By most accounts, this is the most dangerous hike in the world though due to Chinese government censorship, no one knows just how dangerous.
Mount Huashan looks like a beautiful flower tucked in the ranges deep within China. But like some flowers, it can be dangerous and even deadly. The government of China keeps the total number of deaths that happen on this mountain secret in an effort to encourage tourism.
However, with the crowd that you usually find waiting in the line to hike the trail, it probably wouldn’t matter. The thrill-seeking group that ventures to Mount Huashan would come with or without knowing fatality numbers.
They are here to climb the Stair to Heaven Trail which leads to the truly dangerous portion of the trail known as the Plank Road. The Plank Road is made up of planks and chain on the face of a vertical rock face.
Small footholds in the face and the presence of a small ladder does little to alleviate the fear of falling. Although you can hook into a safety cable…for a small fee with rented harnesses. By the way, this trail has two-way traffic.
If traveling long distances to exotic locations for a short burst of adrenaline is your cup of tea then this trip is for you. There is no doubt that you will see some of the most beautiful mountain vistas in the world. The splendor makes it easy to understand why Daoist monks built a temple on the western peak in the 2nd century.
This incredible area had only been known to local villagers until 1949 when seven soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army took the trail to capture a group of 100 enemy soldiers on the north peak.