<p>The popular via ferrata in Snake Canyon, near Wadi Bani Awf, includes several traverses and zip line routes more than 300 feet above the gorge's floor.</p>

Snake Canyon, Oman

The popular via ferrata in Snake Canyon, near Wadi Bani Awf, includes several traverses and zip line routes more than 300 feet above the gorge's floor.

Photograph by Eric Nathan, Alamy

Best Hikes: 11 Thrilling Hikes Around the World

These via ferratas, or "iron roads," draw climbers and hikers to peaks in the Andes, Rockies, Alps, and other mountain ranges.

Via ferratas, meaning "iron roads" in Italian, are climbing routes with fixed ladders, suspension bridges, cables, chains, or other anchor points that offer access to mountains that would otherwise be difficult to reach. Many via ferrata are suited to casual hikers and climbers, while others challenge experienced alpinists. Hiring a local guide is always a good option.

Here are 11 great via ferrata destinations around the world.

Read about one team's expedition to Italy's Dolomites to explore the via ferratas and their World War I legacy.

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