For those in search of a unique mountain adventure, look no further than a via ferrata experience. A via ferrata course will have participants traversing across mountain sides, maneuvering across rope bridges, and making their way up, across, and over some seriously beautiful mountainsides.

Via Ferrata is Italian for “iron path” and made up of a steel cable running along a route which climbers can hook themselves up to in order to prevent any falls. They first came to prominence during the First World War as a means for troops to traverse the Dolomite mountain region. You can now find via ferratas of all kinds throughout different mountain ranges where climbers and adventure seekers all over can experience the “iron path” for themselves! AVA’s Mount Evans Via Ferrata in Idaho Springs, has many different aspects and obstacles including a log bridge, free-fall jump, cliffside traversing, and ziplines.

Check out some of the most fascinating videos you can find on Youtube showing some of the most extreme via ferratas around the world.

1.) Leukerbad, Switzerland –

This via ferrata is long, steep, and physically demanding! For those who are accustomed to climbing, and in top-notch shape, this via ferrata is for you. Ladders, iron footholds, and other aids will lead climbers thousands of feet above the town below. Climbers will want to check the forecast before venturing out on this trip due to the cliffside’s high elevation and vulnerability to quick weather changes. This one is quite the challenge but from the views shown in the video, the sore arms would be well worth the experience! If this via ferrata is a bit too daunting for certain climbers, there is a smaller one available for those looking to ease into this kind of adventure.

Switzerland Via Ferrata


2.) Telluride, Colorado – 

From what started as a little-known, scarcely used climbing route, to now a very popular attraction, the via ferrata in Telluride, Colorado is an experience enjoyed by all kinds of climbers. This trip is great for adrenaline junkies out there and requires some climbing skills and gear. The high elevation traversing, incredible views of the San Juan mountains, and excellent vantage points to take in the massive Bridal Veils waterfall, all make this via ferrata one you won’t want to skip.

3.) Punta Penia, Marmolada –

This Via Ferrata is debatably one of the coolest on the list! The path follows a route established all the way back in 1903 for use in The First World War. The route takes you across the top of Marmolda mountain (over 3,000 meters high), which is the highest mountain of the Dolamites located in northeast Italy. It’s recommended that only more advanced mountaineers attempt this path and it is expected to take around six to seven hours to complete.

Bridal Veils waterfall


4.) Nelson Rocks, West Virgnia – 

There is no lack of outdoor adventures to keep you busy in West Virginia. They have incredible rafting, no shortage of climbing, and of course, an great via ferrata course to try out. This course starts on a 200 foot suspension bridge towering 150 feet above the ground below. If you think the bridge is high up, its just the start of your accent! Throughout this via ferrata you will reach heights of 280 feet on the cliffside. This climb combines adrenaline pumping adventure with jaw-dropping views of the surrounding landscapes. The trip in its entirety will take anywhere from three to five hours and is a great option for those looking for a guided experience!

These via ferratas are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many more enjoyed all over the world! No matter how advanced or intermediate your climbing skills may be, there is a via ferrata out there for you. Whether you’re in North America, Europe, or Asia, you will find these activities that are sure to get your heart pumping. Make sure to check out the video links listed for more detail on what each of these incredible cliffside adventures have to offer!