If adrenaline has been missing from your life over the last few months, then perhaps this collection of fragile rope crossings and death-defying structures is for you.
For most of us, getting from A to B is (in most cases) accompanied with the minimum of fuss. A desire to either get on with the day, get home, or travel to a desirable location. Yet in some parts of the world, either by design or necessity, it’s not that simple. Every bridge holds some degree of danger but there are a few that are particularly sweat-inducing. Whether that’s by a particularly delicate (or straight up shoddy) construction job or they’re at an eye-popping height usually reserved for aircraft, these crossings come in many shapes and sizes. Just don’t look down.
Top Picks for You
Hussaini Hanging Bridge
WHERE: Hunza, Pakistan
Is this the scariest bridge in the world? Located in north Pakistan’s remote and mountainous Hunza region, the Hussaini Hanging Bridge looks the sort of crossing Indiana Jones would think twice about traversing. With travel in this gorgeous but stark landscape understandably difficult, these types of bridges are the only way of getting around for those who don’t have the money to fly. Swaying gently over the Hunza River for 635 feet, the 100-foot-high Hussaini Hanging Bridge’s rickety combination of narrow ropes and wooden planks has enticed many thrill-seekers, photographers, and tourists from Pakistan and beyond.
Coiling Dragon Path
WHERE: Hunan, China
At a preposterous 4,600 feet high, taking a walk along the Coiling Dragon Path is not for the faint-hearted and is certainly one of the most dangerous bridges in the world. Situated near the summit of China’s Tianmen Mountain in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, this terrifying skyway is 328 feet long and only 5 feet wide. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the walkway itself is made of glass so there’s no escape from thoughts of impending doom. Admittedly, the views across the gorges and canopies of Hunan Province are stunning so there are some rewards, but this particular path won’t be for everyone. If you’re looking for a scary bridge in China, you couldn’t do much more frightening than this.
WHERE: Gadmen, Switzerland
Just reaching the Trift Bridge is an achievement in itself. Hidden high in the Swiss Alps, a cable car ride is required initially, then followed by a punishing 1.5-hour hike before you finally reach the 560-foot-long suspension bridge. Imagine walking that far only to be confronted by one of the world’s scariest bridges. Hovering 330 feet above the Triftsee Lake, it’s surrounded by spectacular Alpine peaks with turquoise lakes and nearby glaciers below. Originally opened in 2004, it was replaced in 2009 by a safer, sturdier bridge as tourists continued to visit, despite its challenging accessibility.
WHERE: Pennsylvania, USA
One of the more arresting and fascinating sights on this list, Kinzua Bridge in McKean County, Pennsylvania, was completed in 1882 and was in the process of being restored before a vicious tornado swept through the region in 2003, causing a large section of the bridge to collapse into the valley below. In 2011, the Kinzua Sky Walk—complete with an observation deck with a glass floor at 301 feet high—was opened. The walkway is completely exposed to the elements but offers stunning views across the park and you can even see the mangled steel towers lying exactly where they fell 20 years ago. This was already one of the scariest bridges in America before the collapse, and is now arguably even more terrifying!
Brave Men’s Bridge
WHERE: Shinihuzai, China
China’s obsession with building panic-inducing crossings continues in Hunan Province with the alarming Haohan Qiao Bridge in Shiniuzhai National Park, otherwise known as Brave Men’s Bridge, for reasons that are immediately obvious. At 984 feet, it was the world’s longest glass-bottom bridge when it was constructed in 2015 and offers tourists a 590-foot drop into the abyss below. Apparently, the thick glass panels are 25 times stronger than typical glass panels, although how much that will assuage fears is anyone’s guess. Expect to see many more of the scariest bridges in the world to be constructed in China as it becomes a daredevil hotspot.
WHERE: Wales, UK
Over 200 years old, 1,000 feet long, and still standing strong, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is the world’s highest canal aqueduct and, perhaps unintentionally, one of the world’s scariest bridges. Carrying the Llangollen Canal across the River Dee in northeast Wales, it’s also possible to walk across the aqueduct. While it’s by no stretch the tallest of the constructions in this list (it’s 126-feet high), it’s completely exposed to the elements and offers a startlingly sheer drop to the River Dee below. Built over 10 years and finally completed in 1805, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009.
Langkawi Sky Bridge
WHERE: Langkawi, Malaysia
Snaking its way across a quilt of mountain forests on the Malaysian island of Langkawi, the Langkawi Sky Bridge offers spectacular views that stretch as far as the Thai island of Tarutao. As it’s situated over 2,000 feet above sea level, it’s unsurprising that it’s only reachable by cable car. At 410 feet long, the precarious-looking bridge was opened in 2005 but closed between 2012 and 2015 for renovations. Even with the added safety measures, this tree-top walk is still a hair-raising experience and undoubtedly one of the world’s scariest bridges.
Royal Gorge Bridge
WHERE: Canon City, Colorado
Completed in 1929 and standing at a height of 955 feet, Colorado’s Royal Gorge Bridge still holds the title of the United States’ highest bridge (and arguably the scariest bridge in the U.S., too). Crossing the immense Royal Gorge for 1,260 feet and looking down onto the Arkansas River far below, the bridge is an impressive yet unnerving way of getting from one side of the famous gorge to the other. The area has now been turned into a tourist trap with the introduction of a rollercoaster, zip line, and sundry other attractions; but have no doubt—the bridge is still the star of the show.
Aiguille du Midi Bridge
WHERE: Alps, France
At an absurd 12,500 feet above sea level, this short bridge blows away the competition in terms of height and thus must be considered one of the scariest bridges in the world. Dangerous? Probably not, but as compact as it may be, this bridge comes with views that few others can hope to compete with. Residing near the summit of the Aiguille du Midi mountain in the French Alps, it offers spectacular vistas across the Mont Blanc massif. And as if that wasn’t enough to tempt you to visit this petrifying lookout, a glass floor has now been added that peers down into the snowy abyss below.
Capilano Suspension Bridge
WHERE: Vancouver, Canada
Attracting over 1 million visitors per year, this 230-foot-high bridge is a hit with Vancouver’s tourists despite its slightly fragile appearance. Suspended amid the fir trees surrounding the Capilano River in North Vancouver, the original bridge was built back in 1889 but was rebuilt in 1956 (the constructors probably weren’t aware they were about to build one of the world’s scariest bridges). The cables are now coated with 13 tons of concrete at either end which should be enough to ease any fears crossing its 460-foot length, although the river below still looks an awfully long way down. Added in 2011, the park now features a narrow suspended walkway called Cliffwalk, just in case the bridge itself didn’t provide an adequate adrenaline rush.
Kakum Canopy Walk
WHERE: Kakum National Park, Ghana
Raised up 130 feet through the thick rainforest in Ghana’s Kakum National Park, the Kakum Canopy Walk is a rickety-looking structure designed to put visitors at a height typically reserved for monkeys and birds. Opened in 1995, the little-known park certainly had tourism in mind when it put together this collection of seven bridges made of wire rope and wooden planks stretching for over 1000 feet. How much wildlife you will actually see on any given day is in the lap of the gods, but these precarious canopies should be enough to hold your attention. Unlike any of the other bridges in this list however, the Kakum Canopy Walk has safety netting beneath just in case the worst happens.
U Bein Bridge
WHERE: Amarapura, Myanmar
Constructed in 1857 from the ruins of a nearby teak palace close to Amarapura in Myanmar, the designers of this 1.2-kilometer-long (0.75 mile) bridge probably weren’t considering how Instagram-friendly it would be at the time. Providing beautiful sunset shots, U Bein Bridge is popular with locals and tourists alike. While the 150-year-old bridge isn’t particularly high, its length leaves visitors remarkably exposed when crossing the vast Taungthaman Lake.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge
The vast majority of bridges chosen here have focused on those brave enough to venture across on foot, but what are the world’s scariest bridges to drive on? Opened in 1952 and spanning nearly five miles of the Chesapeake Bay to connect Maryland‘s eastern and western shores, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge doesn’t look too terrifying at first glance. But then bear in mind its shocking length, a vertigo-inducing height of 186 feet, and a cramped lack of shoulders. But it’s the regular anxiety-generating violent storms that really make this one of the scariest bridges in the world. When the wind lashes and the rain pounds down onto your windscreen, visibility all but disappears.
Iya Kazurabashi Vine Bridge
WHERE: Shikoku, Japan
Neither the longest nor the highest of the bridges on this list (and by some distance, too), the Iya Kazurabashi Vine Bridge nonetheless has a unique charm and still feels like one of the most dangerous bridges in the world. Only 147 feet long and 46 feet high, the worrying thing about this scary bridge in Japan is that it’s constructed from actinidia arguta vines found naturally in the region. While these days the bridge is reinforced with wire and handrails, there’s still a sense of dread when crossing this historic and unsettling bridge.
Puente de Ojuela
WHERE: Ojuela, Mexico
Not only is the Puente de Ojuela in Mexico one of the most dangerous bridges in the world, it also leads to a ghost town. But the crossing is what you need to be worried about here. Largely constructed from wood and rising 360 feet above a canyon floor, the bridge sways and creaks as you make your way across its 1,043-foot length, solidifying its reputation as one of the world’s scariest bridges. Built back in 1898, its age only heightens the experience of this terrifying ghost town trip.
I have been on U Bein BridgeThey don't mention that some pf the deck boards are missing and that some of ghe vertical supports are rotted at water level.