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Huashan National Park

Revision as of 09:25, 14 October 2011 by Bbb0777 (talk | contribs) (By Bus)

Mount Hua (華山 Hua Shan)is a sacred Taoist mountain located in Shaanxi Province, China. It is one of the Five Great Mountains.


The 2,154-meter-tall mountain, true to its reputation as the "most precipitous mountain under heaven", is a cluster of five peaks with breathtaking cliff faces and a tough challenge to mountaineers. Hua is popularly known by tourists as the "Most Dangerous Hiking Trail in the World" because even though the climb did not require any technical climbing skills, the hike contains a few steep ascents with via ferrata and narrow passes. The biggest danger to safety is often due to overcrowding in the Summer months. Hua was historically the location of several influential Taoist monasteries, and was known as a centre for the practise of traditional Chinese martial arts. It is also one of the five holy Taoist mountains of China.

Get in

By Train

Huashan Huoche Zhan - located in the town of Mengyuan Frequent minibuses between the train station and Hua Shan

  • Luoyang - takes about 4-5 hours
  • Taiyuan Takes about 9 hours
  • Xian - takes about 2-3 hours

By Bus

From Xi'an: buses (coaches or minibuses) leave from the SE corner of the train station parking lot regularly during daylight hours. These take about two hours and costs 33 yuan for one way or 55 for a return. Beware scam buses that try to charge 10x as much. You'll be dropped off in the village near Mt. Hua. From there take a taxi (see the get around section).

Be aware these are independent private companies, or just two guys with a bus. They don't operate on a schedule, but will leave when full of passengers. So For the quickest departure, find a bus already mostly full of people, since if you choose an empty bus you could be sitting in the parking lot a while.

The entrance fee for the National Park is 180 yuan.

Get around

The buses from Xian will drop you off in the village. From here, the only option is to take a taxi (typically 10 RMB per taxi, regardless of number of passengers) to the East Gate, which is the ticket office. Buy your entrance tickets here, then board buses that depart to the mountain itself. After the bus from the ticket office deposits you at the mountain proper, you have 3 options for ascending the first bit. Note that all start, and finish, almost right next one another.

1) Climb the North Peak--main route. Plan for more than four hours to reach the North Peak.

2) Take the cable car (80 yuan one way, 150 yuan for a return) to the North Peak. Be warned - the line to enter the cable car often last over two hours - 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.

3) Climb the North Peak--alternate route below the cable car. Called "Solider's Way" - 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, for those who have seen the famous photos online. The steepest steps on the mountain (approaching 90 degrees) are also here, though now chained off in favor of a far more forgiving route.

These three routes meet up again just below the North Peak summit. One can of course, take any of the 3 routes up, and then either of the other two remaining down.

From this meeting area (just below the North Peak summit), there is initially only one route to the other peaks. This passes through the area known as the "Heavenly Steps" (上天梯,literally "ascend heaven ladder", "Sun and Moon Cliff" and "Black Dragon Mountain," the latter called that because it looks like a dragon's wavy back. The route is no more than a meter wide at places. This should take about 2 hours.

At the top of this section is the "Gold Lock Pass." Here the route branches. Paths lead towards the East, South, Center and West Peaks, as well as other points of interest. 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 (probably the South, the highest) or walk a circuit. In this are there are temples, lodges and other sites. This includes the infamous Changkong Boardwalk.


  • Green Dragon Ridge - (Canglong Feng) narrow rock ridge with vertical cliffs on both sides (not for the faint of heart)
  • North Peak - (Bei Feng) the first of the five mountain peaks


  • Watch the sun rise from East Peak (Dong Feng) by attempting a night hike. It won't be as crowded as during the daytime, but you will see other hikers ascending as well. Be sure to bring along a flashlight, spare batteries and warm clothing.
  • With a safety harness (since 2005!) walk out on the 长空栈道 (Changkong zhandao, "Vast Sky Plank Walk"). Climb a ladder that's nothing more steel rods driven into a crack in the rock, and walk on planks a foot wide along the edge of a cliff dropping thousands of feet, and in places put you trust in footholds carved into the rock.


A golden lock at the golden lock temple and add it to the iron railings as a prayer for your family.

A gold or bronze medal that you can inscribe with your name to commemorate your ascent of the mountain.


Biang Biang Mian (Noodles) Special Shaanxi noodles available on the mountain. The character for biang is a special character with 57 strokes only used in Shaanxi Province.


Be sure to bring enough water for your hike. You may need to buy water on the mountain which will cost you about 5 Yuan (up to 10 Yuan when furthest up on the mountain). If you buy the water before coming the price should be about 1.5 Yuan. Most people will drink Red Bull from small golden cans. This Red Bull is not carbonated and is a little more watery than those available in the United States.


Most of the peaks have guesthouses where you can sleep in communal rooms of about 4 to 10 people. The price should be around 60 to 120 Yuan.

Get out

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In Huashan village, minibuses leave from the intersection of Yuquan Lu and Xitong Gonglu, as well as the East Gate that gives access to the cable car station, on a frequent basis. Although some guides say they stop at 7:00, unlicensed transportation continues. In a worst-case scenario a rickety village taxi could surely be persuaded to make the trip back to Xi'an for 300-500 RMB (about 50-75 USD).