17 Spectacular Outdoor Staircases - Atlas Obscura Lists

17 Spectacular Outdoor Staircases

Whether it's their looks or the effort of climbing, these staircases will take your breath away.

Spotting a steep set of stairs might elicit a groan from many. But in the right environment, a set of stairs can lead to awed gasps instead. Some are carved into the sides of mountains or cliffs, while others are centerpieces of cities and towns. But all of these outdoor staircases offer breathtaking climbs and astonishing views.

Amid the urban landscape of Seattle, Washington, the Howe Street Stairs offer some of the most special views of the city. Originally designed to link two streetcar lines, the 388 steps reach an elevation of 160 feet. Across the globe in Zhangjiajie, China, stands Tianmen Shan, or Heaven’s Gate Mountain. Climbing the mountain’s 999-step “Stairway to Heaven,” leads to a massive natural arch.

From the largest outdoor staircase in the United States to a wooden staircase built into a mountain, here are 17 outdoor staircases that will take your breath away.