Home : City Guide: Zhangjiajie: Attractions

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, located in Zhangjiajie City, is the premier part of the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, a World Natural Heritage site. It is also the first national forest park of China and on the list of world geoparks. Since it was recognized in the 1980s, Zhangjiajie has won great acclaim both at home and abroad.

The park is known for its unique quartzite formation of hills and its forests, which bring together all the natural wonders of grandeur, strangeness, quiet, wildness and elegance. It really deserves the laudatory title of 'Three Thousand Hills and Eight Hundred Ethereal Waters' and 'Shrunken Fairyland and Overgrown Bonsai'. It covers an extensive area of about 48 square kilometers (12 thousand acres), nearly all of which is dominated by forest. The hills, whose forms take various shapes of humans, animals, objects and other intriguing figures, are quite spectacular. Among these hills and valleys are innumerable waterfalls, springs and streams, shaded by dense towering forest.

The park is a veritable kingdom of plants and animals. The woody plants can be categorized into 93 subjects and 517 varieties, more than twice those of the whole Europe. In addition, there are 720 kinds of ornamentals. And there are 41 different species of bird, and 28 different kinds of animal.

In this unique environment, the climate of the park is very pleasing. The average highest temperature in the summer is only 16.8°C (62.2°F), dropping to 9.6°C (49.3°F) in the winter, making it a perfect spot for a summer retreat and relaxation. The park has opened up four main scenic spots of Huangshizhai, Jinbianxi, Yaozizhai and Yuanjiajie, 6 main tourist routes and 468 viewing platforms. It is also provided with excellent recreational, accommodation, transportation and other facilities to satisfy the demands of tourists.


 Huangshizhai

There's a saying: You'll spoil your trip to Zhangjiajie if you fail to visit Huangshizhai. Huangshizhai is situated in the center part of the park and gets its name from a story that Huang Shi, the master of Zhang Liang, a marquis of the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), once made tablets of immortality here. It is a great platform of hills, with an altitude of 1,080 meters (3,543 feet) and an area of 0.2 square kilometers (41 acres). It is a good choice of viewpoint to survey the surrounding scenery of the park. The morning sunrise, the hanging clouds and mists and groups of strange hills with evocative names make it seem quite mysterious and bewitching. There are two footpaths in the front and rear as well as a ropeway leading to the top. Huangshizhai is seen as one of the two international golden tourist routes. The other is Jinbianxi.

Charges for the Ropeway: CNY 48 (Up); CNY 38 (Down). You are supposed to take the ropeway either up or down Huangshizhai.


 Jinbianxi
Jinbianxi, situated in the east of the park, gets its name from the eponymous rock. It is a very deep and quiet winding stream where can be seen many green hills and colorful flora and the song of birds can be heard. The 5.7 kilometer (3.5 miles) long stream is one of the most charming features of the scenery of Zhangjiajie. It has been called 'the Most Beautiful Valley in the World'.

Along the way you may also encounter ethnic Tujia girls waiting to sing folk songs for your pleasure.


 Yaozizhai
Covering around 12 square kilometers. (2,965 acres), Yaozizhai is a viewing platform among the central scenic spots of the park that has the greatest area, the longest routes and most attractions. The steep cliffs in the west, east and north of the hills are deep over 300 meters (984 feet). There are also many odd-shaped rocks, trees and valleys, resembling lovers, weapons, snakes, pagodas and others, each having an imaginative striking name. Yaozizhai is always highlighted for its hazards and strangeness and is considered the best choice for exploration, health exercise and relaxation.


 Yuanjiajie
Another central viewing platform, Yuanjiajie boasts grand rock hills, deep valleys and verdant forests. The 'First Bridge under Heaven', one of the best scenic spots here, is a marvelous place well worth a visit. The bridge, crossing between two hills, is 25 meters (27 yards) long, 2 meters (2.2 yards) wide and 5 meters (5.5 yards) thick. At a height of 357 m. (1,171 ft.), it is actually the highest naturally-formed rock bridge in the world.

Yuanjiajie is now equipped with an elevator named 'Bailong Tianti', which takes less than 2 minutes to climb to the summit. It is 335 meters (1,099 feet.) high and is said to be the highest and, quickest sightseeing elevator in the world, with the greatest capacity.

Charge for the Elevator: CNY 53 (Up); CNY 43 (Down) (From Shui Rao Si Men to Yuanjiajie)


Admission Fee: CNY 245 (Wulingyyuan)