Huashan Mountain

Huashan Mountain is a famous hill in China and is located not far from the major city of Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province in central China. This place is also known as the Great Western Mountain, and it is one of the 5 Taoist sacred mountains of ancient China.

People often use the colloquialism “there has been only one road in Huashan Mountain” to describe its precipitousness. Now, travelers could choose to take the cable car to visit, but if you like thrills, you can opt for the stairs, arranged along the cliffs and vertiginous ravines to climb. They were nicknamed “The Heavenly Stairs”, leaving the first impression that they could access Paradise. Huashan Mountain is known as one of the steepest mountains in the world and is a real challenge for hikers. People prone to vertigo, abstain!!!

One of the sections is called “Changkong Zhandao” by the Chinese, which means the plank walk in the sky. Visitors walk across thin planks bolted to the side of the mountain held together with staples at 7,000 feet. Many refer to it as “the world’s most dangerous hike,” but others say it’s the safest place on the mountain because it’s the only place where safety belts are required. Fatalities on the Huashan Mountain Trail have indeed occurred over the years, and there are rumors that as many as 100 lives are lost on the trail each year. It should be pointed out, however, that such claims have not been substantiated.

It is an unforgettable adventure to get magnificent landscapes and a place steeped in history like the many temples that have been built there. At every step, they put their lives at risk to test their limits and to reach the famous teahouse at the top of Huashan Mountain.

The teahouse at the top of the mountain originally is one of the many Taoist temples located on the five peaks of Mount Huashan. Due to the first inhabitants of this region practicing asceticism and their daily meditation is accompanied by a cup of tea, after decades, the temple became a tearoom visited annually by thousands of tourists.

As a leading role in many Chinese legends, Huashan Mountain is a mountain with a strong religious connotation and dotted with many Taoist temples, monuments, and stones engraved with evocative inscriptions.

Useful information

Chinese Name: 华山
Location: About a hundred km east of the capital Xi’an, Shaanxi
Opening time:
High season (01/04-31/10): 07h00-19h00
Low season (01/11-31/03): 08h30-17h00
Ticket: 160 RMB/pers. (high season) or 100 RMB/per. (low season)
The North Peak shuttle: 40 RMB and the North Peak cable car: A/R 150 RMB
The West peak shuttle: 80 RMB and the West peak cable car: A/R 280 RMB
Recommended length of visit: 6-8 hours

Hike in the Huashan Mountain

There are 5 peaks or summits on Huashan Mountain, and all offer magnificent viewpoints. The paths will not be suitable for everyone because some passages are very steep and delicate for uninformed people. However, there are many ways to experience Mount Huashan.

Going up and down the mountain on foot will suit hikers and sports enthusiasts. If you want to enjoy the mountain without getting tired, we recommend taking the cable car.

How to visit Huashan Mountain?

There are several discovery options, suitable for any type of physical condition.

Go up from the West and go down from the North
This route seems to us the most appropriate to fully enjoy the landscape. After arrival, take the shuttle at the foot of the West Peak and then, take the cable car.

On the top, there are signs to indicate the paths for the West, South, East Peaks, and Central Peak. The South Peak is the highest. All of these peaks are within walking distance. After having covered these 4 peaks, you can follow the signs to reach the North Peak. From here you take a cable car back to the starting point of the site.

We recommend this route because it is not very tiring, save time, and can climb the 5 peaks to enjoy the scenery. It is suitable for the physical conditions of most people.

Climb from the north and descend from the north
To take the North Peak cable car. This route is the most economical, but if you want to climb all the peaks, the walking time will be relatively long.

Up and down on foot
As we told you previously, this option is recommended for experienced hikers, and it takes about 13 to 15 hours to complete the tour.

If you choose this option, you should consider to overnight at the top and could admire the magnificent sunrise over the mountains.

There are different hotels on the Peaks, but you can also find tent rentals at the price between 150 and 250 RMB.

Information about the 5 Peaks of Huashan Mountain

Cloud Terrace Peak (North Peak, 1614m)
With steep plat terrace in the clouds, hence the name terrace peak. It measures 1,614 meters in height. The path to climb to the top is very narrow and steep, so we only recommend it for experienced hikers.

Jade Maiden Peak (Central Peak, 2042m)
There is a Taoist temple on the peak named Jade Maiden Temple. Legend has it that the Jade, daughter of Qin Mugong (569-621 BC) renounced royal life to become a hermit on this peak, hence the name Jade Peak. It is connected to the East Peak by the “divine” staircase. Be careful though, this staircase is more like a rope ladder that will delight thrill-seekers!

Sunrise Peak (East Peak, 2100m)
With an altitude of 2,090 meters forming a platform, the orientation is ideal for admiring the sunrise. This well-known scenic spot is listed as one of the eight scenic wonders of the Xi’an region. The natural rock faces of the cliff look like a giant palm footprint.

Lotus Peak (West Peak, 2083m)
Very high standing cliffs with an altitude of 2086 meters form this peak. There is a Taoist temple called Cuiyun in front of which a huge rock resembling a lotus flower is the origin of its name.

Wild Goose Landing Peak (South Peak, 2155m)
With an altitude of 2160 meters, the South Peak is not only the highest point of Huashan but also the highest peak of the five sacred mountains of China. The surrounding landscapes are verdant with the Yellow River, visible below at the bottom of the valley. A legend has it that wild geese returning from the south often landed on this peak, giving the area the name Wild Goose Landing Peak!

How to get to Huashan Mountain?

Located 120 km east of Xi’an city, it takes about 1h30 by car from the city center or 30 min by high-speed train to get to the Huashan Mountain.

From Xi’an East bus station, it takes approximately 2 hours.

The High-speed train is the fastest choice.
From Xi’an North station to Huashan North station: about 40 min.
From Beijing West Railway Station to Huashan North Railway Station: about 5.5 hours.
From Shanghai Hongqiao Station to Huashan North Station: About 6.5 hours.
From Luoyang Longmen Station to Huashan North station: about 1 hour.

Private vehicle
You can use the services of a private driver as part of a tailor-made trip organized by us and ask for a quote!

When is the best time to visit Huashan Mountain?

Except for extreme weather conditions, Mount Huashan is open to the public all the year. Generally speaking, the best time to visit Huashan is from April to October, especially in May, June, and September. Indeed the cold in winter and still present in early spring can be repulsive. In any case, check the daily weather before the visit.

To know more about the Chinese climate, see our article: China Weather.

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