El Caminito del Rey (“The King’s Little Path”) is one of the most dangerous walkways in the world and is located on the narrow walls of a steep gorge in El Choro near Álora, in the province of Málaga, Spain. This narrow, old walkway has been worn over the years and is now in despair, but still sought out by adventurers.
The purpose of the walkway was to provide workers with a way to cross between the two hydroelectric power plants in Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls and it was built between 1901 and 1905. The walkway is 3 feet 3 inches wide and is located 350 feet above the river at the foot of the gorge, running over a distance of 1.8 miles.
Even though the walkway was completed in 1905, it was not inaugurated until 1921 when Spanish King Alfonso XIII crossed it, hence giving it the name “The King’s Pathway”. The pathway was constructed using concrete on top of steel rails that were supported by stanchions that were nailed into the rock face at 45 degrees. The current state of the walkway is pretty bad and there are entire sections of it that are missing or in very bad shape.
The resulting large gaps are bridged only by narrow beams or other support fixtures. Almost none of the original handrails exist, but a safety-wire runs the entire length of the walkway. The very danger created by the desolate state of the walkway is what attracts thrill seekers and people on adventurous vacations.
Unfortunately, after several fatal accidents, the gorge was closed off by the government in 2000. This, however, has not stopped people from going around barriers and experiencing the thrill for themselves. In June 2011, the government decided to restore the walkway and built car parking and even a museum since people would not stop visiting it anyway. New materials used to restore The King’s Pathway will be in accordance with the old design, and the project will take about three years to complete. Check out the video below to see what it’s like on the dangerously exhilarating pathway.