Mother nature is famous for its stunning landscapes and natural views. This little planet has so many unique features that have drawn man’s attention since their discovery. It’s no surprise that its unique and everlasting beauty has always amazed us, even to the point that makes us want to push the natural limits so we can gaze further into nature. So, here are some vertigo-inducing interventions that let us peek at these gifted views.
Aurland Outlook – Aurland, Norway
This can be considered as the earth’s “catwalk”. This amazing structure, designed by Saunders Architecture, seems like the perfect platform for a daredevil act. Its “seamless” end gives you a sense of adrenaline that heightens the experience of this breath-taking view. Well, only if you have the balls to go till the end of the platform. Um, don’t worry; there is a frameless glass that keeps you from falling over.
Grand Canyon Skywalk – Arizona, USA
Ever wanted to “float” over the Grand Canyon? Well, now you can… er… sort of. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is a glass-bottomed cantilever structure that spans 70 feet over the Grand Canyon’s rim and sits 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. 4,000 feet!!! WOW! In truth, the platform is located in a side canyon, not the main one, although it’s pretty close. Even though, one thing is undeniable… this is still a monster view.
Top of Tyrol – Mount Isidor, Austria
Top of Tyrol, designed by Aste Architecture, is a spectacular cantilevered viewing platform overhanging a ridge of Mount Isidor in Austria. In reality, you don’t gain much visually; but the act of standing in this deceivingly safe platform makes the Stubai Glacier view a unique experience. As if it wasn’t before! There’s always the attraction of the thrill factor as you stand 9 meters away from the mountain.
Five fingers viewing platform – Krippenstein, Austria
What’s better than one platform in the Salzkammergut Area in the Austrian Alps? Five Platforms! Thrill seekers can step out onto a platform to get views of five different angles of the mountains. Each “finger” platform has its own special feature. The first is outfitted with a picture frame for the perfect shot, the second has a glass floor, the third has a trampoline (OMG!!!), the fourth has a round hole in the floor to look through, and the fifth has a telescope. Stepping back… A Trampoline?!! Yup… But it is only open for special events. You don’t want to bounce over the railings, right?! The trampoline symbolizes the freedom of the mountains.
Il Binocolo – Meran, Italy
When visiting Trauttsmandorff Castle in Meran, Italy; take a walk into the gardens and you will find this charming steel platform poking out of the trees. The funny shaped roof at the end of the platform gave the name to this eye-catching platform, Il Binocolo –The Binoculars. Designed by Architect Matteo Thun, Il Binocolo counts with a glass floor and beautiful countryside views.
Willis Tower Skydeck – Chicago, Illinois
Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower, formerly Sears Tower, dares visitors to step onto The Ledge, a series of glass bays that extend from the building’s 103rd floor. Reaching out more than four feet from Skydeck Chicago’s west side, visitors have unobstructed, and never-before-seen views of Chicago – 1,353 feet straight down. I know… this is not nature in its wildest form, but the view to the infinite horizon is amazing.
Dachstein Skywalk – Dachstein Glacier, Austria
Nicknamed the ‘balcony of the Alps’, the Dachstein Skywalk overhangs above the 850ft drop of the Dachstein Glacier in Austria. From here you can appreciate views of both Slovenia and Czech Republic. And guess what?! You guessed it, glass floors too! This adds some thrill to the attraction…
Have you been to any of these?
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Great post! More info on the Aurland Lookout (also known as Stegastein Viewpoint), including a video featuring a short interview with the architect, and some background info on the National Tourist Roads Project in Norway at
Thanks for sharing your post with us, Elusive Moose. The background info and the video are really good, especially from the architectural and local point of view.
Great post! I can feel my legs getting wobbly especially looking at those with see through glass floors. Always wonder how much weight can glass hold before cracking?
Thanks Leng! Yes, these places can make you wobbly… but don’t worry, although it might appear not to, but glass is pretty strong – especially if it is laminated (like the ones used in these projects). Those glass walls and floors are like an inch thick, so they are pretty heavy, and can hold thousands of pounds, and if they crack they wont break into pieces. I myself am an architect, so, I’m somewhat familiar with this type of construction. I say, go ahead… you will be safe walking in glass! 😀
Yes I would think the thick glass should be quite safe. However Hollywood disasters movies always have scenes of glasses cracking and people falling through, haha. Even though glass can hold thousands of pounds, what about extremely heavy ladies on high heels? I would imagine that pressure at their heels will surely be off the charts.
LOL… you got a good point there! High heels can be dangerous in certain places!
Oh hell NO… some of those look so scary!!! I don’t know if I would be able to handle them.
Ha! They must be fun to experience! What a thrill!
These are awesome! I haven’t been to any yet, but next time I’m traveling the US or Europe and happen to be in the vicinity of any of these, I’ll definitely need to stop by and check them out!
Also, I like your blog, so I’ll be subscribing right…. now haha.
We have visitet Dachstein in 2009 an will go there again in 2011, we will travel too 5 Fingers too and a lot of other “skywalk” in Austria this summer
Best regard from Denmark
Per and Winnie Sehested
If ever you are afraid of heights, this is the place where you should not go. It is really a “knee-wobbling” feeling once you are in this place, especially in Dachstein Skywalk.