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Best Spots to Try a Via Ferrata Around the World

Via ferrata, which translates to Iron Path, is a unique and exhilarating outdoor experience. It is essentially a way to climb and traverse near-vertical to vertical rock with the help of iron cables, ladders, and rods. Participants wear helmets, harnesses, and specially designed lanyards with two locking carabiners to ensure that they are always attached to the mountain. 

While the via ferrata experience originated in the Alps, it is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, especially when done with a guide. Here are some of the top places around the world to try your hand at this unique adventure, including a brand-new Via Ferrata at Bear Grylls’ Explorers Camp. 

Via Ferrata close up
Image of Via Ferrata Safety Equipment by Miroslav Matthess

Bear Grylls Explorers Camp Via Ferrata, Arab Emirates

The Bear Grylls Explorers camp is located in the northwestern Hajar mountain range in the United Arab Emirates. One of the highlights of this camp is a shiny new via ferrata, which is scheduled to open today, Saturday, January 13, 2024. 

Telluride Via Ferrata, USA

Nestled in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, this via ferrata offers stunning views of the Box Canyon and Bridal Veil Falls. We recommend that you hire a guide for the most enjoyable experience on this via ferrata. 

Estes Park Via Ferrata, USA

Kent Mountain Adventure Center in Estes Park, Colorado offers guided trips on this via ferrata. In fact, they are the required guide here, so this is a great place to try it out if you are unsure about going alone. Located just outside Rocky Mountain National Park, this is a great family or couples experience and one you won’t soon forget. 

Via Ferrata du Diable, Canada

Situated in Quebec’s Mont Tremblant National Park, this via ferrata provides a thrilling adventure with breathtaking views of the Laurentians.

Trolltunga Via Ferrata, Norway

This via ferrata leads to the iconic Trolltunga rock formation and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding fjords.

Grindelwald, Switzerland

The Eiger Via Ferrata near Grindelwald allows climbers to ascend the famous Eiger North Face, offering a unique perspective on this legendary mountain.

Chamonix, France

Via Ferrata
Image by Maja Kochanowska

If you are looking for a very challenging experience, head to the Via Ferrata “Thermal Park” in Saint-Gervais, a short train ride out of Chamonix. It takes you along the cliffs of the Gorges du Bonnant, including cable bridges and overhanging rock areas. It offers breathtaking views and is an unforgettable experience. 

This is a very difficult via ferrata, so do not attempt unless you are in excellent physical condition. 

Dolomites, Italy

The Dolomites are known for their stunning landscapes and offer numerous via ferratas, including the famous “Via delle Bocchette”, which is a unique hut-to-hut experience, taking anywhere from 3-5 days. 

Via Ferrata Trincee, Italy

Situated in the Sexten Dolomites, this via ferrata follows World War I tunnels and trenches, providing a historical and adventurous experience. This is a great option if you are looking for both the exhilarating experience of the via ferrata, as well as a history lesson. 

Via Ferrata de la Tour d’Aï, Switzerland

This via ferrata near Lake Geneva offers a combination of vertical climbing and exposed traverses, with stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. It is a great opportunity to see the area in a different light during your trip. 

Remember that via ferratas vary in difficulty, and it’s important to choose one that matches your skill level and experience. It is also important to make sure you have the correct safety equipment. Visit the local mountain store or guide shop and rent gear, if you do not have any of your own. Always consider local regulations and weather conditions before embarking on any via ferrata adventure. When in doubt, hire a local guide. 

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