If you're looking for exhilaration on your next hike, this might be the trail for you! Mt. Huashan in China is full of death-defying cliff side mountain trails that take you to a tea house about 7,000 feet above sea level.
Mt. Huashan began it's popularity as a religious location since at least the 2nd century, and the travel networks of monks, pilgrims, and nuns led to the creation of many of these trails initially. A network of dangerous and precipitous trails allows them to access the mountain’s five summits, each of which has a religious structure like the tea house on the southern summit. Together, these five summits form the points of a flower shape.
Even though the paths have been reinforced, they are still dangerous and have a reputation for fatalities, though no official records of the numbers of deaths each year is kept.
A 3-hour bus ride can get you to the beginning of the path from the nearest town, and though there are cable cars available from many of the peaks, it's also possible to get to all 5 peaks in one day. In the most dangerous portions, you can pay about 5USD to rent a safety harness that hooks on in areas where the wooden boards and nails are particularly precarious!