The World’s Most Dangerous Hiking Trail

As wonderful as Chinese tea is, it is definitely not something you’d closely associate with exhilaration, adrenaline and the fear of death. Mt. Huashan in China, however, manages to bring all of these things together by featuring a death-defying cliff-side mountain hiking trails that brings daring visitors to a tea house 2,160 m (7,087 ft) up on the mountain’s southern peak.

Mount Huashan has been a place of religious importance since at least the 2nd century BCE when a Daoist temple was established at its base. Since then, pilgrims, monks, and nuns have inhabited the mountain and the surrounding area. A network of dangerous and precipitous trekking trails allows them to access the Huashan mountain’s five summits, each of which has a religious structure like the tea house on the southern summit. Together, these five summits form the points of a flower shape.

The paths have been reinforced due to a recent influx of adrenaline rush seeking mountain hiking tourists, but they are nonetheless dangerous and carry a reputation for fatal falls. Although no official statistics are kept, some say that the number may be as much as about 100 fatal falls a year. Some of the more dangerous parts of the trails have names like Thousand-Foot Precipice, Hundred-Foot Crevice, and Black Dragon Ridge.

The surrounding area is fascinating as well. Mt. Huashan is located in the middle of China mountain range, near a city of Huayin, which is considered the 3000-year-old cradle of Chinese culture and the site of the famous Terracotta Warriors.


Mt. Huashan is one of China’s five Great Mountains

World's Most Dangerous Hiking Trail on Mount Huashan - YouTube

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Some parts of the mountain are a little steep

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The area has been considered holy since at least the 2nd century BCE

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Monks, nuns and pilgrims carved a network of stairs and trails leading to the mountain’s peaks

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The trails were reinforced after the mountain became more popular with tourists

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The mountain’s highest southern peak reaches 2,160 m (7,087 ft)

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Just make sure you watch your step

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In some places, the locals have carved stairs into the mountain as well

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In others, there’s little more than an iron chain to secure yourself

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The mountain has a reputation for fatal falls, but that doesn’t stop thrill-seekers from flocking to its trails

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If the adrenaline gets to you, there is a chess pavilion you can relax at

Image credits: Gerben’s Photos


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