10 Best Stair Climbs for the Views
Where the View Outweighs the Burn
Climbing stairs is one of the best exercises for your heart. This simple cardio workout helps reduce your risk for heart disease, works your core muscles and strengthens and tones those glutes. (You can even burn more calories stair climbing than jogging!) How can it get better? What If those stairs took you to an unforgettable location?
You may be out of breath when you get there, but with these stair climbs it may be because of the view!
For Nature Lovers
Red Rocks Amphitheater: Golden, Colorado
Located in the Red Rocks Park, this famous music venue, has become a popular fitness site. (It’s also a geological phenomenon – the only naturally-occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheatre in the world.) Take one of the two staircases, each with about 380 steps, from the lower parking lot to the upper concession level, to bask in the Rocky Mountain views at 6,450 feet above sea level.
Giant Stairway: Katoomba, Australia
Located in the Blue Mountains National Park, ascend the 800-plus steel and stone steps, originally built in 1909, to take in the scenic views of the Jameson Valley. To get to the cliff top, you can keep climbing and take the Furber steps. For those that may want a little break (because you do have to still climb down!), you can also take the Scenic Railway to the tippy top.
For History buffs
Huayna Picchu aka “The Stairs of Death”: Cusco, Peru
Located on the mountain behind the famous Machu Picchu, this climb leads to The Temple of the Moon. Crafted more than 500 years ago, this trek is for people with nerves of steel due to the elevation and the steepness of the stairs. While there are no reports of people actually dying on the stairs, there’s a reason for the nickname!
Heaven’s Gate: Zhangjiajie, China
Since 9 is a lucky number in Chinese culture, it’s no surprise that you’ll need to climb 999 steps to get to Tianmen Cave or “the Stairway to Heaven”. Believed to be located on a holy mountain, it’s the highest naturally formed arch in the world. Apparently, it was just a regular old cave until until the year 263 A.D., when one side of the mountain’s cliff collapsed and created the “gateway”.
Florli Stairs: Lysefjord, Norway
For anyone who likes those Guinness Book of world records, you can climb the world’s longest wooden staircase with 4,444 steps to the top of the mountain, where you’re rewarded by panoramic vistas. The stairs follow along the water pipes that feed the hydroelectric power station.
For City Dwellers
Eiffel Tower: Paris, France
Rack up about 700 steps and get breathtaking views of Paris, by climbing the stairs of the Eiffel Tower. This metal icon, created for the 1889 World’s Fair, has an open air staircase to allow for views while you’re on your way up, too. The stairs only lead to the second level, but you can still marvel at the cityscape from there.
Monument: London, United Kingdom
Commemorating one of the most significant event in London’s history, this Doric column stands in memory of the Great Fire of 1666 and offers panoramic views of the city that rose from the ashes. 311 steps take you over 200 ft high to see the London of today.
Vessel: New York, New York
Comprised of 154 intricately interconnecting flights of stairs -- almost 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings -- the vertical climb offers remarkable views of the city, the river and beyond. But try to pull yourself away from taking those selfies, so you can enjoy the views from every angle!
For Art Enthusiasts
16th Avenue Mosaic Steps: San Francisco, California
These marvelously decorated stairs are the result of a neighborhood wide project where people got together and donated to change 163 steps into a work of art. While the view from the top is spectacular, in this case, it’s the stairs themselves that make it worth the climb.
Rocky Steps: Philadelphia, PA
Walk up the 72 steps that lead to the Philadelphia Art Museum and you too can strike that famous pose from the legendary movie! They’ve been deemed the second most well-known filming location in the world. Then keep going and get in some more steps by walking around in the museum, which is has some of the finest art collections in the world.