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Wulingyuan Scenic Area

Zhangjiajie and Wulingyuan's star attraction: Hallelujah PeakZhangjiajie and Wulingyuan's star attraction: Hallelujah Peak

Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area is the most popular tourist attraction in Zhangjiajie Prefecture, Hunan Province. It includes Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.

Wulingyuan Scenic Area was listed as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in 1992.

Wulingyuan Scenic Area or Zhangjiajie National Forest Park?

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Map


Basically Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is the major part of Wulingyuan Scenic Area.

This beautiful nature reserve, which covers an area of 260 km2 (100 sq mi) includes four national park areas: 

  • The famous Zhangjiajie National Forest Park sees most of the tourist traffic.
  • The three far-less-visited and smaller adjacent areas are:
    Suoxi Valley Natural Reserve to the northeast
    Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve to the northwest
    Yangjiajie Scenic Area to the southwest

Wulingyuan: Scenic Area, Town, and County

Where to stay in Zhangjiajie

Adjacent to Wulingyuan Scenic Area, containing the main (east) gate to the forest park, is Wulingyuan Town; the most recommended place to stay in Zhangjiajie. Both Wulingyuan Scenic Area and Wulingyuan Town are in Wulingyuan County.


Wulingyuan Scenic Area's forest of peaksWulingyuan has forests of peaks, especially near Tianzi Mountain.

Due to its enormous size and spectacular topographical features, there are an estimated 560 different sites to visit or view throughout Wulingyuan Scenic Area.

The breathtaking views of this region are reminiscent of traditional Chinese paintings; with lush green hills and rocky formations covered in thick mist, and crystal-clear streams and waterfalls mazing through. The peculiar landscape typical to the region is a result of unique geological formations, including thousands of quartzite sandstone pillars, limestone caves, natural bridges, and deep ravines. 

The internationally famous "Hallelujah Mountain" which is said to have inspired the Avatar movies (before being renamed after the floating rocks in the movie) can be found here. The magnificent vertigo-inducing views are what inspired the concept of Pandora as well as its abundant ecosystem, which serves as a habitat for dozens of endangered plant and animal species only found in this region. 

The five most spectacular sights are the unusual peaks, deep canyons, beautiful waters, thick forests, and mysterious caves. The area is also known for its different types of scenery provided throughout different times of the year, with the luxuriant vegetation's magnificent color variations. 

  • The peculiar peaks refer to the 3,000 or more mountain peaks made of quartz sandstones. The three representative peaks are Camel Peak, Drunk Stone Peak, and Five Finger Peak, which are elegant and magnificent.
  • The deep canyons refer to 32 canyons, each more than 2,000 meters in length. The most famous ones are Jinxi Canyon, Shentang Canyon, and 10-Li Gallery Canyon.
  • The beautiful water refers to the more than 800 waterscapes in the scenic area, including streams, springs, lakes, pools, and waterfalls.
  • Caves of different shapes can be found here. The most outstanding in the area is Yellow Dragon Cave, which contains beautiful stalactites, but is not actually in Wulingyaun Scenic Area.
  • The rural landscapes also attract a lot of visitors. The local farmers are hospitable and you may visit their homes.


The scenery of Zhangjiajie National Forest ParkZhangjiajie National Forest Park in Wulingyuan Scenic Area

The magnificent rock formations of Wulingyuan are a result of millions of years of gradual erosion and biochemical weathering processes.

Besides its natural significance, Wulingyuan area holds a lot of historical and cultural value. Ancient temples, grottoes, and religious relics typical of traditional Chinese Buddhism and Taoism of the Qing, Ming, Song, and Yuan dynasties can be found sheltered here. The early inhabitants of this region are of the Bai, Miao, and Tujia ethnic minorities.

The Chinese State Council listed Wulingyuan as a key scenic area in 1988. 

Best Times to Visit

The winter scenery of Zhangjiajie National Forest ParkThe winter scenery of Wulingyuan Scenic Area.

Wulingyuan is picturesque to visit at any time of the year, but April to October is recommended, as winters are cold and the tourist areas are less accessible. 

  • In the spring, it has green grass and beautiful flowers, but it's showery. 
  • In the summer, the forest and waters offer a good place to escape the extreme heat, but it rains most then. 
  • In the autumn, the air is dry and the colors of the different plants and fruits make it appear like an oil painting. 
  • In the winter, snow can cover the mountains, and late winter is the best time for visitors to enjoy the plum blossom, but it's too cold for most.

Travel Essentials

Wulingyuan is about 40 km north of the city of Zhangjiajie. Catch tourist transport to the area you want to visit. Plan your tour well as the attractions are well spaced out.

Other Zhangjiajie Attractions

Touring Wulingyuan with China Highlights

Wulingyuan Scenic Area is a great place for photographying.Wulingyuan Scenic Area is a great place to photograph.

You can experience the best parts of Wulingyuan Scenic Area and the rest of Zhangjiajie's highlights with one of our ready-made but fully customizable tours, such as 4-Day Essence of Zhangjiajie Tour or 7-Day Hunan Discovery Tour.

You can also check out our Create My Trip service for a unique trip tailor-made to fit your needs!

4-Day Essence of Zhangjiajie Tour 4-day Visit the highlights of Zhangjiajie: Hallelujah Mountain and Tianmen Mountain in 4 days. View more
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