Home China Guide Zhangjiajie How to Plan a Tour

How to Plan a Tour of Zhangjiajie

Zhangjiajie National Foresst ParkZhangjiajie National Foresst Park

The rock pillar landscapes of Zhangjiajie are renowned all over the world, especially since the movie Avatar. The awesome natural scenery makes it well worth a trip.

If you are planning a tour of Zhangjiajie, read on to get the best from your time, and some tips on the itinerary.

Choosing What Sights to See

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is the epitome of Zhangjiajie. It shows the essence of Zhangjiajie's landscape.

Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon boasts breathtaking cliffs, stunning waterfalls, limpid streams, and dense forests. One of its highlights is the world's longest and highest glass bridge.

Tianmen Mountain is full of spectacular views and thrilling attractions, such as the longest cableway and a 1,400-meter (4,700-foot) -high glass skywalk.

Attraction Type of Attraction Hours from Zhangjiajie Time for a visit (Entry) cost Scenery*Activities Rating
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park National Park 40 minutes One day to three days 248 yuan Precipitous Pillars
hiking, phtography
Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Canyon 40 minutes 3 hours 256 yuan (the glass bridge included) Mountains, streams, cliffs
hiking, walking on the glass bridge, phtography
Tianmen Mountain Mountain next to the city, close to the bus and train stations One day 258 yuan vertical cliffs; hiking, cable car riding, photography 5
Yellow Dragon Cave Cave 1 hour 2 hours 80 yuan Natural cave 3
Baofeng Lake Lake 1 hour 2 hours 74 yuan Boat ride 4

Choosing the Best Time to Go

The main attraction of Zhangjiajie City is its natural scenery. It is suitable for visiting all year round and each season offers something different — and each is equally worth seeing.

Best time to Zhangjiajie

September to Early November — Best Time to Visit

If impossible, we recommend you to go in the period fromSeptember to early November as the weather is comfortable, the scenery is cool, and it is quite. 

Tianzi Mountain, Zhangjiajie Tianzi Mountain, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

April to June — Comfortable but Wet

If you don't mind the rains and humidity, April to June is also a good time to visit, when the National Forest Park and Grand Canyon at their freshest.

If it rains, the mountains will be covered by extensive fog (cloud), which gives them an enchanting atmosphere. 

July and August — Cool in the Mountains

The hottest time in Zhangjiajie is from July to August, with the average daytime temperature at 33°C (91°F). You will feel cool though when you walk in the forest park

December to February — Frozen in the Mountains

From December to February, it may snow or become icy. It is cold in the mountains. The average temperature is around freezing or just above. 

Winter travelers will encounter chilly weather, but possibly see the rare snowy mountain scenery. Prices are lower than in peak season.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in winterZhangjiajie National Forest Park in winter

Visiting During Chinese Holidays: Please Book Well in Advance

If you plan to visit Zhangjiajie during China's summer holiday season (July and August), and China's public holidays (Labor Day on May 1–3 and National Day on October 1–7), please book well in advance because train/flight tickets and hotels are sold out quickly.

Have an experienced guide with you to lead you away from the crowds, so you can enjoy some peaceful scenery.

Read more about Zhangjiajie weather.

How Many Days to Stay?

We recommend our customers allow at least 4 days for Zhangjiajie: a day for the national park, a day for the Grand Canyon with the glass bridge, a day for Tianmen Mountain, and a day for settling in and traveling.

To visit nearby Fenghuang Ancient Town (about 4 hours' drive from Zhangjiajie), you need to allow one or two more days.

Popular Zhangjiajie Tour Choices

Length Attractions Itinerary Summary Price
1-day - Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon AM: Glass Bridge
PM: Baofeng Lake
Very Brief — the Highlights From $199
3-day - Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Day 1: arrival
Day 2: national park
Day 3: national park; departure
Very Brief — the Highlights From $479
4-day - Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
- Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon
- Tianmen Mountain
Day 1: arrival
Day 2: national park
Day 3: grand canyon
Day 4: mountain adventure; depart
The Classic Way From $689
5-day - Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
- Fenghuang Ancient Town
Day 1: arrival
Day 2: national park
Day 3: national park
Day 4: ancient town
Day 5: ancient town; departure
Amazing Scenery AND Ancient Culture From $799

Our Zhangjiajie tours range from 4 days to 14 days. You can travel Zhangjiajie for a 4 days discover tour to appreciate the scenery of forest park, grand canyon and Tianmen Mountain. Or you can enjoy a 14-day China history and scenery discovery tour including Zhangjiajie, Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin and Shanghai.

If you have your own travel idea, just contact us and our travel advisor will tailor-make a Zhangjiajie tour for you.

4-Day Zhangjiajie Tour Itinerary

Price: from USD$ 699 per person.

DAY 1. Zhangjiajie Arrival

Most flights land in Zhangjiajie (/jung-jyaa-jyeah/) in the evening. Upon arrival your local tour guide will take you by private van and driver to your hotel in the city for a good rest.

DAY 2. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park: Tianzi Mountain and Hallelujah Mountain

Tianzi Mountain (Heaven Son Peak) — the highest peak — offers the best chance of photographing the sea of clouds. After a simple lunch on the mountain, head to most-popular Yuanjiajie (Yuan Clan Area) to see 'Avatar Hallelujah Mountain'.

DAY 3. Grand Canyon with Glass Bridge; Back to the City to visit Baofeng Lake

Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon is a recently–developed natural wonderland. It incorporates mountains, streams, caves, cliffs and forest. The world's longest & highest glass-bottomed bridge is located in this area.

Afterwards, return to the city. Enjoy a relaxing boat ride on Baofeng Lake. It is a leisurely experience as you boat on the clear water, see the hills of various shapes, and enjoy entertainment by the local minority people as they sing their traditional songs.

DAY 4. Tianmen Mountain; Zhangjiajie Departure

Tianmen Mountain (Heaven Gate Peak) has the world's longest cable car, the suspended glass walkway almost a mile (1,430 meters) above the ground, and the '99 Bends' mountain road. After lunch you will be driven to the airport for your flight.

Customizing Your Tour

Zhangjiajie has flights to major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Guangzhou, Guilin, and Chongqing. Feel free to ask us for transportation advice. You can extend it a day to see "the most beautiful town in China" — Fenghuang Ancient Town. If your time is limited, shortening by a day can also be arranged.

Read more about our 4-Day Zhangjiajie National Park, Grand Canyon Glass Bridge and Tianmen Mountain Tour.


  • Entrance fee to scenic spots listed in itinerary
  • Private transfers between the airport, attractions, and hotels
  • Public shuttle buses in the national park and specified cable cars
  • Meals mentioned in itinerary
  • Private tour guide and driver service throughout the tour
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfast
QUICK INQUIRY Book by Jan. 31, 2018 — NO cancellation fee!

How to Get to Zhangjiajie

By Airplane

Zhangjiajie is easily accessible by airplane from the main cities in China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, and Guangzhou. 

By Train

Direct train journeys from major tourist cities take at least 10 hours and are not recommended. The nearest major transit city to Zhangjiajie with bullet trains is Changsha (the capital city of Hunan Province). The journey is about 6 hours.

Click to see more information about how to get to Zhangjiajie.

How to get to Zhangjiajie

Easy to Extend Your Tour

Zhangjiajie's transportation is very convenient. So it is often included in the itineraries of first- or second-time visitors to China.

Based on our experience, our customers who visit Zhangjiajie often extend their tours to Chengdu, Huangshan, Guilin, a Yangtze cruise, and Hangzhou.

Here are some itineraries, for inspiration:

Find the Best Place to Stay

Most hotels in Zhangjiajie are concentrated in two areas: downtown Zhangjiajie and at Wulingyuan. We suggest our customers stay in Wulingyuan.

Where to stay in Zhangjiajie

Hotels in Wulingyuan — Convenient for Visiting the Park

Wulingyuan is just outside the national park. It is convenient for visiting Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, and there are numerous accommodation options ranging from hostels to 5-star hotels.

Recommended Hotels

  • Zhangjiajie Pullman Hotel
  • Santo Domingo International Hotel Zhangjiajie
Pullman Hotel, the best hotel in WulingyuanPullman Hotel, the best hotel in Wulingyuan

Hotels in Zhangjiajie City — Convenient for Catching Flights or Trains

Hotels in the city of Zhangjiajie are good for tourists who arrive in Zhangjiajie on the first night, or who have finished their trip and are going to catch a flight or train the following morning, or who only want to visit the sights around the city of Zhangjiajie, such as Tianmen Mountain.

We will arrange a hotel in the city of Zhangjiajie on the first day as most flights land at night, sometimes very late.

Recommended Hotels

  • Zhangjiajie Sunshine Hotel
  • Best Western Grand Hotel Zhangjiajie

Read more on the advantages and disadvantages of the two areas to stay in within Zhangjiajie.

Advice on Food

Zhangjiajie food combines the excellent flavors of traditional Xiang cuisine and Tujia minority dishes, featuring both sourness and spice

If you can't handle spicy food, make sure you make your requirements clear when you order! Take some snacks in case you don't fancy the local food.

Choosing a Tour Style: Privately-Guided, in a Group, or On Your Own

China Highlights guide Travel with China Highlights, and you will be taken cared by a private guide.

A private guide and car is recommended for Zhangjiajie. The national park is quite large, confusing, and crowded most of the time. Your guide will help you get where you want to go and negotiate the crowds.

Going with a tour group, you won't get lost and waste time, but you will never escape the crowds and have any flexibility.

On your own, it is hard to find the right way even with a map. The buses and roads have no signage. It's a case of showing maps and asking enough people to get an average response, then showing the driver the map while you fight for a seat. 

Packing List

Below are the essentials and things specifically recommended for Zhangjiajie.

what to pack
  • Travel documents (passports, visas)
  • Chinese money (at least 1,000 yuan / 164 USD) + credit card / ATM card
  • Camera
  • Suitable clothing for the season and hiking
  • Rain gear (especially in spring)
  • Sun-protection (especially in summer)
  • Anti-skid sport shoes or good walking shoes
  • Layered clothes in autumn and spring
  • Umbrella or sun hat
  • Mosquito repellant
  • Toiletries (carry your own toilet paper)
  • Any necessary medicine
  • Snacks

See our China Travel Packing List for more detail.

Touring Zhangjiajie with China Highlights

Touring Zhangjiajie with usTouring Zhangjiajie with us

We aim to provide you with the best travel experience possible.

Contact us and we will be with you every step of the way on your Zhangjiajie trip, helping you get over any difficulties you encounter and, moreover, eliminating potential problems at the planning stage.

Our most popular Zhangjiajie Tours for your reference:

Our tours can be customized. Just tell us your interests and requirements and we will tailor-make a Zhangjiajie tour for you.