The most dangerous walkway in the World!
Bridges have since turned the need to get from here to there into an unforgettable fear-facing, vertigo-inducing adventure. We have hand-picked some of the World’s most spectacular pedestrian bridges of our time!
If you’re afraid of heights, this is the stuff of nightmares! Caminito del Rey was in the past known as Spain’s most dangerous path, or the most dangerous walkway in the world. More than 100 years old the walkway is pinned along the steep walls of a narrow gorge, featuring a boardwalk built into the side of a cliff face that hangs 100 metres above the Guadalhorce River. There have been at least five deaths along the 7.7-kilometre Caminito del Rey, all occurring before the extensive €3.12 million restoration programme. Battling it out before its transformation would have ranked right up there with camping on an erupting volcano or scuba diving with great white sharks, without a cage. Large gaping holes in the concrete were common. Sometimes whole sections of the treacherous walkway were completely missing, after crashing down to the bottom of the canyon. But luckily after more than a decade of being off limits, and four years of reconstruction, it was reopened to the public as a much safer route to tackle. Aging concrete was replaced with wooden slats and glass panels with a handrail. Now tourists can safely dare to cross the dizzying hanging footbridge that stands 105 metres high and enjoy the views of this magnificent canyon. Although the bridge poses no risk to their lives, it certainly requires a certain level of physical effort and skill to get to it. But, that’s exactly what makes it such an alluring adventure.
Step into the Void
It may be small, but it is no less terrifying. It’s also the highest in our collection, measuring at 3 842 metres above sea level! This bridge receives half a million visitors a year, placing you as close to Mont Blanc - the highest peak in Europe - as you can without having any mountaineering experience. The bridge has been drilled into the Aiguille du Midi Mountain, and the summit contains a panoramic viewing platform, a café and a gift shop. Even in summer, temperatures in the open viewing areas can reach -10 °C, so make sure you’re wearing warm gear and sunnies as it’s super bright up there!
If the bridge isn’t enough to scare you, they’ve just built a glass skywalk alongside it, called "Step into the Void". Three glass walls, a glass floor and glass ceiling panels, allow the visitor a unique experience enhanced by a dramatic perspective - the view of which is 1 035 metres straight down! A further tourist development currently under construction is 'Le Pipe' – a tubular walkway that will completely circle the summit.
The longest pedestrian-only bridge in the Swiss Alps
If you see a picture of the Trift bridge suspended between two glaciers, the tiny antlike figures crossing it are some of its 20 000 annual visitors. The longest pedestrian-only suspension bridge in the Swiss Alps spanning 170 metres, The Trift Bridge boasts a height of 100 metres and hangs proudly over Lake Triftsee.
To reach it you will need to get a cable car ride that leaves every 12 minutes and carries eight passengers at a time. After which, expect a not-so-easy uphill hike for about two hours to the bridge. It is spectacularly beautiful - offering fresh mountain air and views all the way up, all making it well worth the trek. Although, you wouldn’t want to get stuck up there when a blizzard is on its way, so make sure to check the weather report ahead of time as winds can blow through the gorge at 200 kilometres per hour. In fact, the original bridge was replaced with this one to prevent dangerous swaying.
2 200 visitors walk across it daily!
This simple suspension bridge is not for the faint-hearted. Perched 70 metres above the Capilano River in Vancouver, it spans 140 metres and sees around 2 200 visitors walk across the swaying rope bridge daily, all in single file, trying not to look down at the river below. That’s approximately 800 000 visitors a year!
The bridge has seen its fair share of tragedy. Back in 2010, a teenage tourist high on LSD climbed over the fence and fell to his death. And, ten years earlier, a mother dropped her eighteen-month-old, disabled child off the bridge, claiming she stumbled and the kid slipped out of her hands. Amazingly, the child was unharmed. As well as the bridge and Treetop Adventures, the park also features rain forest ecotours, award-winning gardens and nature trails.
A footbridge in the sky
The 439-metre long SkyBridge rises 207 metres above the Krasnaya Polyana valley. The footbridge can carry up to 30 000 people at a time and includes two observation platforms, each offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the Black Sea Coast. And if walking across it isn’t adventurous enough for you, you can also bungee jump off it or zip line along it. According to its creators, the impressive SkyBridge can supposedly withstand earthquakes, hurricane winds, rain, snow and ice. Whether you choose to walk, bungee or zip line across, we’d recommend you do so on an empty stomach.
Expansive views of untouched wilderness
As you meander through the Tsitsikamma’s incredible coastal forest taking in spectacular views of the sea, coast and river mouth you are bound to come across this 77-metre long suspension bridge crossing the Storms River Mouth. It hangs just seven metres above the churning waters of the river as it enters the foamy Indian Ocean. Standing on this dramatic piece of engineering, visitors are really able to take in the unspoilt beauty around them.