Photo: Tatiana Zinchenko

The Scariest Observation Decks Around the World

Art + Architecture
by Tim Wenger May 24, 2018

Architects and tourism companies are getting creative in providing unique, and often stomach-turning, opportunities to really put yourself out there to get the best view of an attraction. They also seem to have adopted a fondness for heights. Whether it be a mountaintop, cruise ship, or the Grand Canyon, these insane glass-bottomed decks will leave you with some serious vertigo.

1. Grand Canyon Skywalk

Where: Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

 glass-bottomed observation decks

Photo: Nootprapa

If you’ve ever wanted to dangle above the world’s most epic canyon and gaze down at the Colorado River 3,600 feet below, the Grand Canyon Skywalk is just the place. Owned by the Hualapai Indian Tribe, the Skywalk opened in 2007 in the Grand Canyon West area, about 120 miles from Las Vegas.

2. Le Pas dans Le Vide (Step into the Void)

Where: Chamonix, France

Because vacationing to Chamonix isn’t extreme enough, you can now step out into a 2.5-meter glass case off the top level of Aiguille du Midi, at 12,605 feet. You’ll not only enjoy a picture-perfect view of Mount Blanc, Europe’s highest peak, but you’ll have a free look at international boundaries, as the Alps of Italy and Switzerland are all within eyesight.

3. Glacier Skywalk

Where: Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The Sunwapta Valley in Jasper National Park offers access to some of Canada’s most beautiful scenery. Prior to 2014, you’d have to hike a peak in order to take in the valley vistas all at once. The Glacier Skywalk has changed that. Now you can walk 100 feet out onto a glass-bottomed platform and gaze in awe across the valley — and down 900 feet if you can stomach it.

4. Glass Bridge

Where: Mount Langya, HeChina

A post shared by @nurbuyukkaraca on Nov 27, 2017 at 7:25am PST

Leave it to the Chinese to take glass-bottomed viewing to a whole new level. This attraction in Mount Langya will take you first across a glass bridge and finally to a circular platform that allows you to peer nearly 1,480 feet down to the gorge below. Getting there requires a three hour hike or a ride in a cable car.

5. Glass-bottom cruise ship deck

Where: Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas

Royal Caribbean gives you the chance to watch the ocean move underneath your feet on their ship, Harmony of the Seas. The see-through floor is located on the port bridge wing at the front of the ship. Because not all of the ship’s bridge wings have a glass bottom, this one is a bit of a hidden secret for those willing to put in the effort to find it. (You have a clear advantage now that we’ve told you where it is).

6. Glass-bottom swimming pool

Where: Market Square Tower, Houston, Texas

Because swimming without being completely terrified is so out of date, you can now gaze 500 feet down to a city street below you as you work on your front stroke. Houston’s Market Square Tower installed a glass-bottomed swimming pool on the building’s 40th floor. To step it up a notch, strap on a GoPro and dive in head first.

7. Glass-bottomed bathroom

Where: Guadalajara, Mexico

Located on top of a fifteen-story elevator shaft, this bathroom might help loosen those tight bowels. Evidently, renowned Mexican architect Hernandez Silva thought the ambiance for a normally unexciting routine needed to be more invigorating.

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