Weather: The temperature falls gradually in October, and it is cool and dry. The trees have the autumn colors. If it isn't raining, the sky is clear, and the air is crisp. The highest temperature is 26 °C (79 °F), and the lowest temperature is about 16 °C (61 °F). There is about 81 mm of rain, and it rains about 11 days a month. Check the current weather and forecast>>
Clothing: A sweater or a light jacket would be adequate along with a thick shirt and slacks.
October is the best season to enjoy the autumn colors. You can see the fall scenery all around while hiking on Tianmenshan (天门山). Most visitors think the mountain is the main attraction of the whole park.
It is called Tianmenshan (Heaven Gate Mountain) for the huge hole in the middle of the mountain that looks like a giant door in the sky. It is a tunnel through the mountain that measures 131 meters high, 57 meters wide, and 61 meters long. Stair climbing to the hole takes about half an hour.
A hike to the top of the mountain takes about two or three hours. It might be too difficult if you are out of shape. To avoid a hike, you can ride a cable car to the big hole or go all the way to the top. The cable ride is included in the entry ticket.
At the top, there is a glass sidewalk that stretches 600 meters along the side of the peak a kilometer above the valley floor. A ride to the top of Tianmenshan takes half an hour, and the view from there is excellent.
Another place to see the scenery and hike is Tianzishan (天子山) in the Wulingyuan Scenic Area. The top of the mountain is more than a kilometer (4,140 feet) above sea level. The yearly average temperature is a cool 12 °C (54 °F). It is a place to see the colorful trees and enjoy cool weather on hot days.
While hiking, you can see wildlife. The mountain has a natural wildlife reserve that covers 67 square kilometers (16,000 acres). If you don't want to hike up, but there is also a long tramway.
Mid-Autumn Festival is the second biggest holiday in China, and it falls in early October less than one year in four (It is the 15th day of the eighth lunar month.), when it is combined with the October 1 National Day week of vacation called a golden week," and large crowds come during the holidays. You'll be able experience Chinese festivities. Try the local moon cakes that are like small fruitcakes made from the fruits and nuts of the season.
Meet the Tujia people: These ethnic people have lived in Hunan for centuries. They have their own special customs for celebrating the lunar festivals. During the evening of the Mid-Autumn Festival, the people might go out to watermelon patches to steal watermelons and give them to couples with no children as a way to send good wishes for a child.
October falls during the peak travel season. Pleasant weather, the autumn scenery, and the National Day holidays bring a large number of tourists to Zhangjiajie, so it is advisable to book everything in advance. If the Mid-Autumn Fest is also in the month, the crowds are greater. For additional travel tips, see our Zhangjiajie Tours.
Hotel accommodations might cost twice as much as in the low season, and tickets for flights and trains are more expensive. If you book in advance with us, we can help obtain excellent accommodations and convenient tickets by our experience. Why waste your time waiting in lines at crowded stations?
How about combining rest with exercise? You'll see a variety of scenery during a 7-day Zhangjiajie tour and Yangtze River cruise, see the natural highlights at the park, and dine, relax, and watch China pass by on China's greatest river. You can modify our tour details.