5 Sky-High Lookouts Around the World

  • Norway's Aurland Lookout.

    Norway's Aurland Lookout.

  • Glacier Skywalk in the Canadian Rockies.

    Glacier Skywalk in the Canadian Rockies.

  • Grand Canyon Skywalk in Arizona.

    Grand Canyon Skywalk in Arizona.

  • Construction of the platform in Aiguille du Midi.

    Construction of the platform in Aiguille du Midi.

  • Tianmen Mountain's Walk of Faith in China.

    Tianmen Mountain's Walk of Faith in China.

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Opening in May on the site of a former roadside lookout, the Glacier Skywalk is a cantilevered viewing platform anchored high in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta’s Jasper National Park. Though local environmentalists have derided the project as an intrusion into an otherwise pristine wilderness, thrill-seeking visitors who make the two-and-a-half-hour drive from Banff are not likely to be disappointed: a deck of reinforced glass is all that will separate them from a 300-meter plunge into the Sunwapta Valley below. And while the views do no extend to the nearby Athabasca Glacier, there are plenty of ice-capped mountain peaks to ogle, as well as an interpretive pathway that explains the geological, hydrological, glacial, and biological features of the surrounding landscape. Those looking to get up close and personal with a glacier can pair a Skywalk visit with a tour of the Colombia Icefield, just a short shuttle-bus ride away. –Chris Kirkpatrick (For more lookouts, hover your mouse above the image and click the arrow to the right.)

This article originally appeared in the April/May 2014 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Rocky Mountain High”).

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