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The picture is from Lake Louise in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, in the Canadian Rockies. That view is probably from the Fairmont hotel. It's one of the top nature destinations in Canada and if you're interested in visiting, they're open pretty much all year round though to get that view you have to go in summer.


Since someone wondered if it could be winter in one of the comments, here is what winter looks like


I'm very familiar with the European alps, but not at all familiar with the sacred mountains in China. So I can only address why stairs are rare in the alps: You mentioned hiking up the sacred mountains. The peak isn't that important in the Alps, so paths rarely take the shortest route to the peak. Instead you have a whole network of paths that link various ...


I have another possible explanation that I cannot corraborate with online sources at this time. I visited Japan several years ago, and as one does (and should definitely do), I visited many Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines while there. I believe it was a Buddhist temple (as opposed to a shrine) where I first noticed two sets of stairs. There was a ...


I would say just based on the photos (and I realize they are just examples) that whether or not you build stairs or switchbacks would depend entirely on the landscape, the composition of the mountain, and surrounding vegetation. If I were to try to plan a path to the top of the mountain, I would look at what I had to work with. If I had the real estate to ...

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