Mount Huashan, the World Most Dangerous Hiking Trail
Mount Huashan, the most dangerous trail

Huashan: A Breathtaking Mountain Adventure A renowned destination for thrill-seekers worldwide, Mt Hua is famous for its perilous plank walk along the cliff face. Despite initial hesitation due to its remote location and cost, we were convinced by fellow travelers that this mountain is a must-visit. If you search for “Huashan hiking,” you’ll find countless posts and articles describing it as the most dangerous mountain in the world, accompanied by awe-inspiring photos of people navigating a narrow wooden plank attached to a steep drop. But is this truly the most dangerous mountain? In short, no. In fact, this claim is utter nonsense. Perhaps if you’re seeking a genuinely treacherous mountain, consider K2. Surviving there requires vast mountaineering expertise, sound judgment, and professional equipment. Even with these qualifications, luck is paramount. However, climbing Huashan demands zero experience or mountain knowledge (although moderate fitness is advised unless you take the cable car). You can easily conquer it in trainers, even with a hangover (although not recommended). While the hike is challenging and steep, the trails are well-maintained, ensuring safety from falling, freezing, or altitude sickness. So why is this mountain deemed dangerous? It all boils down to clever marketing or catchy clickbait. The danger lies solely in the skywalk, a separate paid activity near the summit. It’s purely for adventure purposes, offering tourists a chance to walk on wooden planks. But even this is not hazardous. Wearing a harness and being secured to a cable eliminates any risks. Though my friend and I were initially eager to try it, we realized it was merely a gimmick and decided our money would be better spent on local cuisine. Enough about the lack of danger; Huashan offers an incredible hiking experience with breathtaking scenery. In all my visits to China, climbing Huashan ranks among the top things I’ve done. Back in 2007, during my first mainland China trip with friends, we arrived in Beijing after an eventful Trans-Siberian train journey. After a few chaotic days in Beijing, we took a sleeper train to Xi’an to witness the renowned Terracotta Warriors. If you’re planning a trip to China, Xi’an should definitely be on your itinerary. Besides the Terracotta Army, the city boasts the best-preserved city wall in China, a vibrant Muslim quarter teeming with street food, and various traditional pagodas and towers – a haven for those fascinated by Chinese history and ancient culture. If you’re captivated by mountains and stunning landscapes, adding a climb up Huashan to your Xi’an venture is a must. Huashan is one of China’s Five Great Mountains, alongside Tai Shan, Heng Shan, another Heng Shan, and Song Shan. Though not the highest among them, Huashan is renowned for its dramatic scenery, featuring towering cliffs, steep drops, and precarious trails carved between cliff faces and giant boulders. Additionally, Huashan boasts evocative names for its geographical features, such as Black Dragon Ridge, Golden Lock Pass, Thousand-Foot Precipice, and Immortal’s Palm Peak, to name a few.

Hiking the ‘Plank Road in the Sky’ of Mount Hua, one of ‘world’s most dangerous trails’

Mount hua plank road

The Huashan trail we embarked on starts from Jade Spring Temple in Huayin city, 75km from Xi’an. This trail leads up to the North Peak at 1,614m, providing a thrilling, well-maintained path. Throughout the journey, we encountered few climbers, some refreshing drink vendors, and hardy old porters carrying supplies to the top, their loads balanced with bamboo poles. These porters epitomize true resilience. However, beyond the North Peak, tourists flood the narrow paths, especially those using the cable car near the peak’s upper station. Therefore, expect slower progress. Continuing beyond the North Peak, you’ll traverse Black Dragon Ridge, surrounded by five peaks with whimsical names: North Peak, South Peak, East Peak, West Peak, and Central Peak. The highest point, South Peak, stands at 2,154.90m. To experience both a climb up and down, ensure you allocate sufficient time, as it’s a considerable vertical hike from Yuquan temple. Unfortunately, our plan to complete the full hike was cut short due to time constraints, including a long bus journey from Xi’an, getting lost between North and South Peak due to numerous connecting trails, and encountering crowds of middle-aged businessmen in inappropriate attire crowding the paths beyond the North Peak. Consequently, we had to take the cable car down to catch the last bus back. Nowadays, transportation limitations are less of an issue, thanks to the new bullet train line connecting Xi’an with Zhengzhou. The Huashan North stop is a short taxi ride from Yuquan temple. Opting for the bullet train allows for an earlier start and eliminates concerns about missing the last bus, as the final train to Xi’an departs at 21:36. As we descended on the cable car, we noticed another path directly underneath the cable line, called Soldier’s Path. This route gained its name from an episode during the Chinese civil war when Communist soldiers clandestinely climbed Huashan using this route to ambush the occupying Kuomintang forces. However, this alternate path, resembling a steep flight of stairs, lacked the intrigue of the cliff-hewn steps. Thus, I highly recommend starting from Yuquan temple for an atmospheric climb. For a change of scenery, you could ascend from Yuquan temple and descend Soldier’s Path. Additionally, a new cable car provides access to the west peak, making both the west and north peaks easily reachable by cable car. If you’re short on time or prefer not to hike, the cable cars still allow you to enjoy Huashan’s stunning scenery and explore the more manageable walking trails in the summit area. Regardless of the chosen route, climbing Huashan is an awe-inspiring adventure—undoubtedly the best hike I’ve undertaken in China, and one of my most cherished experiences in the country.

Why you should visit Mt Hua.

Mount Huashan, also known as Huashan (华山), is a renowned peak amongst the “Five Mountains” in China. It holds great significance as it is considered the original birthplace of Chinese Civilization. The very “Hua” found in the Chinese words “Zhong Hua” (中华, meaning China) and “Hua Xia” (华夏, an ancient name for China) is derived from Huashan itself. Respected as a sacred mountain of the Chinese nation, Huashan is celebrated as the foundation of Huaxia (China). Additionally, it is famously known as the number one treacherous mountain in China, attracting numerous risk-takers and mountaineers who seek the adrenaline rush of navigating its hair-raising plank paths carved into the cliffs. However, amidst the inherent danger, your journey to this renowned site allows you to witness awe-inspiring sunrises, sunsets, mesmerizing seas of clouds, and grandiose mountain vistas. Along the way, you will encounter various intriguing locations that rejuvenate your spirit. Moreover, Mount Huashan houses scores of ancient Taoist temples, each with its own stories and legends that offer valuable insights into Taoism, Chinese culture, and history. For a truly remarkable experience, make sure to visit this esteemed National AAAAA Tourist Area.

1. You will get to experience exciting and different terrains while trekking

We find the terrain at Mt Hua to be quite diverse compared to other mountains we have climbed. The trek begins with a 4km uphill climb before encountering numerous steps. These steps are not typical, as some are extremely narrow, requiring you to walk up sideways and contort your body as you progress. Overall, the climb is quite challenging, taking about 3 hours to reach the first peak (North Peak) and an additional 3-4 hours to explore the other 4 peaks. It is advisable to wear sturdy hiking shoes while trekking. Interestingly, the locals have a knack for trekking in high heels or wedges, although it is recommended to use appropriate hiking shoes with good traction, as some of the steps can be very slippery.

 2. It gets your adrenaline pumping

During our trek, there comes a point where one must make a decision. Are you willing to take on the daunting task of ascending the steep, vertical steps with only loose chains to hold onto? Alternatively, you have the option to take the easier route and use the normal steps. Being thrill-seekers, we naturally chose the more difficult path. And let me tell you, it was certainly a challenge! The steps were incredibly narrow and the chains were not securely fastened. Holding onto them made you feel as though you were on the verge of falling backwards at any moment! Next, we encountered the famous and nerve-wracking “Vast Sky Plank Walk” along the cliff face of Hua Shan’s South peak. This reminded us of our previous experience with the via Ferrata at Mount Kinabalu, although the one at Hua Shan was shorter and less intimidating. Nonetheless, it was still quite an adventure to stand on a 2ft wide wooden platform attached to the cliff face, with an elevation of 2,160m above sea level. If you have a fear of heights, I would advise against looking down! A helpful tip for this journey is to bring gloves, especially during colder weather. The metal chains can be unbearably cold to grip onto with bare hands. However, if you forget to bring gloves, fret not! There are plenty of locals selling inexpensive cotton gloves at the foot of the mountain. It’s important to note that the plank walk is a one-way route. Consequently, when you are returning to the starting point, you will have to navigate through the incoming crowd. This can be quite challenging as the plank or the ladder provided is not very wide. It’s astonishing to see how many people are allowed on the plank walk at any given time, around 20 individuals, I believe. Just observing the number of people attempting to descend the ladder while I struggled to climb back up was truly remarkable. Another tip for this adventure is to bring a sturdy windbreaker and a warm fleece jacket. The temperature at Hua Shan drops below 6 degrees Celsius once the sun sets and the wind can feel quite brutal. We found The North Face Triclimate jackets to be highly practical. They consist of an outer windbreaker shell that doubles as a raincoat and a detachable inner fleece jacket that kept us warm throughout our journey.

3. You will be rewarded with spectacular views

Our first day trek up the mountain was unfortunately greeted with unfavorable weather conditions. The entire mountain was enveloped by a thick blanket of fog, rendering visibility almost nonexistent. As a result, we made the wise choice to spend the night and hope for better luck the following day. This decision turned out to be one of the best we have ever made. The weather during both sunset and sunrise was absolutely perfect, allowing us to witness breathtaking views. The next day, as we embarked on our plank walk, visibility was exceptionally clear. It is highly recommended to allocate ample time for your visit to Mt Hua if possible. This mountain is renowned for its steepness, resulting in its often foggy ambiance. It would be a shame to miss out on the opportunity to experience Mt Hua without the obstruction of fog.

Where to stay (Accommodation Options)

Alchemy Furnace (Cheapest accommodation!) – near the South Peak – Y80/pax (6 pax dormitory)
The map does not indicate that you can stay at Alchemy Furnance, but you can easily go there and inquire about a room. It is the most affordable option available at the summit of Hua Shan. Alternatively, you can choose to sleep in a tent. We were not aware of this option beforehand, so we did not bring our own tent or sleeping bag. However, it turned out to be quite nice as you can camp along the pathway beneath the breathtaking starry night sky. The cost of this accommodation is uncertain, but it is surely cheaper than any other lodging. If you plan on staying for 1 or 2 nights at Mount Huashan, there are various hotels, hostels, and inns in Huayin City and at the foot of Mount Huashan. These accommodations provide hot water, comfortable beds, and better environments for your stay. However, if you prefer to be closer to nature and witness the sunrise from the peak, it is recommended that you choose accommodation in the tourist area. Keep in mind that the facilities may not be of the highest quality due to the challenging ascent. Some hotels offer hot water at the reception desk and the availability of water for cleansing may be limited. Additionally, a few establishments provide electric blankets for warmth.

How to get there

One popular option is to simply catch the direct bus from Xi An train station to Mount Hua. This convenient mode of transportation takes approximately 2 hours and is priced at Y36 per person. Upon arrival, the bus will drop you off at the base of the magnificent Mount Hua. When it comes to reaching Mount Huashan, located in Weinan City of Shaanxi Province, about 120km away from Xian city, there are various transportation options available. Apart from coaches, there are high speed trains and normal trains connecting Mount Huashan to other cities, making it easily accessible to visitors.

From Xian to Huashan

Mount Huashan can be easily accessed from various locations in China. However, the most common starting point for travelers is Xian, which offers convenient transportation options. To reach Mount Huashan by air, the closest airport is Xian Xianyang International Airport. Flights to Xian Xianyang International Airport are available from major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Kunming, Wuhan, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Macau, Seoul, and Bangkok. If you prefer to travel by train, there are approximately 40 high-speed trains departing daily from Xian North Railway Station to Huashan North Railway Station, with a travel time of only 30-40 minutes. The Huashan North Railway Station is located just 5km away from Mount Huashan, allowing easy access by local tourist bus or taxi. Additionally, the Shanghai Lanzhou High-Speed Railway also passes through Huashan North Railway Station, offering a convenient option for travelers coming from cities such as Shanghai, Suzhou, Nanjing, Kaifeng, Zhengzhou, Tianshui, and Lanzhou. For those who prefer coach travel, over 20 long-distance coaches depart from Xian Bus Station to Huashan, with a travel time of approximately 2 hours. If you wish to drive to Mount Huashan from Xian city, the journey typically takes around 1.5-2 hours, covering a distance of approximately 120-150km. The travel time and distance may vary depending on the specific route chosen and practical conditions.

Private Transfer

If you are looking to avoid the inconvenience of using public transportation and dealing with the challenges of navigating unfamiliar places, you have the option to reserve a private tour package. This comprehensive package includes sightseeing, dining, and transportation services provided by our team. Our knowledgeable local tour guide and skilled driver will accompany you as you explore Mount Huashan, ensuring that your journey is efficient and hassle-free. With their assistance, you can free yourself from the need to worry about the logistical aspects of your trip and instead fully immerse yourself in the experience of sightseeing.

How much does it cost?

Fees are relatively low compared to other popular tourist destinations in China. The main fee is the entrance ticket, which grants access to the entire mountain. Additionally, there is a shuttle bus fee for those who choose to use it to travel between different points on the mountain. The fees are affordable and reasonable, making Mount Huashan an accessible and budget-friendly destination for all travelers.

Entrance fee: During the peak season, the cost for an individual to enter is ¥180, while in the off season, it decreases to ¥120. The entrance ticket allows for a 48-hour period of validity and covers the fees for visiting the Xiyue Temple Scenic Area and Xianyu Scenic Area. Additionally, it includes the transportation expenses from the Tourist Center to other scenic areas. However, please note that the ticket does not cover the cost of the Huangfuyu and Wengyu Tourist bus.

West Peak Cableway (Taihua Cableway): The cost for one person on a single trip during peak season is 140 yen, while during off season it is 120 yen.

North Peak Cableway The Sante Cableway, which operates from the Wamiao Ditch to the North Peak, offers tickets at the price of ¥80 per person for a single way during peak season. For those who wish to enjoy a round trip, the cost is ¥150 per person. However, during the off season, the prices are reduced to ¥45 per person for a single way and ¥80 per person for a round trip. It is important to note that the cableway operates from 07:00 to 19:00 during peak season and from 08:00 to 18:00 during the off season.

Tourist Area Shuttle Bus The cost for a round trip to the Huashan Tourist Center via the Wamiao Ditch is ¥40 per person, while a single way trip is priced at ¥20 per person. This transportation service is available from 07:00 to 19:00 during the peak season and from 09:00 to 17:00 in the off season.


1. Peak season: March 1st ~ November 30th;

Low season: December 1st ~ end of February

2. The cost and operating hours for vehicles in the Mount Huashan Tourist Area mentioned above are provided as a reference. To obtain the most up-to-date and specific information, feel free to consult our Travel Consultant.

Famous Main Five Peaks in Mount Huashan

The Mount Huashan tourist area is adorned with five prominent peaks, dispersed in the four cardinal directions as well as the center. These peaks are known as the North Peak, West Peak, South Peak, East Peak, and Middle East. Each peak boasts unique attractions and opportunities for exploration. Let us now delve into the distinctive attributes of each peak!

North Peak

Yuntai Peak, also known as the North Peak due to its position in the northern part of the scenic area, has an impressive height of 1,614 meters. It is considered one of the primary peaks of Mount Huashan and serves as the gateway to the other four peaks. The North Peak presents a challenging terrain with its steep slopes and only one mountain path leading to the southern part. It is a formidable place to conquer, as demonstrated by the famous real story of the Circumvent Hua Mountain that took place there. Upon reaching the summit, visitors will discover a platform offering breathtaking views of the three peaks and the Black Dragon Ridge in the southern part of Mount Huashan. Additionally, the halfway point to Yuntai Peak is adorned with abundant plantations and fresh air, making it an ideal spot for a refreshing break. Furthermore, the North Peak is home to several notable attractions including the Zhenwu Palace, Jiaogong Stone Chamber, Yunv Window, Yiyun Pavilion, and the Place of Laojun Hanging the Plough.

West Peak

The West Peak, located on the western part, reaches a height of 2082.6 meters. It is famously known as Lianhua Peak or Furong Peak due to its resemblance to a gigantic lotus petal made of stone at its summit. This mountain is a remarkable creation of nature, composed entirely of solid rock. The craggy and steep edges on the west and north sides resemble the precise cuts made by a large knife, reflecting the unique topography of Mount Huashan. As you reach the summit, a breathtaking sight awaits you. From this vantage point, you can witness the surrounding mountains gracefully rising and falling, while the clouds and the soft glow of the sun flutter about, creating an ethereal ambiance akin to the mythical lands of immortals. Any worries or burdens that have been weighing on your mind simply vanish. If you happen to be in the right place at the right time, you might even be fortunate enough to witness the most magnificent sunset from this exquisite spot. Additionally, the West Peak offers several captivating destinations to explore. It is also where the famous tale of Chen Xiang, a brave young boy who heroically saved his mother by detonating a cliff, unfolded. By visiting the West Peak, you can learn about the incredible courage and deep love that this young boy possessed for his beloved mother.

South Peak

The South Peak, towering at a height of 2,154.9 meters, reigns supreme among the five main peaks of Mount Huashan, earning the title of the “Head of Mount Huashan” in ancient Chinese culture. Often referred to as Luoyan Peak, meaning landing wild geese, it is said that migrating geese would take a rest on this peak as they journeyed back to southern China. Upon reaching the summit of the South Peak, one is enveloped by the sense of being so close to the heavens that even the stars seem within reach. The breathtaking panorama includes sweeping views of majestic mountains, meandering Yellow River and Wei River, vast plains, and picturesque valleys. Standing at the boundary between earth and sky, it’s a captivating and almost surreal experience, where stepping on the clouds feels both intriguing and unimaginable.

East Peak

Situated in the eastern portion of Mount Huashan, the East Peak proudly stands at a majestic height of 2096.2 meters. Known as the Chaoyang Peak, its name translates to “facing the east”. The pinnacle of this peak boasts a perilously elevated platform, offering a panoramic vista and an awe-inspiring opportunity to witness a breathtaking sunrise. The East Peak is adorned with an abundance of robust and flourishing trees, creating a serene and tranquil setting. Strolling or trekking through this area is a truly pleasurable and invigorating experience, as the towering trees serve as a colossal umbrella overhead, accompanied by the melodious melodies of streaming water. The ambience exudes an undeniable sense of peace and harmony, providing a truly captivating and rejuvenating escapade at the East Peak.

Middle Peak

The Middle Peak, also known as Yunv Peak, has an elevation of approximately 2037.8 meters. It is centrally located among the East Peak, South Peak, and West Peak. At the summit of the Middle Peak, you will find Yunv Temple, a Taoist temple. This temple was once the personal retreat of Nong Yu, the daughter of Duke Mu from the Qin Kingdom during the Spring and Autumn Period. Due to its association with Nong Yu, the Middle Peak came to be called Yunv Peak, or Peak of Daughter Yu. Additionally, while visiting the Middle Peak, one can explore various other attractions connected to Nong Yu and her husband, Xiao Shi.

Highlighting Attractions on Mount Huashan

Mount Huashan boasts more than 210 captivating attractions. Within this vast selection, we have compiled a list of the most remarkable highlights. These attractions offer breathtaking panoramas, captivating narratives, and adventurous trails, among other enticing qualities. To ensure a fulfilling experience, acquaint yourself with the details of these attractions before embarking on your journey.

Changkong Plank Trail

Huashan Plank Walk, also known as Changkong Plank Trail, is renowned as the most perilous and exhilarating route in Mount Huashan. This ancient plank trail, constructed over 700 years ago by He Zhizhen, is located at the South Peak. The trail’s precarious construction involved joining wood and stone pins into the sheer vertical cliff. Measuring just over 30 centimeters wide, the path lacks handrails but instead offers iron chains for support along the cliff’s edge. As you navigate this exhilarating trail, your only view is the towering cliff face, with depths of hundreds of meters below. Throughout history, countless individuals, including scholars and celebrities, have embarked on this treacherous journey to personally experience its danger and test their bravery. If you too yearn to tread upon this truly thrilling trail suspended in midair, do not hesitate to embark on this remarkable adventure. (Please note, for precautionary measures, safety ropes can be rented for ¥30 per person per trip, which are mandatory for travelers traversing the Changkong Plank Trail.)

Black Dragon Ridge

The towering Black Dragon Ridge, known as Canglong in Chinese, stretches towards the sky, resembling a majestic black dragon in flight. Upon reaching the North Peak and ascending the Heavenly Ladders, a breathtaking sight awaits: a vast ridge looming before you. This ridge, with over 530 steps, measures just over 2 feet wide (approximately 2 thirds of a meter). To either side lie unfathomable valleys, while the ridge itself boasts a steep incline of more than 45 degrees. From its pinnacle to its base, there is a staggering height difference of approximately 500 meters. Standing on this ridge, you can gaze out at the lush green pines and ethereal clouds of Mount Huashan, all while being serenaded by the gusts of wind that whip through. It is here that you can truly appreciate the awe-inspiring beauty of this knife-edge mountain.

Thousand Feet Zhuang Path

The Qian Chi Zhuang, also known as the Thousand Feet Zhuang Path in English, has earned the nickname “throat of Mount Huashan” due to its dangerously steep and strategically significant location on the mountain. This exceptionally narrow pathway winds along the cliffside, with just enough space for one person’s foot on the more than 370 steps carved into the mountain. Passing through requires gripping the iron chains tightly and using both hands and feet to climb the incredibly steep terrain. Brace yourself for an adrenaline-pumping experience as this challenging route awaits you as the first thrilling path on Mount Huashan.

Golden Locks Pass

The Golden Locks Pass, known as 金锁关 in Chinese, stands tall like a gate tower made of stone. Positioned between the North Peak and the other prominent peaks of Huashan, it is seen as the Gateway to the Sky. Journeying through this pass will introduce you to the exhilarating Black Dragon Ridge. Enveloped by ancient emerald pines, this pass is adorned with a plethora of peculiarly shaped stones. As you venture here, you will be able to behold the mesmerizing vista of countless red ropes and vibrant strings. Hanging on the iron chain that lines both sides of the path, these layers of love and peace locks sway gracefully with the wind. The locks and the entire mountain shimmer brilliantly under the sun’s rays, providing a feast for your eyes.

Chess Playing Pavilion

Located on the southeastern side of the East Peak, there exists a solitary peak known as Botai, featuring a remarkably level summit. This peak, surrounded by ethereal clouds and mist, resembles a captivating island amidst the vast expanse of the sea, offering a whimsical and mystical spectacle. Atop this summit, an exquisite stone pavilion stands, housing within it a stone table. The origin of its title, the Chess Playing Pavilion (下棋亭), dates back to ancient times when observant individuals noticed a square stone upon the Botai that was unevenly shaped, resembling a chess set composition. Therefore, it was named the Chess Stone. During the Song dynasty, a pavilion was erected upon the Botai, subsequently acquiring its present name as the Chess Playing Pavilion.

Yuquan Temple

Yuquan Temple, located on Mount Huashan, serves as the main venue for Taoist rituals and practices. Travelers on their way to Mount Huashan will inevitably pass by this temple in Huashan Valley, making it the designated entrance to the mountain. According to legend, Princess Jinxian of the Tang Dynasty once accidentally dropped her jade hairpin into the Jade Well while washing her hair. Surprisingly, she rediscovered the hairpin later at a spring in Yuquan Temple while washing her hands. In honor of this event, the spring was named Yuquan, meaning jade spring, and the temple became known as Yuquan Temple. In addition to the suggested attractions on Mount Huashan, such as the Huayue Immortal Palm, Heavenly Ladders, and Huixin Rock, there are plenty of other exciting and remarkable experiences to be had. Exploring these sites will provide a genuine opportunity to appreciate their unique features and captivating allure during your Huashan Tour.

Mount Huashan Hiking

Hiking is the most captivating activity to partake in at Mount Huashan, as this mountain boasts the title of having “the world’s most perilous hiking trail”. The simple yet incredibly narrow wooden pathways, the icy iron chains and handrails, the dauntingly deep crevices that occasionally seem indiscernible, the audaciously steep cliffs – the list goes on. All of these exhilarating and spine-tingling aspects have enticed people to test their courage and transform themselves from their former selves. Those who successfully reach the summit and complete the entire hike are hailed as “winners” by others. Moreover, once you set foot on the summit, a breathtaking reward awaits you in the form of awe-inspiring vistas. Depending on the time you arrive, you could witness the mesmerizing sight of a radiant sunrise, a captivating sunset, a sea of clouds that resembles a fantastical wonderland, or the sweeping panorama of all the mountains at Mount Huashan. All of your fears, fatigue, and exertions will be repaid with nature’s most precious gift. And the most fortunate thing is being able to capture these magnificent scenes by pressing the shutter button, thus immortalizing the most unforgettable moments of your life.

Recommended Route to Visit Mount Huashan

If you’re planning to visit Mount Huashan, there are several hiking routes to choose from, depending on your time, fitness level, and preferences. Here are two recommended options:

Complete Hiking Routes – 2 Days

Day 1:

  • Begin your journey by visiting the Yuquan Temple to learn about the story of Princess Jinxian.
  • Hike along the trail and reach Huixin Rock.
  • Embark on the challenging Thousand Feet Zhuang Path and Hundred Feet Valley, holding tightly to the iron chains.
  • Continue to the North Peak to enjoy breathtaking views, taking breaks as needed along the way.
  • Climb the steep Heavenly Ladder and experience the expansive vistas from the Black Dragon Ridge.
  • Reach the Golden Locks Pass to admire the thousands of locks and colorful strings.
  • Finally, arrive at the East Peak to appreciate the panoramic view of Mount Huashan. Stay overnight on the East Peak.

Day 2:

  • Wake up early to witness the stunning sunrise from the East Peak.
  • Hike to the South Peak, the highest peak on Mount Huashan, and capture beautiful photos.
  • Proceed to the Central Peak to explore ancient Taoist temples and structures.
  • Continue your hike to the West Peak and learn the touching story of Chen Xiang saving her mother.
  • Take the cableway down to the foot of Mount Huashan.

1-Day Mount Huashan Hiking – Strongly Recommended

For those with limited time or seeking a less strenuous option, a one-day hike with the assistance of cable cars is recommended:

Classic Hike (8~9 hours):

  • Start from the tourist center and take the North Peak Cable Car to the East Peak.
  • Visit the East Peak, South Peak, and West Peak.
  • Descend via the West Peak Cable Car back to the tourist center.

Leisure Hike (6~7 hours):

  • Begin at the tourist center and take the West Peak Cable Car to the West Peak.
  • Explore the West Peak, South Peak, and East Peak.
  • Return to the tourist center via the West Peak Cable Car.

Regardless of which route you choose, be sure to arrive early at the tourist center to avoid long queues for tickets and transportation. Additionally, if you plan to watch the sunrise on the second day, consider staying overnight on the East Peak or the Middle Peak and bring a head torch for visibility in the early morning darkness.

Huashan Weather

Mount Huashan is situated in a region with a warm temperature continental monsoon climate. Due to its steep elevation, the temperature fluctuates significantly from the bottom to the peak. In areas below 1000 meters, the hottest month sees an average temperature ranging from 24℃-28℃. However, as one ascends beyond 1000 meters, the average temperature drops to below 8℃, reaching a chilling -2.5℃-10℃ in the coldest month, while the hottest month still remains relatively mild at 21℃-24℃. During the spring months of April to May, the upper parts of Mount Huashan are often enveloped in rain and fog, creating a captivating sea of clouds. Winter, on the other hand, experiences heavy snowfall, making the pathways slippery and challenging for walkers. The summer season, from June to September, brings frequent rainfall, particularly in the months of July to September. However, these rain showers are swiftly followed by sunny spells, allowing visitors to appreciate the beauty of Mount Huashan in the rain. June to August marks the warmest period, with temperatures averaging around 16℃-18℃ on the mountain itself and 24℃-26℃ at the base. Autumn brings mostly sunny days with occasional rainfall. One can expect impressive views of Mount Huashan immersed in fog during this season. It is worth noting that the temperature at the summit is approximately 10℃ lower than at the foot, highlighting the need for cold protective clothing all year round. Sweaters, hats, scarves, and other winter accessories are especially recommended during the colder months.

Tips to Go to Mount Huashan

If you’re planning a trip to Mount Huashan, here are some helpful tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:

  1. Mount Hua Temple Fair: If you visit Mount Huashan during the Lunar March, particularly on March 15th (Chaoshan Day), you’ll have the opportunity to experience the Mount Hua Temple Fair. This grand festival features various cultural activities and is a great way to immerse yourself in local traditions and festivities.
  2. Clothing and Gear: Wear comfortable hiking shoes and appropriate clothing for trekking, considering the weather conditions during your visit. Since parts of the trail require holding onto chains, it’s advisable to bring gloves for added grip. If you plan to hike during the night to catch the sunrise, bring a reliable head torch to light your way, especially if you’re staying outside the Mount Huashan Scenic Spot.
  3. Sunrise Schedule: The timing of the sunrise varies throughout the year:
    • Spring: 05:00~06:00
    • Summer: 04:30~05:20
    • Autumn: 05:00~05:20
    • Winter: 06:30~07:30
  4. Food and Water: Bring along snacks and sufficient water for your hike, as there are limited food and beverage options available on the mountain. It’s essential to stay hydrated, especially during the ascent, so be sure to carry an ample supply of drinkable water.

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