8 Scenic Overlooks That Will Test Your Fear of Heights

A woman looks out onto the French Alps from Step into the Void.
A visitor looks out onto the French Alps from Step Into the Void.

AlenaPaulus / Getty Images

The world’s most thrilling scenic overlooks are not for the faint of heart. These lofty vantage points offer unbeatable views of natural wonders, like the Grand Canyon Skywalk in Arizona, and modern cityscapes, like the Eureka Skydeck in Melbourne, Australia, but reaching them might require putting aside one’s discomfort of high places.

Here are eight scenic overlooks around the globe that will test your fear of heights.

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The Ledge at Willis Tower

A woman looks down onto the Chicago streets below from The Ledge at Willis Tower

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The Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) has long stood as one of the tallest buildings in the United States. On the 103rd floor, 1,353 feet up, four enclosed glass balconies jut out over four feet from the side of the building and are collectively known as The Ledge. With visibility reaching nearly 50 miles on clear days, sightseers can look out, and down, onto the vast cityscape of the Chicago skyline below.

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Sky Tower Skywalk

Five orange-clad visitors navigate the SkyWalk with the help of a guide.

Jason Pratt / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Visitors to Auckland, New Zealand can test their limits at the adventurous Sky Tower Skywalk. Attached to the top of the tower, and open to the elements, is a less-than-four-foot-wide walkway on which thrill-seekers can view the City of Sails. The 630-foot-high skywalk experience connects participants securely to the tower via rope and safety harness, and tours are given under the direction of professional guides.

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SkyPark Infinity Pool

Swimmers take in the view at SkyPark Infinity Pool in Singapore.

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Not all scenic overlooks require guests to walk up to the edge for a fantastic view. At Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore, there's one spot where folks can swim to the edge. The SkyPark Infinity Pool stretches nearly 500 feet across and 57 stories high on the roof of the luxury hotel, giving swimmers a view of the ultra-modern Singapore skyline.

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Grand Canyon Skywalk

Visitors look out from the Grand Canyon Skywalk out to the canyon below.

Güldem Üstün / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The horseshoe-shaped Skywalk, constructed of glass and steel, stretches 70 feet out over the rim of Eagle Point at the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Opened in 2007, the Hualapai-owned scenic overlook offers visitors an enhanced view of the canyon, 4,000 feet above the ground below. Some critics of the Skywalk contend that the tourist attraction is a detriment to the environment and that it disrupts what is considered sacred ground for many tribe members.

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Step Into the Void

A glass room called Step Into the Void hangs over a ledge in the French Alps

AlenaPaulus / Getty Images

Perched 12,605 feet above sea level in the French Alps, the Step Into the Void skywalk offers visitors a dizzyingly beautiful mountain view. The room, which has three glass walls, a glass ceiling, and a glass floor, is attached to the edge of a building on the top of Aiguille du Midi mountain and hangs over the precipice with 3,280 feet of air beneath it. Opened in 2013, the Step Into the Void experience is accessible via a 12,391-foot-long cable car ride.

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Columbia Icefield Skywalk

The Columbia Icefield Skywalk overlooking Sunwapta Valley

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High above the forested Sunwapta Valley in Canada’s Jasper National Park, the Columbia Icefield Skywalk enchants guests with an interpretive storytelling tour of the majestic location’s history. Part of the Columbia Icefield Discovery Center, the 1,312-foot-long skywalk offers an unparalleled vantage point from which to take in the surrounding glacial sites. The Discovery Vista portion of the skywalk features a glass floor that stretches 115 feet out from the edge of the cliff and 918 feet above the valley below.

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Eureka Skydeck

Visitors to the Eureka Skydeck look out onto the Melbourne cityscape.

Andrea Lai / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

One of the highest building-top overlooks in the Southern Hemisphere, the Eureka Skydeck covers the entire 88th floor of the Eureka Tower in Melbourne, Australia. The most thrilling feature of the Skydeck is The Edge, a retractable glass cube that slides 10 feet out over the side of the tower. Visitors can look straight through the floor to the street nearly 1,000 feet below.

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At the Top, Burj Khalifa

A bird's-eye-view of Dubai from the observation deck on Burj Khalifa

Daniel Stocker / Getty Images

The world’s tallest building, the 2,722-foot Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai, offers visitors unbeatable views of one of the fastest-growing metropolises of the 21st century. The sky-high tower is home to two observation decks known collectively as At the Top. After being whisked up at nearly 33 feet per second on a double-deck elevator, visitors can take in the sights from an outdoor observation deck through one of many telescopes on the 124th level. On level 125, guests can test their fear of heights while standing on a glass floor nearly 1,500 feet above the ground below.