There is an old saying goes “No mountain is worth appreciating after visiting the Five Great Mountians, and none of the Five Great Mountain is worth apperciating after visiting Mount Huangshan”. Mount Huangshan is known as the most fabulous mountain and the landmark of the Huangshan city, with the honor of being one of the World Natural Heritage Sites, World Cutural Heritage, Wolrd Geologicial Park at the same time, it is one of the most popular mountains for hiking in China.
Mount Huangshan, formerly known as“Yishan”, was named for its black road and its dark green color if you view the mountain from a distance place. Later, it was called Mount Huangshan because of the legend that Xuanyuan Huangdi had made alchemy here.
When you travel to visit Mount Huangshan, you are sure be impressed by the scenery. In the scenic area, magnificent mountains and grotesque rocks area everywhere. There are 88 peaks with an elevation of over 1000 meters, and the three mian peaks are the Lotus Peak, Bright Summit Peak and Celestial Capital Peak, all of them are over 1800 meters above sea level. The " five wonders" of Mount Huangshan namely the fantastic pines, the grotesque rocks, the sea of clouds, the hot springs and the winter snow have become the best experience of this wolrd-class tourist destination. The Guset-greeting pine of the Mount Huangshan is a symbol of the warmth and friendship of Anhui people, carrying the oriental etiquette culture of that embraces the rest of the world.
What to Do in Mount Huangshan
1) If the weather permits, you should appreciate the sunrise and sunset – The best locations to catch the sunrise in mount Huangshan are from Dawn Pavilion, Refreshing Platform, Lion Peak, Rosy Clouds Peak, Bright Peak Summit, Jade Screen Peak, Lotus Blossom Peak, and Heavenly Capital Peak. The sunrise occurs at different times depending on the season. In spring and winter, the sunrise usually occurs between 5.30am and 6am. During autumn and summer the sun tends to rise between 4.40am and 5.10 am. To be certain when the sun will rise during your visit, make sure to check a weather app the day before.
2) See the seas of clouds – To see the seas of clouds touch the mountain peaks is utterly amazing. Two of the best locations to experience this is from the “Bright Peak” (the second tallest peak of mount Huangshan) and the “Lion Peak” (which got it name from it looking like a big lion stretching across the range).
3) Go hiking on Mount Huangshan, you can hike up to the the Lotus Peak– it is the highest peak in Mount Huangshan. From here you will get a fantastic view of the whole mountain range. However, make sure to double check that this peak is opened during your visit. It is closed once and a while due to maintenance; Beginning-to-Believe Peak – This is one of the smaller peaks of mount Huangshan, standing at 1,668 meters tall. It is incredible due to lovely pine trees and unique rocks, surrounded by wonderful greenery; Flying Stone – The name comes from the fact that the stone seems to be flying from heaven. This 360 ton, 8 meter long (26 feet), almost 12 meters tall (39 feet), rock balanced on a seemingly thin ledge, seems to defy physics.
4) Walk around and enjoy the beautiful scenery – The Mount Huangshan are beautiful, no matter where on the mountain range you are. It really is not about the goal here, but the climb. Stop on your way to enjoy the scenery, take photos and let yourself be blown away by its beauty.
Best Mount Huangshan Hiking Route
There are several different hiking routes up and around Huangshan. The main three routes up the mountain are the western steps, the eastern steps and the west side canyon. The eastern steps are the quickest route up taking 3 hours compared with 7 hours on the western steps! The west side canyon is located in a different place so I don’t recommend starting your hike here
One Day Hikeing Route
First up on your Huangshan itinerary, take the bus to Yungu Temple. From here, take the cable car up to White Goose Ridge Station at the top of the mountain. Head to Beginning to Believe Peak, followed by Dawn Pavilion and Monkey Watching Over Sea. Then head over to Bright Top before walking down the mountain via Turtle Peak and Lotus Peak (if time permits). Lastly, take the Yuping Cable Car and the bus back to the starting point. Be sure to stop off at the hot springs if you’re spending the night in Tongcun.
Two Days Hiking Route
Start your Huangshan itinerary with a bus to Yungu Temple. From here, you can hike up the mountain… if you’re not a big hiker, then hop on the cable car to shorten your journey time. It’s about a three hour hike up a seemingly never-ending staircase! Once you reach the top, head to the Beginning to Believe Peak, followed by Dawn Pavilion and Monkey Watching Over Sea. Finishing at Bright Top to watch sunset. Highly recommend you stay in Beihai Hotel.
In the next day, if the weather permit, get up early to enjoy the sunrise one the top of Bright summit. This is a 20 minute walk from the hotel. Fortunately, most hotels provide warm down-coats; a blessing in the early hours. After sunrise, head to Flying Rock followed by Fairy Walking Bridge . Please note, this area is closed during winter. Afterwards, head down towards Turtle Peak and Lotus Peak. Choose to hike up celestial capital peak or if your legs are tired, skip it and take the cable car down instead.
Mount Huangshan Cable Car
There are three different cable cars that take visitors to different peaks within the mountain range. Lines for the cable cars can be very long during peak seasons, and it's a good idea to factor this into your trip. Cable cars stop operating after 4 p.m. so factor that into your plans as well. Many visitors use the cable cars to go up the mountain and walk or trek back down, or vice versa.
Yungu Cable Car: Yungu Cableway runs between Cloud Valley Temple and White Goose Mountain. It is 2,804 meters in total length and its height difference is 772.8 meters. It is of the same type with Taiping Cableway except that it is smaller (60 persons).
Ticket: 80RMB for one way; Opening Hours: 07:00 am - 17:00 pm (Monday ~ Friday) 06:30 am - 17:00 pm (Saturday & Sunday)
Yuping Cable Car: Yuping Cableway runs between Mercy Light Temple and Jade Screen Tower. It is 2,012.1 meters long and its height difference is 745.4 meters. It is of single-line automatic reciprocating type, 31 gondolas in total. Each gondola can hold 6 persons (one way trip lasts 8 minutes).
Ticket: 90RMB for one way; Opening Hours: 06:50 am - 17:00 pm (Monday ~ Friday) 06:30 am - 17:00 pm (Saturday & Sunday)
Taiping Cable Car: Taiping Cableway runs between Pine Valley Nunnery and Pine Forest Peak. It is 3,561.9 meters long and its height difference is 1,004 meters. It is of four-line reciprocating type, with one pair of cable cars, carrying capacity of 100 + 1 persons for each car (one way trip lasts 11.6 minutes).
Ticket: 80RMB for one way; Opening Hours: 07:00 am - 16:30 pm (Monday ~ Sunday)
Where to stay on the top of Mount Huangshan
If you choose to hike the way to the top, you will need at least two days to have time to explore the place, one day will be enough if you decided to take the cable car up to the mountain. We highly recommend you stay overnight on the top of the mountain if the weather permits you will have chance to catch the charming scenery of the sunrise and sunset. There are a number of hotels on the different peaks of the mountains with very different standards, but do not expect to find any cheap option.
The hotels on the top of the mountain are much more expensive than the foothill. The available accommodations on top of the mountain are very basic. It would be for the best not to expect nice furniture and super comfortable beds. Also, due to the moist weather on the mountains, the rooms might be a bit humid, so may the beddings. The hotels usually offers a bed, a water heater, a small element/heater and toilet paper. Therefore, you should bring your own toiletries. There are also 4-star, 5-star hotel on the top, such as Shilin Hotel, Xihai Hotel and Beihai Hotel.
What to eat on the top of Mount Huangshan
Good and cheap food is very hard to find on the mountain, most of what is offered is highly overpriced. A good tip is to bring your own snack, food and drink. A lot of foreigners and Chinese people do this. However, it is possible to buy water, hot dogs, boiled eggs and snacks here and there. Most of the hotels offers dinner and breakfast. Just like the hotels have porters carrying down there supplies and belongings; trash and food are also carried up and down the mountain, making it more expensive
Best Time to Visit Mount Huangshan
Generally speaking, spring and autumn are the best seasons for travel to Huangshan city. These two seasons also happen to offer magnificent natural views of Mount Huangshan, along with a temperate climate. Traveling to Mount Huangshan, however, is not limited to only these two seasons as it enjoys varied beauty throughout the year.
In summer, Mount Huangshan is a great escape from summer heat and in the wintertime, the mountain is a popular photography destination, rewarding keen hikers with gorgeous snow-covered views. In winter, you can apperciate the charming white snow world, it is also a good time for the photography lovers. If you are planning to Mount Huangshan for hiking, Spring, summer and autumn are definitely the best times to visit.
Location: Huangshan scenic area, Tangkou Town, Huangshan City, Anhui Province
Ticket Price: 190RMB per person; Half price for child above 1.2m under 1.4m; Free for child under 1.2m
Opening Hours: 06:30 - 16:30
Time for visiting: At least 1 day, 2-3 days are recommended if you have plenty time
How to Get to Mount Huangshan
You can take high speed train, flight even the long-distance bus from other part of China to Huangshan city, then start your tour to Mount Huangshan Scenic Area from Huangshan downtown, Huangshan north railway station, Tunxi Airport, Huangshan Bus Station. There are several ways can be choose to travel to Mount Huangshan from the city center as below:
1) Car Rental Service: You can book a private transfer with local Huangshan tour company, it will make your tour much easy, it takes around 40 mins from Huangshan train station/airport/downtown hotel to Mount Huangshan. If you book the private transfer service, you will get your personal driver pick you up from your pointed place to the entrance of the Mount Huangshan.
2) Tourist Bus: There are many tourist buses depart from Huangshan train station and bus station to Mount Huangshan Scenic Area which convenient for the tourists who want to make thier own. If you prefer to experience the local buses, you’ll find them heading to the Mount Huangshan scenic area every 20 minutes. The Huangshan Distance Buses Station in the city is where you’ll both buy your tickets and depart. The bus ride itself is around 70 minutes.
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