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==Get around==
 
==Get around==
  
There are four routes to the top of Huashan Park: 1) Hike to the top from the West Gate, 2) Hike to the top along the Soldier's Path, 3) Take the North cable car, and 4) Take the West cable car. You can use any combination of these methods to get to the top of the park and back down to the village.  
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There are four routes to the top of Huashan Park: 1) Hike to the top from the West Gate, 2) Hike to the top along the Soldier's Path, 3) take the North cable car, and 4) take the West cable car. You can use any combination of these methods to get to the top of the park and back down to the village.  
 
      
 
      
  
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1) Climb North Peak from the West Gate. This is the most common hiking path to the summit. Plan for 2-5 hours depending on fitness (approximately 6 km with 1100 m vertical of stairs) to reach the North Peak. There will be plenty of shops by the side of the path selling food and drinks for you to replenish your energy, but the prices are very inflated so it's better to stock up in town.  To access the start of the trail from Yuquan Yuan (Jade Spring Temple), walk uphill either through or around the temple to the road behind the temple, and follow it about ten minutes to the West Gate ticket office to purchase your tickets. Don't worry about getting lost, it's very intuitive. If you're climbing at night, you can only purchase tickets from this gate, so don't bother visiting the East Gate visitor's center first.  
 
1) Climb North Peak from the West Gate. This is the most common hiking path to the summit. Plan for 2-5 hours depending on fitness (approximately 6 km with 1100 m vertical of stairs) to reach the North Peak. There will be plenty of shops by the side of the path selling food and drinks for you to replenish your energy, but the prices are very inflated so it's better to stock up in town.  To access the start of the trail from Yuquan Yuan (Jade Spring Temple), walk uphill either through or around the temple to the road behind the temple, and follow it about ten minutes to the West Gate ticket office to purchase your tickets. Don't worry about getting lost, it's very intuitive. If you're climbing at night, you can only purchase tickets from this gate, so don't bother visiting the East Gate visitor's center first.  
  
2) Climb North Peak via the Soldier's Path:  Take the shuttle from the East Gate visitor's center to the North cable car station.  It's the more difficult but faster of the two hiking routes.  This takes an estimated 2 hours, and is nothing but steps. It also contains one section with ''optional'' ~80 degree steps. The steepest steps on the mountain (approaching 90 degrees) are also here, though now chained off in favour of a far more forgiving route. Towards the top, the path splits. Going right will feature steeper steps and take you directly to the North Cable Car landing area. Going left leads you to intersect with the path that connects the North Cable Car landing area to the other non-North peaks. If you don't plan to visit North Peak, go left.  
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2) Climb North Peak via the Soldier's Path:  Take the shuttle from the East Gate visitor's center to the North cable car station.  It's the more difficult but faster of the two hiking routes.  This takes an estimated 2 hours, and is nothing but steps. It also contains one section with ''optional'' ~80 degree steps. The steepest steps on the mountain (approaching 90 degrees) are also here, though now chained off in favour of a far more forgiving route.  
  
3) Cable car to North Peak: See above for cable car and shuttle prices.  From the East Gate visitor's center, take a shuttle to the cable car station and ride up in 6-8 minutes. Be warned - the line to enter the North Peak cable car can last over two hours (weekends, public holidays) - so try to arrive early. At 10am on April 2018, the line was 15 minutes. Thankfully, line cutting is surprisingly rare, and most of the line is blocked from the sun and with water misting, so sans boredom, it's still fairly comfortable even in summer.  
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3) Cable car to North Peak: See above for cable car and shuttle prices.  From the East Gate visitor's center, take a shuttle to the cable car station and ride up in mere minutes. Be warned - the line to enter the North Peak cable car can last over two hours (weekends, public holidays) - so try to arrive early. Thankfully, line cutting is surprisingly rare, and most of the line is blocked from the sun and with water misting, so sans boredom, it's still fairly comfortable even in summer.  
  
 
4) Cable car to west peak: See above for cable car and shuttle prices.  From the East Gate visitor's center, take a shuttle to the West cable car station; the cable car ride will take twenty minutes.   
 
4) Cable car to west peak: See above for cable car and shuttle prices.  From the East Gate visitor's center, take a shuttle to the West cable car station; the cable car ride will take twenty minutes.   
  
The first three routes meet up again just below the North Peak summit. From this meeting area there is initially only one route to the other peaks, a steep trail of stairs leading across such features as the "Heavenly Steps", "Sun and Moon Cliff" and "Black Dragon Mountain," and ending at Gold Lock Pass, which is identifiable by the mounds of gold padlocks and red ribbons framing the path. The route is no more than a meter wide at places but there are steps the whole way and chain fences for support. Walking from North Peak to Gold Lock Pass takes 1-2 hours.
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The first three routes meet up again just below the North Peak summit. From this meeting area there is initially only one route to the other peaks, a steep trail of stairs leading across such features as the "Heavenly Steps", "Sun and Moon Cliff" and "Black Dragon Mountain," and ending at Gold Lock Pass, which is identifiable by the mounds of gold padlocks and red ribbons framing the path. The route is no more than a meter wide at places. Walking from North Peak to Gold Lock Pass takes 1-2 hours.
  
Just past Gold Lock Pass the route branches. Different paths lead towards the East, South, Center and West Peaks, as well as other points of interest like the Chess Pavilion (between East and South peaks) and the Plank Road (below South Peak). As most of the elevation gain is done, the final ascent to each of the peaks is not too severe. You likely only have time to climb one  or walk a circuit. You can do an entire circuit from this point in 2 hours.
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Just past Gold Lock Pass the route branches. Different paths lead towards the East, South, Center and West Peaks, as well as other points of interest like the Chess Pavilion (between East and South peaks) and the Plank Road (below South Peak). As most of the elevation gain is done, the final ascent to each of the peaks is not too severe. You likely only have time to climb one  or walk a circuit.
 
 
Most Chinese tour groups will take the route of West Peak Cable Car, then take the peaks circuit counter-clockwise to the North Peak, then take the North Peak Cable car. This is because there is an elevation drop this way so most of their steps are going down. If you wish to have less people going in your direction, go the opposite direction, meaning hike up or take the North Peak Cable Car, then make your way to the West Peak Cable car in whatever manner you prefer.
 
  
 
==See==
 
==See==

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