Huashan Mountain

Located in Southern Shaanxi (陕西) province, Mount Hua or HuaShan (华山) is the Western Mountain of the Five great mountains of China.

Mount Hua is located nearby the city of Huayin (华阴), about 120 kilometers east of Xi'an, home to the famous terracotta warriors.

Mount Hua has a long religious significance in China, and the highest of its 5 peaks is 2155 meters.

Mount Hua, or Huashan, is known for its beautiful and steep vistas, dramatic cliffs, crags, and hiking trails. There are also several important Taoist temples located across Huashan.

Quick Facts of Huashan Mountain

Mount Hua Hiking Routes

There are many different ways to Hike Huashan. Many visitors choose a combination of hiking pathways and cable cars, as they can easily see the highest peaks and most majestic vistas.

Huashan also boasts some of the most austere drops and steep, high, cliffs that can be found on hiking paths anywhere in the world.

However, remember that these hiking trails see thousands of tourists every year, and whether you fall 50 meters or 5000 meters- you will be no more or less dead.

Remember to take the many "Most dangerous hike in the world!" articles and stories you will find online with a grain of salt. It's best to forget the hyperbole and simply try an adventurous hiking route.

Starting

At the foot of Huashan, visitors can check out Jade Spring Temple, the Memorial Archway, and 5 Dragon Bridge, all within a 5-15 minutes' walk of each other.

At 5 Dragon Bridge, hikers will find the ticket office, from which the vistas can be seen.

East Peak (Sun-Facing Peak)

Climbing the 2,090 (6,857 feet) meter tall East Peak takes 4-6 hours. At the top, there is a platform with a telescope for sunrise viewing.

The Immortal's Palm Peak (whose rocky veins look like a titanic hand was pushed into the rock) is visible from the East Peak.

West Peak (Lotus Flower Peak)

The West Peak, at 2082 meters (6,831 feet) also boasts sheer cliffs, a Taoist Temple names Cuiyun Palace, and a large rock that resembles a lotus flower.

South Peak (Landing Goose Summit)

South Peak (Landing Goose Summit) is the highest peak, with an elevation of about 2,155 meters (7,067 feet). It is the highest peak of the 5 sacred mountains of China.

Visitors to the South Peak can traverse the Chankong Road. The Changkong or Cangkong Road is a pathway of planks stretching along the side of the cliff with a 90-degree drop.

The path itself is only about 1/3 of a meter (1 foot) wide. Below is a massive drop. It's not an ideal trail for those afraid of heights.

Visitors to the South Peak can also see the Baidi Temple, A.K.A. Jintian Palace, the home of the Taoist deity Shaohao.

Climb Up to the Top
Climb Up to the Top

North Peak (Cloud Terrace Peak)

The North Peak may only be 1,615 meters (5,298 feet), but its steep cliffs on either side make it look like a walkway through the heavens.

One of the cliffs is called "Ear-Pressing Cliff," named so because hikers can only ascend it by staying extremely close to the cliff- so close that it looks like they are pressing their ear to the rock. There is a cableway station located at North Peak.

Central Peak

The Jade Maiden Temple, for which the central part of Huashan is named, is located at this peak. There are many sites of religious significance here, with stories that add to the spiritual nature of this area.

Recommended Hiking Routes

1 Day Hiking Routes

This hike is recommended for most visitors who plan on spending one day at Huashan- it shows has a bit of everything.

Visitors will see the North, South, East, and West Peaks. They will also take cable car rides, see some very beautiful scenery, and traverse the famous Huashan Plank Walk.

Note that this hike is a bit difficult for the average tourist, as hiking for a full 6-8 hours will be exhausting for most people.

This route is the fastest way to see a lot of Huashan quickly. It's great for seniors, large groups, and tourists with small children. The cableway takes you directly up to the summit of the mountain.

2 Hour Hike

Take the North Peak Cable Car and hike along the Canglong Ridge. This short route is good for people who want a more relaxing experience or don't have very much time.

Route: North Peak Cableway Station → Group of Immortals Taoist Temple → Laujun Furrow → Macaque Sorrow → Return to North Peak Cableway Station along the same route.

2 Day Hiking Routes

Visiting Mount Hua for 2 days will enable most people to see the majority of its beautiful sights, and proficient hikers to visit everything.

Hikers who will be hiking for 2 days should ascend by Yuquan temple to the North Peak, the do the East Peak, followed by the South Peak.

The final peak 2-day hikers should visit is the West Peak, after which they can use West Cable Car to descend. Below is the detailed 2-day hiking route:

Day 1: A long day of trekking

Huashan Tourist Center → Park Bus (15 minutes) → Yuquan Temple → Mount Hua West Gate (20 minutes) → Huixin Rock (2 hours) → North Peak (2 hours) → Central Peak (2 hours) → East Peak (30 minutes)

Accommodation: You can find the Wuyunfeng Hotel and the East Peak Guest House on the way to East Peak and at East Peak respectively.

This hike has a very difficult section, from Huixin Rock to North Peak, so be sure to allot more time than you think necessary for this long day of hiking.

Day 2: Wake up to the sunrise at East Peak.

East Peak → Sunrise Pavilion (10 minutes) → Sparrow Hawk Turning (10 minutes) → Chess Playing Pavilion (10 minutes) → Plank Road (30 minutes) → South Peak (1 hour to 1.5 hours) → West Peak (30 minutes) → West Cableway (20 minutes) → End of 2 days hike (20 minutes)

Top of Huashan
Top of Huashan

The Plank Walk in the Sky (长空栈道)

Arguably the most (in)famous place in Mount Hua, the Plank Walk elicits its notoriety for being one of the world's most dangerous hikes. Constructed 700 years ago, but fortunately maintained, this walkway lasts about 4 meters and is only about 30 centimeters wide.

The road consists of planks held into a vertical cliff by iron stakes. Narrow planks function as steps and thick wire running above them alongside the cliff functions as a hand-rope to maintain balance.

For safety, those who wish to traverse Plank Road can rent safety harnesses with fall-arrest lines for 30 CNY.

Many tourists like to play up the "death-defying" aspect of this part of Huashan, but you should recognize that this route is as safe as a via Ferrata, which is a common type of climbing pathway.

Cable Cars

1. West Peak (Taihua Cableway)

Near Wengyu Peak Scenic Area (华山瓮峪景区) at the foot of Huashan, there is a station where visitors can take a cable car to the West Peak. There is a stop at White Sparrow Temple mid-way through the cableway.

The whole ride is about 4.2 kilometers (2.6 miles) and takes around 20 minutes. This cableway facilitates seeing most of the mountain, as it is easier to visit the other peaks from the West Peak than from the other cableway or by hiking alone.

You will need to take a tour bus from Huashan Tourist Center to Wengyu Peak Scenic Area (19KM) to get to the cable car station.

huashan cable car
Huashan Cable Car

2. North Peak Cableway

From Yuquan Temple you can take an 8 KM road (5 miles) to Wamiaogou (瓦庙沟). From there is a cable car directly to the North Peak of Huashan.

The ride takes under 10 minutes and is about 1,500 meters (0.9 miles total). A tour bus runs between the tourist service center and Wamiaogou.

How to get to Mount Hua from Xi'an

High-Speed Train

The Xi'an Zhengzhou bullet train goes from Xi'an North Train Station to Huashan North Train Station in Mengyuan town. The train departs every 40 minutes, and the ride takes about 35 minutes. Costs range from 55-100 CNY.

Bus

1. From Xi'an Railway Station coach buses leave regularly during normal business hours. The bus can be taken straight to the foot of the mountain, making it an excellent choice for kitted-out trekkers.
2. Travelers can also take Tourism Bus Line 1 at Xi'an Railway Station to the foot of the mountain and at the main ticket hall (east gate) of Huashan.
3. From the Xian Cheng Dong Coach Station, visitors can take the regular bus to Huayin City. The bus leaves every 15 minutes, from 07:00 to 19:15, takes about 2 hours, and costs 35 CNY.

Private Car or Van

Taxis and private vans can be arranged through various agencies in Xi'an. Their prices will range from several hundred CNY for a taxi/private car from Xi'an to Huashan to 50-60 CNY for a shared van.

Accommodation at Mount Hua

Huayin City and Nearby Huashan

Huayin City is loaded with accommodation, and a quick internet search will reveal numerous hotels that should suffice for a wide range of clientele- from those looking for a cheap hostel on their way to the mountain to those looking for 5-star type resorts.

As for accommodation on Huashan itself, there are options as well.

Staying on Mount Hua

Accommodation on Mount Hua is basic and functional- don't expect resorts or an exceedingly high degree of comfort on the mountain. The steep cliffs and tight mountain passes are beautiful, but they aren't accommodating to building huge structures with lots of amenities.

The hotels on Mount Hua tend to have basic accommodations, dormitory rooms, private rooms, showers, and camping gear. Here are some recommendations:

1. East Peak Hotel (东峰饭店)

On the south side of Mount Hua's east peak is the East Peak Hotel. It is only about 1 kilometer from the West Peak Cableway.

Forests and dramatic cliffs make this area generally regarded as the best place to see the sunrise at Mount Hua. This hotel is also surrounded by numerous of Huashan's famous attractions.

The East Peak Hotel can accommodate over 200 people, in a dormitory and hotel-style rooms. Dorm rooms include 10-bed rooms and 4-bed rooms. The hotel rooms each have 2 beds. There are also some individual capsule-style rooms.

Notes:

2. West Peak Hotel (华山西峰饭店)

One of the best places to view the sunset at Huashan, the West Peak Hotel is divided into two parts:

Expect to spend 50 RMB or more for even the simplest meal/snack. Rooms are warm and cozy, and private rooms are available.

2) Metrological Guest House
This oddly-named accommodation only provides extremely basic amenities: 2-bed and 10-bed rooms, as well as public bathrooms only. There are no showers.

Notes:

West Peak: 10 minutes; South Peak: 20 minutes; East Peak: 40 minutes; North Peak: 90 minutes

3. Huashan North Peak Hotel (华山北峰饭店)

Conveniently located only 10 minutes from the North Peak Sante Cableway, this hotel is less popular because it is further from the various peaks than the other hotels. Its room conditions, on the other hand, are better than the mountain's other hotels.

Room types include 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 16-bed rooms. North Peak Hotel also has Wi-Fi, electricity for charging devices, and vendors selling snacks/drinks.

Notes:

4. Huashan Wuyunfeng Hotel (华山五云峰饭店)

Between the North Peak and the East Peak, situated in the forests under Jinsuoguan Pass, is Wuyunfeng Hotel. Wuyunfeng is the most full-fledged hotel in Huashan.

There is a breathtaking view of the Yellow River, sunrise and sunset views, and the widest range of amenities available in the accommodation at Huashan.

Rooms range from double to 5+ person rooms. There is also food and entertainment, ranging from fast food/noodles to a tea hall, and hotel restaurant. Wuyunfeng can accommodate over 80 people each night.

Notes:

5. Camping on Huashan

Adventurous travelers will find numerous camping spots on Huashan. Camping spots include East Peak near Sunrise Pavilion and East Peak Hotel, West Peak, and South Peak near Jinsuo Pass. It is highly recommended to bring your own gear.

Notes:

Ticket Booking

Most travelers should be able to book tickets during their Huashan trip. During high season, A.K.A. "shoulder season," which is roughly May-August it's recommended to book hotels and high-speed train tickets in advance.

Additionally, during Chinese holidays- most notably Golden Week (October 1-7)- it is also recommended to book entry tickets, train tickets, and hotel accommodation on the mountain well in advance. Feel free to contact us when you need help to book Mount Hua tickets.

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