All is good with the world when you're gazing down from the rooftop of Milans Duomo. That is, until you remember the steep marble stairs that you climbed to get there are your only way down. All it takes is a misstep for any old staircase to become deceptive, yet some stand out for being especially scary. Can you believe that in China, there is a stairway with an age requirement. Thats funny, isn't it? However, some other stairs are intimidating for more psychological reasons, such as the ghostly atmosphere at The Stairway to Hell, or creaking noises made by them.
Travelers often follow these scary stairs because of what they find at the end, whether its top of a spectacular waterfall or a sacred Hindu temple. However, there's nothing quite like the excitement and thrill of accomplishment that comes once you've taken that last step. Safely, that is.
Pailon del Diablo Waterfall, Ecuador
At first sight, its lovely to witness the staircase adjacent to these waterfalls that blend in with the tropical landscape. They are made of smooth, oversized pebbles that provide little traction, and when you're looking down, they blend together, creating an optical illusion of a stone slide. However,they're slippery from the constant mist from the falls. There's a metal railing to save you from any misstep, but don't count on that too much as its drenched with water droplets.
Half Dome, Cable Route, California
The Half Dome Cable Route hike runs from the valley floor to the top of the dome in 8.2 mi (13 km) (via the Mist Trail), with 4,800 ft (1,460 m) of elevation gain. The length and difficulty of the trail used to keep it less crowded than other park trails, but in recent years the trail traffic has grown to as many as 800 people a day. The hike can be done from the valley floor in a single long day, but many people break it up by camping overnight in Little Yosemite Valley. The trail climbs past Vernal and Nevada Falls , then continues into Little Yosemite Valley, then north to the base of the northeast ridge of Half Dome itself.
Janssen Observatory, Mont Blanc, France
The steps are short and sweet. They're not cramped, they come with railings, and they don't get too crowded. What can make these creepy stairs squeamish is their placement at the summit of the tallest mountain in the Alps, when they're open to the winds and chilly temperatures.
Mount Huashan Heavenly Stairs, China
We hope you're not afraid of heights because this made my palms sweat. What you see is a mountain in China called Mt. Hua Shan. It is a mountain located near the city of Huayin in Shaanxi province, about 120 kilometres (75 mi) east of Xi'an. It is one of China's Five Great Mountains, and has a long history of religious significance. Originally classified as having three peaks, in modern times the mountain is classified as five main peaks, of which the highest is the South Peak at 2,154.9 metres (7,070 ft).
Flrli Stairs, Norway
Get ready for a Hike for tough people! The Flrli stairs have 4.444 steps and is one of the longest flairs of stairs in the world. The staircase follows the watergates supplying the hydropower station at the quay. The stairs end at the Ternevass dam. Well above the treeline, you will enjoy the great view out of the Lysefjord and toward the Preikestolen massive from up there.
Haiku Stairs, Oahu, Hawaii
Can stairs be so seriously scary that they've been banned? Answer is yes. The 3,922 rickety steepest stairs that lead a half mile up Oahus Koolau Mountain Range pose such a risk, its actually illegal to climb them. Theres even a guard placed at the bottom to stop you from going up. Nicknamed the Highway to Heaven, they were built in 1942 by the U.S. Navy as a means to installing communications wires. After World War II, they became popular with daredevil hikers, but by 1987, they had closed to the public for safety concerns, and they stay that way, despite a 2003 renovation project.
Taihang Mountains Spiral Staircase, China
Do you suffer from vertigo? Then this is not where you should go. This is an attraction that attracts thousands of tourists in China.The 300ft spiral staircase has been installed on the wall of the Taihang Mountains in Linzhou to offer the thrill of mountaineering without any danger. However, there is an age restriction here. Senior climbers beware you have to be under 60 to be allowed on the staircase.
Angkor Wat Temple Stairs, Cambodia
When you visit this temple, you will hear guides claim that the steps were made to be so steep to remind people that heaven was hard to reach. In this super-humid hotbox of Buddhist history, theres no shame in bowing down on your hands and knees or pulling yourself up with the provided ropes to scale the nearly 70 percent inclined stairs of Angkor Wats uppermost temples.
Batu Caves, Malaysia
One of the most important Hindu holy sites outside of India is this series of cave shrines nestled into the side of a mountain about eight miles from Kuala Lumpur. The highlight is accomplishing the ascent of 272 steps that lead 330 feet up the rock to the main Temple Cave. Its not just the stone stairs that test your temerity; its the naughty monkeys. They arent afraid of people and are liable to steal stuff right out of your bag. So while it's a good idea to climb without any food, you shouldn't mind praying before going up.
So, will you dare to climb your way up these terrifying stairs to witness the beauty from the topmost point?
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