going to like the answer. There are 999 more in front of you.
11. Are You Sure You Want to Keep Going?
If you don’t think you can make it, then you can always take the cable car back down the mountain.
If you’re out of breath or if you can’t handle the heights, the views from the cable car ride are nothing to scoff at!
13. You’ve Got Nerves of Steel? Let’s Keep Going!
Or you can take the cable car to the South Peak, where things get truly dangerous!
14. What’s Next? More Stairs?
Nope. Now it’s time to walk the treacherous plank path. Doesn’t look too bad, does it?
15. Wait a Second…
Not what you signed up for? Well, you’ve got no choice now. You’re going to have to keep going.
16. Make Sure You Watch Your Step
At most, you have only a couple of feet to work with on the treacherous plank path, so make sure you’re taking each step carefully.
17. And Hang onto the Chains
Much like the stairs you took on the way up, the chains are the only thing you can use to keep yourself stable.
18. Don’t Look Down!
Unless you want to give yourself a serious case of vertigo, then make sure you keep your eyes fixed on where you’re going.
19. And the Planks Aren’t Necessarily a Given
In some places you’re going to have to make due with the rock face of the South Peak. Don’t worry, though. They’ve cut in toe holes…
20. Seriously. Don’t Look Down!
It bears repeating. If you’re afraid of heights, then don’t treat yourself to a view like this.
21. So, What’s at the Top?
Well, you’re almost there, so you’re about to find out. If you’d rather not spoil the surprise, then stop reading now.
22. Don’t Forget to Hang a Lock
It’s a tradition, kind of like that bridge in Paris, to hang a lock near the top of Mt. Huashan. They say it will bring you good luck and fortune…
23. Continue to the Top
Did you hang a lock for good fortune? Good. Now it’s time for the last leg of the hike.
24. But, What’s That on the Top of the South Peak?
You didn’t think that there wouldn’t be a reward at the end of your journey, did you?
25. You Made It! So, Stop and Smell the Roses!
The view from the South Peak of Mt. Huashan can’t be beat. But, where is it that you’ve found yourself?
26. It’s a Taoist Temple!
Can you believe that people once decided that this would be an appropriate place for a temple?
27. Except it’s Not a Taoist Temple Anymore!
This former temple has been converted into a teahouse. So, have a cup of tea, and reward yourself for making it all the way to the top.
28. Now, About Getting Back Down the Mountain…
It’s simple physics! What goes up must come down…