Mount Huashan

Mount Huashan

Situated in Huayin City, Mount Huashan is 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Xi'an. It is famous for natural vista of steep and narrow paths, precipitous crags and a high mountain range. Its five peaks are the representative attractions and each has its distinctive charms: East Peak is the best place to enjoy the sunrise; South Peak has the highest altitude; West Peak is the most elegant; North Peak is famous as the Cloud Terrace Peak and Middle Peak is also called Jade Lady Peak.

The Mount Huashan is also home to several influential Taoist temples, where many emperors of past dynasties took part in Taoist activities and sacrificed to the god of mountain, making it a holy land of Taoism. At its foot, are the representatives of its Taoist elements:

Mount Huashan Hiking Route

Hike on Huashan Mountain is very popular among visitors. For many years most people have taken a traditional but efficient walking-ascending and cable-car-descending route for this mountain climbing. By taking this route, visitors can experience not only its danger, but also the major meaningful scenic spots. At the foot of Mt. Huashan, you can start your trip by visiting the Jade Spring Temple. After that, you can walk to the Memorial Archway in about 15 min, and then in 5 min you will get to Five Dragon Bridge, next to which is the ticket office.

Map of Mt. Huashan
Map of Mount Huashan
(Click to enlarge)
Hiking Trail Map of Mt. Huashan
Hiking Trail Map of Huashan
(Click to enlarge)

Passing through the ticket office of Huashan Mountain, you will see the scenic spots one by one:
walking about 30 min to Fish Stone – 20 min to Five-Mile Pass – 15 min to Stone Gate - 10 min to Shaluo Terrace – 10 min to Maonv Cave – 10 min to Qingke Terrace – 10 min to Mind Changing Stone (Huixin Stone) – 10 min to Thousand-Foot Precipice – 15 min to Hundred-Foot Crevice – 15 min to Taoist Temple of A Group of Immortals – 15 min to Laojun Furrow – 10 min to Ear-Touching Cliff – 5 min to Heavenward Ladder – 5 min to Black Dragon Ridge – 25 min to Golden Lock Pass – 10 min to Five-Cloud Peak – 15 min to Sunshine Welcoming Cave – 5 min to East Peak.

Along the way to East Peak of Mount Huashan you should be very careful when passing the major dangerous passes, such as the above-mentioned Thousand-Foot Precipice, Hundred-Foot Crevice, Black Dragon Ridge and Golden Lock Pass.

Changkong Plank Road on Mt. Huashan Mt. Huashan, China

East Peak (Facing Sun Peak)

Climbing to the top of East Peak of Mt. Huashan takes 4 to 6 hours. It has an altitude of 2,090 meters (6,857 feet), forming a platform for visitors to view the sunrise. An astronomical telescope is provided here. The reference time for sunrise is 5:00a.m.-6:00a.m. in spring, 4:30a.m.-5:20a.m. in summer, 5:00a.m.-5:20a.m. in autumn and 5:30a.m.-6:00a.m. in winter.

One well-known scenic spot, the Immortal's Palm Peak, ranked as one of the Eight Scenic Wonders of the Xi'an, is located on the East Peak. It refers to the natural rock veins of the cliff, which look like a giant palm-print.

The legend goes that on March 3rd of the Lunar Calendar a torrential flood destroyed the villages within the Mount Huashan area. This disaster was caused by the Queen Mother of the West, who held her Flat Peach Carnival celebration that year. She carelessly spilled a little jade wine down from paradise, causing a serious flood below. This news was quickly reported by Deity Shaohao to the Jade Emperor in Celestial Paradise. He gave a prompt order to Deity Juling to go down to tame the flood. When Deity Juling, full of vigor and vitality, descended from the clouds, he arrived at the precipitous cliff of East Peak. At the moment that he laid his left hand on one side and his right leg on the other, he ripped Mount Huashan into two halves and immediately a flood rushed out. This tale adds luster to East Peak.

* After enjoying the sunrise at East peak, you can descend according to this route in case you have missed some scenic spots: East Peak – about 35 min to Heavenly South Gate – 5 min to Changkong Plank Road – 25 min to Heaven Watching Pool – 5 min to South Peak – 35 min to West Peak – 15 min to Middle Peak – 20 min back to Black Dragon Ridge – 25 min to Macaque Sorrow – 5 min to North Peak.

Plank Road on Mt. Huashan Mount Huashan

South Peak (Landing Wild Geese Peak)

With an altitude of 2,160 meters (7,087 feet), the South Peak is regarded as the monarch of Mount Huashan because it is the highest peak and also the highest peak among the Five Sacred Mountains of China. Visitors who summit South Peak are undoubtedly winners. Looking around when standing at the peak, the surrounding landscapes are luxuriantly green; the Yellow River wanders far below and everything seems small. A legend goes that the wild geese returning from the south often landed at South Peak, giving the area the name Landing Wild Geese Peak.

At the top of South Peak, the Black Dragon Pool at the summit and the Greeting Pines on the southwestern cliff are two attractive resorts. At each side of the Landing Wild Goose Peak there are two peaks, Songhui Peak (Pine and Juniper Peak) in the east and Xiaozi Peak (Filial Son Peak) in the west. The three peaks form a picture of a Titan sitting in a chair. The most dangerous place is Changkong Plank Road, a plank path built along the side of a vertical cliff, about 0.3 meters (1 foot) wide. Below is a bottomless gulf which makes visitors shake with fear. In addition, there is a Taoist temple called Baidi Temple or Jintian Palace, considered to be the host temple of Deity Shaohao.

West Peak (Lotus Flower Peak)

West Peak has very high cliffs standing erect with an altitude of 2,086.6 meters (6,845 feet). There is a Taoist temple called Cuiyun Palace, before which a huge rock looking like a lotus flower comes into view, hence the name Lotus Flower Peak. There are another seven rocks beside Cuiyun Palace, which is said to be the place where Chenxiang, a main character in the movie Lotus Lantern, ripped Mount Huashan to save his mother, The Heavenly Goddess San Sheng Mu.

Huashan Mountain, Shaanxi The Shoushen Cliff on Mt. Huashan

Middle Peak (Jade Maiden Peak)

Middle Peak clings to East Peak and is in the center of East, South and West Peaks. There is a Taoist temple on the peak named Jade Maiden Temple. Legend has it that the daughter of Qin Mugong (569 - 621 BC) loved a man who was good at playing Chinese tung-hsiao (vertical flute) and she gave up the royal life to become a hermit who cultivated her spirituality here, hence the name Jade Maiden Peak. Today Jade Maiden Temple and Jade Maiden Basin for Shampooing can be found on the peak. Other scenic spots in Middle Peak include Rootless Tree and Sacrificing Tree, which have beautiful stories and add to the supernatural atmosphere of Middle Peak.

North Peak (Cloud Terrace Peak)

There are precipitous cliffs on all sides of North Peak, making it look like a flat terrace in the clouds, hence the name Cloud Terrace Peak. It is 1,614 meters (5,295 feet) high. Three sides are cliffs and one side is to the Ear-Touching Cliff, which is the fourth precipitous path where visitors can climb up only by pressing an ear close to the cliff. Almost halfway up the North Peak trees are luxuriantly green, creating a good rest spot.

Upon arrival at the North Peak, you can walk to the Cableway Station in 3-5 min and take the cable car to descend.

 Tip on Easy Climbing by Cable Car

Visiting Huashan Mountain by cable car is another good choice for visitors. On the east side of Yuquan Temple, there is an about 8 kilometer (5 miles) long concrete road leading up to Wamiaogou where you can take a cable car directly to the North Peak of Mt. Huashan. The top station is located on the east cliff of North Peak. The whole ride is more than 1,500 meters (0.9 mile) long and takes seven or eight minutes. The other cable car line starts from Donggoukou to West Peak with a stop at White Sparrow Temple. The whole ride is about 4,211 meters (2.6 miles) long and takes about 20 minutes. It is easier to get to the South and East Peak from West Peak compared with the North Peak. 

Mt. Hua Cable Car on Mt. Huashan

 See more practical Travel Tips on food, water, clothing, safety, sunrise watching and accommodation and so on.

How to get to Mount Huashan

 How to go from Xi'an to Huashan
1. There are high speed trains running from Xi'an North Railway Station to Huashan North Station, taking 30 - 40 minutes. After arrival, take the free Minibus Huayin 1/ Huayin 2 in green outside the station to Shengtai Guangchang, which is also the tourist center.
See more Xi'an - Huashan Train 

2. Take metro line 1 to Fangzhicheng, after you leave from the station, you will see Fangzhicheng Bus Station. Take a bus to Huashan. The bus runs  between 07:45 and 19:30. It costs CNY 37.5 and a single trip takes about 2 hours.

3. Take a regular tourist bus from the east square of Xi'an Railway Station to the Jade Spring Temple at the foot of the Huashan Mountain. It operates between 06:30 and 19:00. The one-way ticket costs CNY 39.5 and round-trip ticket costs CNY 66.5. A single trip takes 1.5 hours or so.
Xi'an Bus / Metro Search 
 Note: Tourism Bus Line 1 from the east square of Xi'an Railway Station to Mt. Huashan is out of service at present.

 How to get back to Xi'an
1. Take a taxi from Dongshanmen Parking Lot to Huashan North Station with a cost of about CNY 25, and then take Huashan - Xi'an Train for return-ride.
2. There are many tourist buses from the Jade Spring Temple to the east square of Xi'an Railway Station and just leave when a bus is full. The ticket fare is CNY 38.

Entrance Fee Mar. - Nov.: CNY 160;
Dec. - Feb.: CNY 100
1.  It includes the main peaks scenic area, Jade Spring Temple, Xianyu Scenic Area and Xiyue Temple.
2. The ticket is valid for two days.
Opening Hours The mountain is open all day.
Xiyue Temple: 09:00 - 17:30
Jade Spring Temple: 09:00 - 19:00
Best Time to Visit April to October

Cable Car Service

Service Hours Mar. - Nov.: 07:00-19:00
Dec. - Feb.: 08:00 - 18:00
Donggoukou - White Sparrow Temple - West Peak Mar. - Nov.: CNY 280 for a round trip; CNY 140 for a one-way trip
Dec. - Feb.: CNY 240 for a round trip; CNY 120 for a one-way trip
1) Wengyu Tourism Bus runs between Tourist Service Center and Donggoukou, the lower station of West Peak cable car.  It costs CNY 40 for a one-way trip and CNY 80 for a round trip.
2) Visitors can get off at White Sparrow Temple. After visiting the temple, continue to take the cable car to the West Peak.
Wamiaogou - North Peak Mar. - Nov.: CNY 150 for a round trip; CNY 80 for a one-way trip
Dec. - Feb.: CNY 80 for a round trip; CNY 45 for a one-way trip
Notice: Huangfuyu Tourism Bus runs between Tourist Service Center and Wamiaogou, the lower station of North Peak cable car. It  costs CNY 20 for a one-way trip and CNY 40 for a round trip.

 Recommended Tours:
Tang Imperial Temple & Mount Huashan: 4 days of the mountain & ancient Xi'an travel
Huashan Hiking Adventure: with suggested route and travel tips
More Xi'an Tours

 Further Readings:
Known as “the Number One Precipitous Mountain under Heaven”, Mt. Huashan is one of the five sacred mountains in China. The other four are Mt. Taishan in Shandong, Mt. Hengshan in Hunan, Mt. Hengshan in Shanxi, and Mt. Songshan in Henan.

Top 10 Things to Do in Xi'an

- Last modified on May. 05, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Mount Huashan
Asked by Mel from SINGAPORE | Jul. 08, 2019 06:56Reply
Most convenient route for elderly to tour around Huashan Mountain
Hi, I'm planning to take the cable car but I will have 2 elderly with me. Can you suggest the easiest two way trip without any hiking or walking on the plank?
Answers (3)
Answered by Bradon from CANADA | Jul. 08, 2019 19:58

Well, maybe you can take cable car up and down the mountain by West Hill route. And plank is not a necessary place you will pass by.
Answered by Mel from SINGAPORE | Jul. 09, 2019 19:06

By West Hill, are you referring to this route "Donggoukou - White Sparrow Temple - West Peak" ?
Answered by Bradon | Jul. 10, 2019 18:25

No, I mean you can take the West Peak Cable Car to the mountain, touring around and take the same cable car down to the foot of the mountain. Generally speaking, it is an easier way.
Asked by JD from / | Jun. 24, 2019 05:11Reply
Is it still possible to climb Huashan by night starting from the North Peak?
If the answer is yes, can I purchase my entry ticket from Yuquanyuan after 7pm?
Answers (1)
Answered by Antony from AUSTRALIA | Jun. 25, 2019 02:33

Yes, it opens for 24 hours and you can surely buy the tickets.
Asked by Max from NETHERLANDS | May. 25, 2019 23:36Reply
Plank walk in Huashan Mountain
I wanna go do the plank walk somewhere in the next few days, i heard things about crazy waiting lines for the cable cars and the plank walk it self. If I would go there with the first train do you think it's possible to do the plank walk on that day as well ?


Answers (6)
Answered by Hailey from USA | May. 26, 2019 23:57

It is hard to say. Anyway, if you start off earlier, it will be less crowded and the waiting time will be shorter.
Answered by Max from NETHERLANDS | May. 27, 2019 08:13

Went there today, took the dorst train at 06:30, there was no line to buy tickets, no lines for the cable car. Went up and had a coffee befor doing the plank walk ! Even did that other hike/climb down to the chess pavilion. Perfect day :)
Answered by Sam from CANADA | May. 29, 2019 13:12

I assume you accessed the plank walk from the South Peak. Did you take the cable car up to the West or North peak before hiking over? Also, how long did the whole hike take you with no lines? Thank you!
Answered by Greg from USA | Jun. 19, 2019 14:07

I just got back from China a few days ago. I made it to Mt. Huashan and did the plank walk! Get there early and avoid weekends. I took the 6:30am high speed train from Xi'an. Take the bus, then the cable car up to the West Peak, not the north peak! The plank walk is easiest to get to from the west peak. I made it to the walk around 11am. They have changed things up alot. There is no more 2 way traffic on the plank walk. The let one group at a time go, so you never cross paths. There was only one group in front of me before I got there. They make you fill out waivers and paperwork, so make sure you have your 30 RMB for the harness and also your passport to fill out the waiver.
Answered by Lee from MALAYSIA | Jul. 05, 2019 18:37

Hi. We are planning to visit in August. Are children age 11 allowed to go for the plank walk? Do they have a minimum age?

Alternatively , I can choose to skip the trips and just visit for the view via easier trails. Please advise. Much appreciated
Answered by Nathan from AUSTRALIA | Jul. 08, 2019 00:09

There is no age limit but maybe it is too dangerous and scared for young children. Of course you can skip the plank and take easier trails.
Asked by Milan Mihajlovic from NETHERLANDS | May. 15, 2019 10:48Reply
I am planning to go to Huashan Mountain on 24th of May.
Are weekend crowded or there is no rule of it? Would you recommend to go during working day?

should I get tickets for bullet train in advance or it will be ok on the day of going there?
Answers (1)
Answered by Emma from USA | May. 16, 2019 18:20

Hi, it is more recommended to visit on week days since it may be a little crowded on weekends. It is better to book train tickets in advance and you can book it through
Asked by Kath from SINGAPORE | May. 12, 2019 07:16Reply
Start at West Gate of Huashan Mountain?
I'm arriving to Huashan by high speed train, and I want to start my trek at the West gate. Does the free Minibus Huayin 1/Huayin 2 take us to the West gate? And if no, how do we get there? Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Andrew from USA | May. 13, 2019 18:19

Hi, the 2 buses are direct to the Tourist Center, you need to transfer to another free shuttle bus in Tourist Center to the West Gate.
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