The world is full of beautiful attractions- from the bluest waters, the sandiest beaches, the rockiest mountains, and everything in between. But some of these attractions will test your trust and beautiful or not, they will have you squeezing your eyes shut and running the opposite way.
We don't have to search long to find them- some are in our own backyard. From manmade structures to natural rocky mountains, these attractions have been recognized worldwide for their don't look down! impressions.
Some will argue that the world is better at 2,000 metres up, and some will happily be okay with their feet standing at sea level. Our fears can get the best of us, and the only way for us to experience these world famous attractions are through blogs like these. They're not for everyone, and maybe, this list is the closest you will get to the tallest building, or the highest altitude mountain.
You can repeat Drake’s “YOLO” as loud as you want, but if you have a fear of heights, these attractions are not for you. We compiled a list of the tallest and most intimidating attractions that will have anyone with acrophobia (fear of heights) quickly exiting the browser.
This list is for the brave, the courageous, and those who are a little riskier than others. Here are 25 attractions that should be avoided by people who are afraid of heights.
25 Devil's Pool- Zambia
The ultimate infinity pool puts you up close and personal with the drop of 128 metres above the Victoria Falls. From September to December, tourists and locals can experience the ultimate adrenaline rushing view
This phenomenon, also referred to as the Devil’s Swimming Pool looks absolutely intimidating. From the first glance, it looks like the waters will drop right into the falls, but with natural rock formed barriers, tour guides insist it is safe to swim right to edge.
This freezing water may deter you from jumping in. Or, the fact that it overlooks the plunging falls. You decide.
24 The Ledge- Chicago, USA
While Chicago’s Skydeck extends 410 metres up, the Ledge’s glass box extends out by 1.3 metres. Yikes. If the Skydeck didn’t have you holding your breath as you looked at the entire city of Chicago under your feet, we suggest you don’t venture out to the Ledge’s glass box.
However, if you want to truly experience Chicago from the best angle, for only $24 USD, you can literally hang out in the middle of the sky, in a glass box.
With more positive than negative reviews, locals and tourists think this exciting view is worth the adrenaline rush.
23 Trolltunga- Norway
Would you face your fear of heights “for the Insta?” This IG- famous cliff reaches almost 1000 metres and is one of the most picturesque points in Norway.
The thin rock that extends out of the mountain is named Trolltunga, translated to “Troll’s tongue,” is definitely something to add to your bucket list.
This beautifully scenic hike is not as strenuous and physically challenging as the others. Don’t get me wrong, it will still take you around 10-12 hours to reach the top. The most difficult part is the beginning, so arrive well rested and ready to work. After the first kilometer, it is smooth sailing to the Troll’s Tongue.
22 CN Tower Edge Walk- Toronto, Canada
If the glass floor inside the CN Tower wasn’t enough to make your stomach lurch, then you definitely shouldn’t consider doing the Edge Walk.
Canada’s 550-metre building now offers fearless adventurers to harness up and walk around the outdoor perimeter of the building.
For thirty minutes, you and several of your friends can fork over $225 Canadian dollars to overlook the entire city of Toronto. Edge Walkers can be seen all the way down from the Roger’s Centre. You will be wide-eyed staring at the daredevils.
21 Capilano Suspension Bridge- Vancouver, Canada
With the height reaching only 70 metres, maybe the shaky 140-metre bridge crossing over Capilano River, may make you feel a little weak in the knees.
This popular tourist site in Northern Vancouver brings in over 800,00 curious tourists every year. It is not as safe to cross during the winter, as weather can make it slippery (as if you needed to add that to your list of fears!)
In case this isn’t scary enough for you, in 2011, a new Cliff Walk attraction was added to the park for extra thrill seekers.
20 Half Dome- Yosemite National Park, USA
Maybe this isn’t the best hike to start with to face your fear of heights, but check out the view! Reaching 2,694 metres in elevation, it is just over 8 miles to reach the top of the dome.
Many ambitious hikers don’t make it past the first dome. Fight or flight, as they say. It is intimidating as you have to literally walk on the edge and you are in full view of how high the drop is. But, many push through. If you are successful and make it past the first bit, you can definitely make it through to the final dome, which is referred to as “the cables.”
19 Kingda Ka- New Jersey, USA
Six Flags Great Adventure theme park in New Jersey is home to the world’s tallest roller coaster, standing at 139 metres. Racing at 128 miles per hour, this roller coaster is not only the tallest, but the fastest.
Roller coaster fanatics from all over the world line up to ride Kinga Ka, in hopes to sit in the front cart to experience the drop up first hand. This thrill machine was built in 2005, and has the reputation of being one of the safest rides as well.
18 Trift Bridge- Gadmen, Switzerland
I would hold your breath reading this post. This pedestrian bridge, connecting the Alps of the Trift Glacier is 100 metres high and 190 metres long.
The hike to reach the bridge takes 90 minutes each way, and is 1.75 miles. But, the hike itself isn’t the most astonishing part, that will send anyone afraid of heights running the opposite way.
MySwitzlerland explains that the reason that the bridge was built was because the Trift Glacier could no longer high enough to take tourists to the hut on the peak of the mountain. Building a bridge across was a safer alternative.
17 Angel's Landing- Zion National Park, USA
It is no surprise that Angel’s Landing One of the most popular hikes in the world.
This strenuous hike is 5.4 miles long and has a gradual elevation of 457 metres. There are multiple trails that take you to your destination, starting with the West Rim Trail, Walter’s Wiggles, and Scout’s Lookout. During the incline, the trail does not seem too intimidating.
While the pictures make it look effortless, there are many narrow sections that have close to a 304-metre drops on both sides. If you have a fear of heights, Angel’s Landing is not a hike to face them.
16 North Yungas Road- Yungas, Bolivia
Inviting all thrill seekers to check out this road, notoriously nicknamed “Death Road” in Bolivia. The nickname holds a strong reputation. This 43-mile road has its setbacks that increase its danger, including fog, landslides, and cascades, and not to mention cliffs that climb up to 610 metres. The biggest drop rises to over 4,500 metres!
Tourists are curious about Yungas Road, not only because of the thrill, but because of the beauty. The road wraps around mountains, connected to the beautiful Amazon rainforest.
Biking, hiking, and driving on this trail are only recommended if you are a serious thrill seeker. Did you see that drop?!
15 25. Sinabung Volcano- Sumatra, Indonesia
The elevation of 2,500 metres at Sinabung Volcano is surprisingly not the most challenging part of this trek. As an active volcano, we’re sure your fear of lava outweighs your fear of heights.
However, as one of Indonesia’s most popular hikes, the view makes the hike and risk worth it. In a single day, hikers are known to ascend at least 1,000 metres, taking them between 6 to 8 hours.
This diverse hike will keep you guessing, as the lower part of the route is exploring through a forest area, and the final ascent is through a narrow strip of lava. Exhilarating and risky.
14 Colorado River Headwaters Trail- Colorado, USA
Pass on this moderately challenging trail if you fear both heights and rapids.
Situated in the Rock Mountain National Park, this trail is elevated at almost 9,000 feet, this trail stretches to 9 miles, this climb is most attractive to those who are acclimatized to high elevations.
The trails are very well maintained, with signage at every turn to make sure hikers do not get lost in the winds and turns. You can drive up in 90 minutes or take a 3 to 5-hour hike up.
13 The Maze- Canyonlands National Park, USA
Listed as the most dangerous hikes in America, the Maze in Utah is a confusing and twisted trail. You will experience crossing canyons, watching rapids splash beneath your feet, all from an elevation of almost 6,000 feet.
It is highly recommended to plan your trip in the spring when the temperature is significantly cooler, as in the summer temperatures can rise up to 100 degrees. The number of thrill-seeking adventurers has dramatically decreased to only 2,000 people per year.
If you are looking for a well preserved, colourful adventure through canyons, creeks, and inclines, then the Maze is for you.
12 Lion's Head- Cape Town, South Africa
This picturesque view overlooking Capetown’s coastline will make you second guess your fear of heights. However, with a 2,000-foot incline, the nerves will definitely be kicking in.
The name Lion’s Head was from the 1800s, when yes, there were actual lions that lived around the city. But not to worry, they won’t be chasing you to the top. But hey, from the top, you get a 360-degree view of Cape Town.
Feeling extra risky? You can paraglide back down to the base from the summit.
11 Mount Whitney - California, USA
Try not to let the name scare you: Also referred to as Death Valley, Mount Whitney is the highest point in the USA, reaching to 4,421 metres.
For the average hiker, this trail takes up to 7-8 hours to reach the summit. However, for a beginner, it can take up to 18 hours, totally up to 25 miles, roundtrip. Additionally, this hike requires a permit.
The altitude is one of the biggest adjustments for this hike, as many complain about getting sick and it interfering with the success of their climb.
10 Villarrica Volcano- Los Rios Region, Chile
Standing at 2,847 metres above sea level, the Villarrica Volcano is one of Chile’s most active and dangerous volcanoes. However, it is open to the public and ready for thrill seekers to take on and enjoy.
As it is a significantly popular destination, if you plan on following through with your hiking plans, it is important to book well in advance. It takes nine hours to complete, so it is recommended to start early on in the day.
Lucky for you, because of the snowy and icy conditions, there is a ski lift available to take you to the base. It will shorten your hiking time by an hour and keep you a little warmer.
9 Arthur's Pass- Arthur's National Park, New Zealand
Arthur’s Pass National Park is home to great trails, like Devil’s Punchbowl Walking Track, Arthur’s Pass Walking Track, Bealey Spur, Avalanche Peak Route, and Bealey Valley Track.
All the hikes range in difficulty, but the most challenging and highest peak is Arthur’s Pass itself, reaching 739 metres above sea level. It is located directly in the centre of the park, which is in New Zealand's South Island.
If the hike is too much, you can also drive and still get a spectacular view. You will appreciate the winding, narrow roads more from the car, if you aren't too fond of heights.
8 Cliffs of Moher- Lislorkan, Ireland
With your fear of heights, you can reward yourself with a pint of Guinness if you make it to the top of the cliff.
250 metres above the North Atlantic Ocean, this scenic Irish trail will take adventurers around 4.5 hours to complete both ways. It is challenging, steep, and completely exposed. The path is loose gravel and a bit rocky, but the end goal is worth it.
This coastal walk is worth it to experience the spectacular views, and one of the most talked about attractions in Ireland.
7 Mount Washington- North Carolina, USA
This strenuous hike requires a lot of planning, and definitely not for tourists who are afraid of heights. One the USA’s most famous mountains, Mount Washington stands at the 1,916 metres, and is the highest peak north of the Carolinas.
There are many different routes to take to get to the peak, but the Lion Head Trail is the best option, as it offers the best views, but is a more consistent ascent.
It is most safe to hike in the summer and early fall, in comparison to the brave the cold during the winter. While the winter offers beautiful landscapes, the high winds and low temperatures will make the hike more challenging.
6 Mount Huashan- Shaanxi, China
I mean...if you are a thrill seeker, and not much of a hiker, you can take a cable car up 7,000 feet to the top of Mount Hua. Once you get to the top, you are harnessed in and walk along the edge of the cliff- based on a plank made out of plywood.
Nomadasaurus details the ancient Chinese legend about Mount Huashan, explaining that the only true to the top is along the 7.5 miles trail, rising over 1800 metres. This took over 3,000 years to build, and is the only true way to experience the sacredness. As one of five sacred mountains in China, the base of the mountain is surrounded by shrines and temples.
In 2015, Mount Huashan was recognized as the World’s Most Dangerous Hike. Also referred to as the Plant Walk, this mountain will either make you or break you as a hiker.
5 Mount Everest- Nepal & Tibet
More obvious than others, Mount Everest needed to be at the top of this list. Not only is Everest the highest peak in the Himalayas, but it is the tallest mountain range in the world.
It is a long journey getting to the top of Mount Everest, and it is not for everyone. It takes a lot of preparation, both mental and physical to be ready to climb Everest. Most adventurers begin preparation for at least a year prior.
One of the most intimidating parts of the Base Camp trek is the bridge crossings. With obstacles such as yak and donkey caravans, not to mention rickety bridges to overcome, it is challenging getting to the peak.
4 The Sphinx Observatory- Grindelwald, Switzerland
Well, at least for this attraction, it doesn’t require a long, treacherous hike! This mountain peak is easy to access, and the only way to access the Sphinx Observatory is by taking the Jungfrau Railway.
This astronomical observatory is named after the rocky mountain in which it is located on. It reaches 3,500 metres and is one of the highest observatories in the world.
Even though tourists don’t experience the altitude from the hike up, it is still an alarming view for some. The train ride itself is enough to bring back one’s fear of heights, and as beautiful as the view is in the winter, those with a fear of heights should avoid.
3 Inca Trail- Peru
With the steep drop-offs and narrow, inclined steps, your fear of heights might keep you from experiencing the Inca Trail.
As one of the most famous treks in South America and one of the top treks in the world, the Inca Trails cover 43 miles of mountain and jungle surface. The start of the trail is not as challenging, it is the second day that is most strenuous when the incline becomes more intense.
It is no longer possible to begin on this hike without a tour operator or guide. For safety reasons and to ensure the preservation of the mountain, it is not permitted to hike on your own.
2 Mont Blanc- Chamonix, France
With an elevation of over 1,000 metres, think twice about exploring Mont Blanc if you have a fear of heights. However, once you see the views along the hike and ultimately from the peak, you may want to face your fears.
This multi-day hike consists of wide and well-groomed trails. Each day of this trek requires around 915 metres of ascent, and is little more strenuous and tiring as the days continue.
In comparison to other hikes in France, Mont Blanc is very safe and secure. For new hikers, it is recommended to do a guided group tour to feel more reassured.
1 Precipice Trail- Acadia National Park, USA
This iconic trail in Acadia National Park is not for those with a queasy stomach. Precipice Trail is the 6th tallest peak in the national park, as it not a simple hike. Precipice in Spanish literally translates to steep cliff, and it was named this for a reason.
It will take serious hikers 3 to 5 hours to reach the 260-metre drop. Even though no climbing equipment is necessary, this does not mean tourists should take it any less seriously.
The first bit of the trail is a good test to see if you are ready to climb all the way up. With irons aids and tight obstacles, you will be able to determine if you are well suited and comfortable to continue on.
References: Nomadasaurus, MySwitzerland