The Scariest Hiking Trail in the World: El Caminito del Rey

I’ve received links to this video from numerous friends, and every time I see it I yearn to learn (ha that rhymes!) more about this trail! Apparently it is the El Caminito del Rey (I took Spanish in high school so I can translate that 😉 ….”The King’s Little Pathway”) and it is in Málaga, Spain. It lies along a narrow gorge in El Chorro.

I finally decided to do some research, and this is what I found out:

  • El Caminito del Rey was built in 4 years, and finished in 1905
  • It is said to have been built by Asian workers, not Spanish
  • Even though it was completed in 1905, it was not inaugurated until 1921 when the King of Spain, Alfonso XIII, crossed the walkway. Ever since then, it has been called The King’s Little Pathway
  • El Caminito del Rey, the early days
    El Caminito del Rey, the early days
  • The purpose of the path was to enable workers to cross between the hydroelectric power plants at Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls
  • It is one meter in width ( 3 feet 3″)
  • It is 300 meters above the river (984 feet) in spots
  • Most of the path has no handrail
  • It’s pretty obvious, but it is in a state of total disrepair. Concrete blocks are missing along many parts of the trail
  • If you want to go walking along the trail, you can clip in to a safety wire, but it can hold very little weight
  • 4 people died on the path in 1999 and 2000
  • The Andalusian government budgeted €6.6 million to restore it in 2006
  • It technically isn’t open to the public, but people still sneak on.
  • There is a memorial at the end of the path for 3 young men who died in 2000 after falling 700 feet to the gorge below
  • In late 2008 the President of the Malaga Provincial Government, Salvador Pendon, announced that the financing for the project needs to get put in place before repair work is started

Here’s a map of where it’s located:

Hopefully they can fix this up and make it safe so we can all check it out some day! I’d really love to go (once it is fixed up of course!)

Has you been? Post a comment below and share your stories!

Want to see another wild hike? Check out Walking on the Wildside, a video clip of a guy hiking the HuaShan Plank Path in China.

 El Caminito del Rey, Photo by Gabirulo, Flickr
El Caminito del Rey, Photo by Gabirulo, Flickr

 El Caminito del Rey, Photo by Gabirulo, Flickr
El Caminito del Rey, Photo by Gabirulo, Flickr


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