Huashan Plank Walk
Video Courtesy of Figo Fromage (Youtube)
Want to feel the adrenaline surging through your body? Look no more, go out and hike the Huashan Plank Walk in China! Huashan Plank Walk has the reputation of being the most dangerous hike in the world. Many thrill seekers around the world who venture out on this hike quickly discover just how dangerous it can be. It was first built more than 700 years ago by a Taoist priest named He Zhizhen. He built it using wooden planks attached to stone nails that were carved into the cliff for people to walk on.
The Plank Walk is only about 430 feet long, and consists of three different plank walks. The upper section starts at the South Heavenly Gate and continues all the way to the Chaoyuan Cave. This part of the plank walk provides handrails and safety ropes that can be used, making this walk much safer than the other two sections. When you reach the end of the upper section, you end up at the beginning of the next plank walk, the middle section. This is when the thrill seekers start feeling their adrenaline ramping up and heart beating through their chest. This section is a straight vertical climb that requires you to hold on to metal bars carved into the side of the mountain just to get down.
The lower section, the most dangerous part is located on the eastern side of Mount Hua at its highest peak (7070 feet). Since first being built, improvements have been made to make it more safe, such as using metal reinforcements to ensure the small narrow bridge doesn’t collapse as well as other small improvements. However, that doesn’t make the walk any less daring as there are no handrails to protect you from falling as well as some spots not even having a plank to step on and making you improvise and use rocks as a stepping stone to keep moving down the path. Thrill seekers attempting this walk usually need to cling to the side of the cliff and move slowly inch by inch as one wrong step can be so deadly.
It should be noted that the walk is a dead end and doesn’t lead to any other paths or routes. Once you get to the end, it's time to turn around and walk back. You get to live the thrill twice but this time with a slight twist, you need to maneuver yourself with oncoming people trying to hike the opposite way you are coming. With a very narrow plank to begin with, this throws a whole other thrill into the equation. If you're looking for a hike like no other, Huashan Plank Walk is definitely one hike you'll never forget.