Humans have been scrambling up mountainsides for thousands of years, using some seriously precarious walkways to reach their destinations far above sea level. Here are some of the most hair-raisingly narrow cliff paths that humans have created. They are both terrifying and gorgeous.
The 700-year old Chang Kong Cliff Road with a 12 inch (30 cm) wide pathway on Huashan Mountain, China
The 3.3 ft (1 m) wide El Caminito del Rey, Malaga, Spain, 330 ft (100 m) above El Chorro river, built between 1901 and 1905 for workers to cross between two hydroelectric power plants.
It may be the most dangerous cliff-side pathway ever. There aren't any handrails and some sections are crumbled. It's closed since 2000, but it will reopen in 2014.
Walk Of Faith, a 3 foot (90 cm) wide, 2.5 inch (6.3 cm) thick glass walkway 4690 ft (1430m) above sea level, on Tianmen Mountain, China
(via Shutterstock/SIHASAKPRACHUM and Zhangjiaije)
Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) mountain range, China with more than 30 miles (48 km) of stairways on cliffs
(via Ehab Samy)
The ancient Baoxie Plank Road, built during Emperor Huiwen's reign of the Qin State (c. 320 B.C.). It covered a total distance of 155 miles (250 km) but now only a restored section is walkable.
The plank road with 217 steps near the 233 ft (71 m) tall Leshan Giant Buddha, the largest stone Buddha in the world and the tallest pre-modern statue in the world, built between 713 and 803.
2,000ft (610 m) straight drop on both sides of this walkway.
A 2.4 mi (3.9 km) long trail was cut into solid rock in 1926.
El Peñón de Guatapé (mean The Rock of Guatapé, also known as La Piedra Del Peñol), near Guatapé, Antioquia, Colombia
There is a massive crack in the rock, where the first people climbed the El Peñón de Guatapé in 1954. A few years later a 649-step masonry staircase was wedged in there.
Fun fact: Today the giant granite dome is apparently owned by a local family, according to Atlas Obscura.