Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is one of China’s most famous sites. The severe, tree-covered karst formations, swathed in mist, look like something out of mythology. The whole park area has three scenic areas with numerous attractions, one of which provided the inspiration for the mystical floating mountains in the movie, Avatar.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Area
What to See in Zhangjiajie Park?
Zhangjiajie National Park consists of 3 scenic areas: Yuanjiajie, Yangjiajie and Tianzi Mountain. There are numerous attractions, sights, and some world-record holding locations, making the park area noted for their beauty, and mystical appearance.
To maximize your travel experience and make your time efficient, we listed the top-rated attractions in the park that you should not miss.
1. Yuanjiajie Avatar Scenic Area
Avatar Mountain in Yuanjiajie
Yuanjiajie is a must-visit area within the park. You’ll easily get charmed by its eye-catching vistas:
- Hallelujah Mountain- The movie Avatar took inspiration for its floating mountains from here, a large karst with a thick covering of jungle-like forest at the top.
- Bailong Elevator- It is the tallest outdoor elevator in the world, providing a great view of the floating mountains.
- First Bridge Under Heaven- It is the world’s highest natural arch, suspended 357 meters above the valley below.
2. Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve
This 93 square kilometer (22.98 acre) section of Zhangjiajie Park area is especially beautiful in spring and fall, when the tree cover is at its thickest and the weather is misty and mild.
The whole Tianzi Mountain area is also a unique piece of landscape and geology. It has an interesting place named “Fields in the Air”, a terraced field surrounded by steep cliffs on 3 sides which plunge into a jungle-filled gorge. However, it is very hard to find the hidden path to get there on your own.
- We can arrange an English-speaking local guide for you, who will help you go deeper and smoother. Feel free to contact us!
3. Yangjiajie Scenic Area
Yangjiajie is located northwest of Yuanjiajie and southwest of Tianzi Mountain – and borders on both of these areas of the park. Yangjaijie is a fusion of majestic nature and bandits’ legends, which offers visitors an opportunity to experience its unique ethnic culture and customs.
Yangjiajie is home to 3 main attractions:
- Xiangzhi Stream is a deep gully, packed with dense vegetation.
- Dragon Spring Gorge is a giant natural wall, broken and thrown into rocky chaos by the passage of time.
- Baihou Valley (100 Monkey Valley), is home to...monkeys- wild macaques and egrets call this place home.
4. Golden Whip Stream
In eastern Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Golden Whip Stream wanders 7.5 kilometers (4.66 miles) and is named for the 380 meter (1,247 feet) high Golden Whip Rock.
This area is famous for its verdant foliage, lush vegetation, and the steep valley walls. It’s a kind of paradise for plants, a naturally protected valley more or less untouched by man.
5. Yellow Stone Village
Huangshi (yellow stone) Village is a massive rock forest of yellowish craggy karsts, jutting out from the jungle valley below. The area is known for its beautiful sights, monkey population, and it is the earliest spot developed for tourism in Zhangjiajie.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Travel Tips
1) Best Time to Visit: Spring and autumn are the best times to visit the park, when the weather is mild, neither freezing cold nor sweltering.
2) How to Get There: It is easy to find buses from Zhangjiajie Central Bus Station at the city center to parts of the forest park.
3) Where to Stay: Wulingyuan Town borders the park, so it is a great place to stay if you want to get into the park directly.
4) Avoid Crowds: Don’t go during Chinese holidays, especially National Day (October 1-7) and Labor Day (May 1-5).