Home / Asia / This Hiking Trail in China is as Terrifying as it is Breathtaking

This Hiking Trail in China is as Terrifying as it is Breathtaking

By | Last Updated: 30th May 2023


Deep in the heart of China lies Mount Hua Shan, one of China’s five most sacred mountains. At a height of 7,070 feet and a sheer cliff face, it is a sight to behold.


Source: Wikimedia

The mountain is very important in the Chinese Daoist faith. The Daoists believe that Mt. Hua Shan is the home of the God of the Underworld, Yama.

The mountain housed a temple to Yama as early as 2nd century BCE, called the ‘Shrine of the Western Peak’. For centuries, this was an important pilgrimage point for Chinese Emperors.

Getting to the top of the mountain, however, is no easy task.

Your trek starts off at a set of stairs called the ‘Heavenly Stairs’


Source: Uqpu.net

The stairs are a comfortable climb at first…


Source: Uqpu.net

Then they get narrower…


Source: Uqpu.net

And steeper…


Source: Uqpu.net

Until they are more ladders than stairs


Source: Yabroad

And lead directly to an ancient town. For centuries, this town has served as a resting point for weary travelers.


Source: ggpht

Here, you can catch your breath, drink some water, and take a big gulp of courage because the real challenge has just started.


Source: ssqq.com

Yes, that’s a cable car. To get to the South Peak, you’ll have to climb aboard one of these rickety ‘gondolas’.

The view is breathtaking, and equally terrifying.


Source: TahitianGoddess.WordPress.com

Once the gondola drops you off at the base of the South Peak, you’ll have to climb a narrow path. Eventually, the path gives way to wood planks nailed to the side of the mountain.


Source: AvaxNews

The planks are narrow…


Source: PixGrove.com

Terrifyingly narrow.


Source: Blogspot

Whatever you do, don’t look down. Because this is the view that will greet you:


Source: Blogspot

That’s a sheer drop of a few hundred feet with absolutely nothing to break your fall.

(Except for the rocks, of course)


Source: TheLifestyleCompound

You can imagine why 9 out of 10 people chicken out. But the challenge still isn’t over – you will even have to climb the vertical cliff face


Source: Viral Nova

Miss one step and you’ll tumble a few hundred feet


Source: Awaken.cc

A few more heart-in-your-mouth plank walks later…



Source: WhereCoolThingsHappen

You’ll arrive at the top!


Source: Imgur.com

And what awaits you at the top is…a teahouse!


Source: ChinaHighlights.com

Yup, you just risked limb and life to drink some tea on top of a mountain.


Source: Upqu.net

For your efforts, you do get a shrine with with spectacular views. And the satisfaction that you are among the elite few who climbed the most terrifying trail in the world.


Source: ViralNova

How many of your friends would have the guts to make this climb? Share this post with them and let them know!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    • Hola!

      Hello there! My name is Jay and I run this website. I'm a full-time traveler and freelance writer. This is where I share travel advice and help people pursue their traveling dreams.

      You can learn more about me and my mission on the about me page.

      It's nice to have you here :)

  • Connect with me:

    I LOVE connecting with fellow travelers. Hit me up on social media!