When planning a trip to Zhangjiajie, one of your most pressing questions is likely to be "When is the best time to go?"
The best time varies from person to person. Our article provides you with effective recommendations for the best time to visit Zhangjiajie based on your selectable travel time range, rather than just the typical recommendations of spring and autumn.
Best Times to Visit Zhangjiajie According to Our Local Specialists
If your schedule is flexible...
If your schedule is flexible, the best times we recommend are just before or after the peak tourist season, such as March to April, September, or mid-October to mid-November. These months offer comfortable weather, beautiful scenery, and comparatively fewer people.
If you want to see the snow scenery, late December to February is the right choice. The snow-covered peaks, frozen waterfalls, and mist-shrouded canyons create stunning winter scenery.
Dates to avoid: The first weeks of May and October are two peak travel weeks in China. Many Chinese people take advantage of these opportunities to travel around. Attractions are usually crowded and long lines and traffic jams abound. Therefore, it is not recommended to travel during these two periods.
Our private tours offer you customized options and more personal space with a private guide who is only available for you as a couple or family group. You could enjoy a more in-depth and less-touristy experience as well as a worry-free tour. Just contact us to create a hassle-free trip.
Discover real reviews of Highlights Travel Family's best-rated service across trusted platforms.
Great experience in Zhangjiajie
Our trip to Zhangjiajie was fantastic. We had Terry as our tour guide for a few days and we loved all the experiences. He is a very capable guide and knows a lot about history. We needed him to translate many things in the city and he was very patient with us. He speaks very good English and is punctual. He took many pictures to usmore
Jan 2024, shinemasla
ZhangJiaJie Exploration with China Highlights
Bree (Xiao Hong) is our guide in ZhangJiaJie; she is very experience in handling our itineraries and always managed to work out our travel route to minimize the crash with big crowd; it really makes our visit more relaxing and joyful. Also, able to take extra care on my family meal preferences and diet constraints. Special thanks to Bree.more
Jan 2024, Kenneth C
China Three (3) Cities Tours
To the tour guides, Ethan, Jason and Tony, you guys have made my visit an awesome and memorable experience. All the tour guides spoke english and communicated very effectively. They are knowledgeable about all the sites visited including, Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, Panda Breeding and Research Center, Leshan Giant Buddha, Hallelujah Mountains, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon and Glass Bridge, and Tianmen Mountain.more
Nov 2023, Kadar
During our extended trip in China, we spent three days in Zhangjiajie with our fantastic guide, Tutu. She speaks English fluently, is always polite, and extremely proactive. She took us to visit less crowded places, where we could enjoy the views undisturbed.more
Nov 2023, Kamila1123
Spectacular Zhangjiajie National Forest
My Guide Li Wen Jing’s English was perfect. I took a Soft Sleeper train to Xhangjiajie. The most exciting part of my visit to Xhangjiajie was the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (Avatar Mountain) and the Grand Canyon of Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge. Liking excitement and technology Xhangjiajie has one of the most spectacular cable cars in the world. I don’t visit many places twice, but Zhangjiajie will be on my list.more
Nov 2023, BillWalton2
Amazing experience in Zhangjiajie
We had a great time in Zhangjiajie thanks in no small part to our excellent guide, Apple, who took us to all of the major attractions throughout the region. He was very personable and his English is very good. Best of all, he took us off the tourist beaten path to some of his favorite places to visit with unique views and to restaurants with great food.Our trip to the Grand Canyon and the Glass Bridge was particularly memorable with taking the slide instead of the second down escalator. The day was capped off with a tour through the caves. Lots of steps! The trip to the top of Tian Men Mountain was quite memorable.more
Nov 2023, Pennie B
Best 2 day tour in Zhangjiajie
We booked a 2 day tour in Zhangjiajie and had a wonderful experience visiting the Zhangjiajie National forest park where the avatar movie was inspired from, and on our second day we went the Tiamen mountain. Our Guide Wendy is very knowledgeable and took us to places unknown by tourists and she showed us the best spots for the best views. Thanks to Wendy for making our visit such a wonderful and memorable experience.more
Nov 2023, annenguyen2016
An amazing experience at the avatar park
My friend and I really enjoyed our 3 days in Zhangjiajie! We had a great enthusiastic tourguide Tony who is a local of the city and knew the nature and city so well. We were so lucky with the weather and because of Tony we could also avoid the crowded areas. The views were beautiful and we made a lot of pictures. Oh and Tony could make beautiful pictures as well. Overall an amazing experience with china highlights!more
Oct 2023, Sümeyye S
Super customized guided experience
Zhangjiajie is a beautiful and truly special place for nature lovers. Be forewarned that it's super busy though, so we were really glad to go as early as possible (the park opens at 7), and we were glad to book with China highlights as they helped us with all of the ticketing and helped us dodge the lineups and many of the crowds. Our guide Lee was knowledgeable and with great English, and they gave me a number of great hiking recommendations to make sure I got the outdoor experience I was dreaming about. I traveled here with an aging parent, and I'm super grateful to Lee for juggling both our needs and being super flexible with our schedule to make sure I got in some solo hiking time while also catching all the most important sights inside the park.more
Sep 2023, Stephanie N
Highly Recommend Zhangjiajie Tour
Had a great tour of Zhangjiajie with our guide,Tony. Each day was filled with activities that smoothly flowed from one to another with little to no wait time. We saw everything that was advertised and more. Lunches were delicious and filling. Tony is very engaging with tremendous local knowledge. He knew the best spots to take pictures and how to get away from the crowds. He was also very good about taking photos of our family and sending them to us.more
Sep 2023, Pat S
Wonderfull and memorable experience!
The natural scenery is majestic and wonderful in Tienmen and Zhangjiajie. Fenghuang guzhen is also well worth a visit.We also thank our tour guide David, who did his job very well: understanding local history and culture. he also helped us buy tickets to great shows: the Fox Fary….High recommend for this tour and service!more
Sep 2023, Thu? N
Myself and my boyfriend spent 4 days in Zhangjiajie exploring the amazing scenery. The tour was seamless and we would not have navigated the parks without our tour guide Chris, who took us on the best routes through the parks and showed us the best places to take pictures.more
Aug 2023, Declan O
Fantastic private tour
We had an excellent trip; we did the 3 day (4 nights) tour and our guide Wendy made it an exceptional experience. She was so informative and planned our itinerary so well - even though the attractions are very busy in the summer season, Wendy made sure that we did our best to avoid the crowds. The sights are beautiful and it is absolutely worth travelling from the bigger cities. Tianmen mountain was the highlight of the trip! We are so glad we booked a private tour. Hotel was also excellent.more
Aug 2023, Ailin C
Beautiful scenery with and without local tourists
Another excellent 3-day section of our 3-week tailor made China Highlights tour, this time with Pan Hon (Bree). On the first day we saw the beautiful karst peaks in the Zhangilajie national park with - and completely without - local tourist crowds thanks to Bree. On the second day we did the Grand Canyon, a zip line descent over it and traversed the longest glass bridge in the world where we added an impromptu 260m bungee jump to our itinerary! Day three we ascended Tianmen mountain via the world’s longest cable car, walked on top of it and then took seven escalators and the stairs down from Heaven’s Gate before coming back via the other cable car. This way we encountered less queues and also made the ascent easier for us, especially since Bree managed to get us VIP tickets on the first and third day (for an additional Y100 per person) which meant we queued for half an hour instead of the usual two hours plus during China’s school holiday peak season. Bree is a caring, friendly, efficient, extremely flexible guide who thinks of everything and is very attentive of what her clients’ needs are. We couldn’t have wished for a better guide! Thank you Bree.more
Aug 2023, Axel R
We visited Zhangjiajie for 3 days as part of our China trip. We spent unforgettable 3 days due to our perfect guide - Lee from China Highlights. The timing was great, the food- so delicious. We saw everything as planned in the itinerary. Lee is the best guide! We had great time, unforgettable moments with the amazing nature.more
Jul 2023, Viki B
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
We had a wonderful time in Hunan. All sites we visited were spectacular. The Nature around Zhangjiajie is perhaps most beautiful on the Planet. The trip was prepared perfectly, and we were very lucky with the weather. Our personal guide, ToNy, was perfect: he is a very nice person, very responsive, with full head of ideas of making the trip nicer than in the itinerary. I would recommend him as a personal guide to everybody.more
May 2023, Pawel from Warsaw
Our tour guide Tony was very friendly and enthusiastic about sharing his magical hometown. We really enjoyed our trip with him, and especially appreciated his ordering recommendations at lunch (which were all delicious), taking us to the ‘secret’ quiet spots, great photography skills and sharing facts about the local people and customs. We would recommend a trip to Zhangjiajie with China highlights and Tony to other travellers.more
Apr 2023, Rhiannon E
Our guide David from China Highlights was awesome and showed us the best spots and also some secret spots off the beaten track. He was always helpful with restaurant recommendations and make sure we have a pleasant stay. Thanks David.more
Mar 2023, Steffen Wet
CNY in Zhangjiajie
We are a family of four. My 10 year old twins really enjoyed the scenary and overall atmosphere in Zhangjiajie. David was very helpful and accomodating. He even took time to teach us how to make dumplings.more
Jan 2023, Leticia D
We did a private tour to Zhangjiajie with China Highlights in July and had a great time! It was hot, but our tour guide Chris was awesome at making sure we went to the best places at the best times to avoid the heat and lines. He obviously knows the area inside and out! We got to see some amazing (and completely empty) parts of the park that didn’t seem to be on any other tourists radar - and they weee STUNNING. We’re so glad we did this tour! Thanks Chris!!more
Jul 2022, clschomaker1
If you are traveling with school-age children...
If you are traveling with school-age children, your travel timing would probably be limited to your children's school vacations, which are usually the summer or winter break.
Zhangjiajie's summer offers adventure and nature immersion for both you and your children.
Summer in Zhangjiajie is cool and refreshing in the forests and caves and on the lakes and mountains. Lush forests, canyons, and streams create a natural summer retreat. However, correspondingly, summer is also the peak tourist season in Zhangjiajie.
Our itineraries in Zhangjiajie take into account the peak-season crowds. We would arrange some activities for your family that allow you to escape the crowds, such as biking at the foot of Tianmen Mountain, a non-touristy place where your family could enjoy peaceful moments and countryside views.
Summer may bring occasional rain, but it won't last the whole day. The 1–2 hours following the rain are the most beautiful moments in Zhangjiajie.
The rain often brings mist and fog that gently shroud the deep canyons and mountains. The iconic stone pillars and peaks seem to emerge from the mist like ancient sentinels.
During the rainy time, we recommend some local indoor handicraft experiences, such as making a sandstone painting. The materials used in the sandstone paintings are sourced from Zhangjiajie.
Spring in Zhangjiajie: March to May
Spring is one of the best seasons to visit Zhangjiajie. Temperatures average a span of 15–25°C (59–77°F). While temperatures may still be a bit chilly until April rolls around, you would be rewarded with colorful spring flowers and verdant trees.
There are relatively few tourists in spring, apart from the Labor Day holiday (May 1st to 5th). So, if you are seeking a less-crowded touring experience combined with beautiful scenery, visiting Zhangjiajie in spring is recommended.
If you visit during the Labor Day holiday (May 1st to 5th), arrange your tour well in advance.
Recommended things to do in spring:
- Take an early spring walk in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.
- Challenge yourself and walk on the world's longest glass bridge.
- If you're adventurous, try bungee jumping.
Summer in Zhangjiajie: June to August
Summer's average temperatures hover at 25–34°C (77–93°F). The forest park, mountains, and canyons are good summer retreats.
In addition to the stunning scenery, Zhangjiajie has a lot of adventure activities to offer, such as bungee jumping, cycling, and via ferrata (cliff-face obstacle courses).
This is Zhangjiajie's high tourist season. Booking 3 months in advance is recommended. To avoid the crowds, June could be a good month for traveling because the Chinese school summer vacation hasn't started yet.
To avoid wasting time in queues, we would arrange a VIP exclusive passage for you.
There are often heavy showers in Zhangjiajie in June and July. The best time to take photos of the mountains is 1–2 hours after it has rained, because the scenery is shrouded in fog, making it look like a fairyland.
Recommended things to do in summer:
- Take the world's longest cable car ride up to the top of Tianmen Mountain
- Find the hidden 'Sky Field Garden' in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
- Learn about sandstone painting from a local artist
Autumn in Zhangjiajie: September to November
Autumn is one of the best times to visit. The weather is relatively mild and most of the summer crowding has gone.
The city of Zhangjiajie experiences average high temperatures of 25°C (77°F) during September which dips down to 13°C (55°F) during November. (It is significantly cooler on the peaks.)
From the end of October until mid-November, along with shorter queues to top attractions, you would also benefit from the beautiful seasonal foliage.
Keep in mind that during the National Day holiday (Golden Week from October 1st to 7th), hotel rooms are much harder to find. Book in advance as early as possible.
Recommended things to do in autumn:
- Find the inspiration for the Hallelujah Mountains in Avatar in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.
- Go biking at the foot of Tianmen Mountain and experience local countryside life.
- Try via ferrata on a 60-meter-tall cliff.
Winter in Zhangjiajie: December to February
Zhangjiajie's low season sees temperatures ranging from 5–12°C (41–54°F). Thick coats are necessary at this time of year.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park and Tianmen Mountain don't close in the winter. You are likely to be rewarded with stunning snowy scenery. You're more likely to see snow in January and February.
If you dare to defy the chilly weather, you would save some money on your hotel accommodation and flights.
Recommended things to do in winter:
- View the snowy scenery at the National Forest Park.
- Enjoy a cozy hot spring.
- Take a relaxing tea break at the foot of Tianmen Mountain.
Recommended China Tours
All of our tours can be adjusted or customized based on your requirements. Just contact us if you have a good idea about what you want to do. You could also start from one of our popular China itineraries that include Zhangjiajie: