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Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

mt. tianzishanEmperor's Brush Peak (Yubi Peak 御笔峰)in Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is the larger part of Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Area, and contains most of the famous scenery in Zhangjiajie: the towering sandstone pillars, rich wildlife, and tranquil streams.

The Park can be split into four areas: Gold Whip Stream in the southwest, closest to Zhangjiajie City; Yuanjiajie at the Southeast Entrance, next to Suoxiyu; Tianzi Mountain in the Northeast, and Yangjiajie in the northwest, most recently developed. Each has its own star scenic attractions. See below.

Golden Whip Stream

There is a 400-meter-high cliff by Golden Whip Stream (Jinbian Xi 金鞭溪). The most famous attraction in Wulingyuan Scenic Area, Golden Whip Cliff is grand, towering, and angular.

jinbian brookGolden Whip Cliff in heavy fog.

Patterns are all over the cliff, like the joints on a huge whip. At sunset the cliff looks like a huge golden whip stuck in the earth. "Golden Whip at Sunset" is a famous Zhangjiajie image.

'Yellow Stone Village' (Huangshi Zhai 黄石寨) is 2 km north of Gold Whip Stream.


Hundred Dragon Elevator

Hundred Dragon Elevator (Bailong Tianti 白龙天梯) is in the Yuanjiajie ('Yuan Family Territory' 袁家界) area, at the southeast gate of the park. 335 meters in height, it consists of the machinery inside the mountain and the elevator cars clinging to the mountainside.

There are three transparent elevators running side-by-side, giving passengers a view of Shenbing Juhui (神兵聚会 'Spirit Soldiers' Meeting'), opposite Hundred Dragon Elevator, composed of dozens of rocky towers.

'Water Round Four Gates' (Shui Rao Si Men 水绕四门), the meating of four streams, is just south of Hundred Dragon Elevator.

zhangjiajieThe Lost Souls Platform in Yuanjiajie.

Yuanjiajie's 'Lost Souls Platform'

About 800 meters into Yuanjiajie there is a trail zigzagging its way southward up to the top of Wuyanding Platform, which provides panoramic views of 'Lost Souls Platform' (Mihun Tai迷魂台). You can see so many mesas of various shapes and sizes that may be partly hidden in wispy clouds, especially after rain, just like you are standing in a celestial wonderland.

Visitors fascinated by the beautiful and mysterious scenery there are said to have forgotten the way back. That's why it got the name 'Lost Souls Platform'.


Yangjiajie ('Yang Family Territory' 杨家界) is in the northwest corner of Zhangjiajie, and its northeastern neighbor is Tianzi Mountain. After the development of Zhangjiajie, Suoxi Valley, and Tianzi Mountain, Yangjiajie is a newly developed sight in Wulingyuan Scenic Area.

Tianbo House is in Oolong Village (乌龙寨). The ten high, parallel, stone walls of Generals of Yang Family's house look magnificent. To take pictures of it you need to hike up for 1 hour to Oolong Village. Take care because the path is narrow and dangerous.

zhangjiajieXihai Stone Forest (西海石林)viewed from Yunqingyan Viewing Platform.

Son of Heaven Mountain (Tianzi Shan)

'Cloud-Clear Rock' Viewing Platform

Tianzi Shan (天子山 'Heaven Son Mountain') boasts Yunqingyan Guanjingtai (云青岩观景台), the biggest viewing platform in Zhangjiajie's tourist areas. The most mesas are gathered there in open view.

'Nod-to-the-General' Platform

Dianjiangtai (点将台) is in a gorge full of curling clouds, where there are many tall rock pillars of different shapes. The tallest one, sitting in the middle, is called the "emperor". In front of it is the "herald" who is reading an imperial edict to the "soldiers". The two "prime ministers" are "bending down" and stand on the left and right. It is said that the emperor of Xiang once reviewed his troops there.

Ten-Li Gallery

'Ten-Li (5 km) Gallery' (Shili Hualang 十里画 ) is a stretch of river southeast of Tianzi Mountain, next to the Yuanjiajie area.

Scenic Area Access and Prices

There are two cableways inside Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, an elevator, and an electric cart (also called the mini train). The 248 yuan entry ticket doesn't include these. 

  • Huangshi Village Cableway: 50 yuan for a single trip, 96 yuan for a round trip, it saves 1½– 2 hours walking for a single trip.
  • Tianzi Mountain Cableway: 52 yuan for a single trip, 104 yuan for a round trip. Walking takes 2–3 hours one way.
  • Hundred Dragon Elevator: 56 yuan for a single trip, 112 yuan for a round trip. Walking takes 1½–2 hours one way.
  • Ten-Li Gallery Mini Train: 30 yuan for a single trip, 40 yuan for a round trip. Walking takes 1–1½ hours one way.

The Main Entrances to the Scenic Area

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park has three main entrances, from which a 3-day through ticket is available, including all spots inside.

  • Wulingyuan Gate: Most hotels are at the Southeast Gate, where Suoxiyu meets Yuanjiajie.
  • Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Gate: Accessible via the road from Zhangjiajie City to Wulingyuan Town, it is the southwest gate at Gold Whip Stream.
  • Tianzi Mountain Gate: Requiring a long trip round to the north of the park, it accesses the mountain top by road, saving the expense of a cable car.

Places to Watch Sunrises and Sunsets

There are three recommended places to watch the sunrise: Daguantai (大观台, the best one), Tianzi Mountain, and Xiaping (下平).

  • Sunrise times: spring/autumn 5:40–7:20, summer 5:00–6:30, and winter 6:30–8:00.

Tianbo House in Yangjiajie is the best place to watch sunsets.

  • Sunset times: spring/autumn 6:30–7:00, summer 7:00–8:00, and winter: 6:00–6:30.

How to Get There

The National Forest Park is about 40 minutes from Zhangjiajie city, by local/tourist bus or taxi. See Zhangjiajie Transport for how to get to the city.

China Highlights can help you customize a tour to visit Zhangjiajie National Forest Park and other Zhangjiajie Attractions.

Other Zhangjiajie Attractions