This Scenic, Spine-Chilling Hike In Spain Was Once The Most Dangerous Walk In The World

Strap on your helmet and get ready to file along a walkway that runs along a sheer cliff face with a deadly drop below! This is the Caminito del Rey, and it was once considered the most dangerous walk in the world. Today, the famous route is a wooden boardwalk attached to a Spanish cliffside that descends into a gorge hundreds of feet below. When it was built around the turn of the 19th century, it was a narrow cement passage for construction workers to cross the gorge. The views of the river far below are staggering. Tragically, it also used to be a seriously risky walk.


Once it stopped being regularly used by workers, this dizzying route wasn't checked for safety and was desperately in need of repair. Like Hawaii's Stairway to Heaven, the notorious hike in Oahu that eventually was shut down for being too dangerous, the views on this walk are so beautiful that daredevils continued to come. Even as portions of the walkway began to crumble and fall away from the cliffside, visitors kept coming, and this place received its deadly reputation. While it has since been restored, this much safer route is still a draw for daring travelers from around the world.

The Caminito del Rey was once a deadly route

"One of the most worrying things on the day of my previous walk was the safety cable had snapped a month previously — an Italian climber fell over 80m and miraculously, not only survived, but walked away unscathed," one man who walked this dangerous path in 2013 recalled in an interview with The Irish Independent. "Needless to say, it didn't inspire much confidence."


Not all the tourists who have visited the Caminito del Rey were as lucky. While its nickname might not be as bone-chilling as New York's "Devil's Path Trail," the Caminito del Rey has earned its moniker of the most dangerous walk on planet Earth. For some, it was deadly. Between 1999 and 2000, five people died attempting to traverse this crumbling walkway. Following these deaths, the walkway was closed for renovations. Despite fines up to the equivalent of more than $10,000, some continued to risk their lives and livelihoods for a chance to see the Caminito del Rey for themselves.

A still thrilling but less risky journey

As we've learned from the dangerous but iconic Bright Angel Trail, hikers are sometimes willing to put their lives on the line to experience breathtaking trails and gorgeous views. Fortunately, at the Caminito del Rey, that's no longer necessary. After the tragic accidents on the Caminito del Rey, the walkway was renovated by the local government. What was once a cement and metal path that had worn away and crumbled to pieces in places became a wooden boardwalk with railings where helmets are mandatory in case of accidents. The route also closes whenever the weather makes walking across the gorge risky.


According to recent visitors, this walk is still terrifying, and only the bravest travelers are likely to enjoy walking hundreds of feet in the air. However, despite how spine-tingling the experience might be, it is significantly safer than when it was actively falling apart. Today, anyone over the age of 8 can pay around $11 for a ticket to what was once the most dangerous walk in the world and see the incredible views below. Of course, if you can't bring yourself to look at the view below, we don't blame you.