Huangshan Overview

Huangshan National Park, also known as Yellow Mountain, is a mesmerizing natural wonder located in the Anhui Province of eastern China. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, celebrated for its scenic beauty, covers an area of approximately 1,200 square kilometers (about 463 square miles). The park is renowned for its unique granite peaks, hot springs, winter snowscapes, and views of the clouds from above. Huangshan’s dramatic landscape has inspired poets, painters, and photographers for centuries, making it an emblem of the Chinese natural aesthetic.

The park’s most distinctive features are its 72 peaks, which rise majestically above the sea of clouds, creating an ethereal and otherworldly landscape. The highest peak, Lotus Peak, stands at 1,864 meters (6,115 feet), offering breathtaking panoramic views. Huangshan is also famous for its peculiarly shaped granite rocks, gnarled pine trees that grow out of the rocks, and the ever-changing sea of clouds that shrouds the mountains, providing a constantly shifting vista that captivates visitors.

Huangshan National Park is not just a natural wonder; it is also steeped in history and legend, with numerous ancient temples, pavilions, and engraved stones scattered throughout the area. The park’s flora and fauna are diverse, with many species being endemic to the region, adding to its ecological significance.

Visitors to Huangshan can explore a variety of scenic routes through the mountains, with well-maintained trails and steps leading to the most famous viewpoints, including the Begin-to-Believe Peak, Bright Top, and the Heavenly Capital Peak. Cable cars are also available for those who wish to enjoy the views without the strenuous hike.

Huangshan National Park’s captivating beauty and mystical atmosphere have made it a symbol of the natural heritage of China, attracting visitors from around the world seeking to experience its serene landscapes and to find inspiration in its majestic peaks and tranquil forests.

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Huangshan National Park Highlights

Lotus Peak

Lotus Peak is the highest point in Huangshan National Park, rising to an elevation of 1,864 meters. Revered for its striking resemblance to a lotus flower, this peak offers some of the most breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

The ascent to the summit is challenging yet rewarding, with rugged paths winding through ancient pine trees and past sheer granite cliffs. On clear days, climbers can enjoy panoramic views that stretch for miles, making Lotus Peak a favorite among photographers and nature enthusiasts.

Bright Summit Peak

Bright Summit Peak is the second highest in the range and one of the most accessible peaks in Huangshan. Standing at 1,840 meters, it is located at the heart of the park and is a popular spot for both sunrise and sunset views.

The relatively flat top of the peak provides ample space for visitors to gather and admire the ethereal beauty of the sea of clouds that often envelops the mountain.

Celestial Capital Peak

Celestial Capital Peak (Tiandu Peak), standing at 1,829 meters, is known for its sheer cliffs and precipitous ascent. The name translates to “Capital of Heaven,” hinting at the otherworldly views from its summit. The climb involves navigating steep stairs and ladders, making it one of the more thrilling experiences in Huangshan. Adventurous hikers are rewarded with stunning vistas of the rugged terrain and the famous “flying-over rock” that balances miraculously on the edge of the cliff.


Huangshan is not known for its wildlife, but it is available with some diverse species.  Here are some hopeful species that visitors wish to see:

Giant Panda

The beloved giant panda, an emblem of conservation, occasionally roams Huangshan National Park, feasting on bamboo shoots and captivating visitors with its playful antics.

Golden Pheasant

The resplendent golden pheasant, with its vibrant plumage, graces the forests of Huangshan National Park, adding a splash of color to the serene landscape.

Clouded Leopard

The elusive clouded leopard, a symbol of mystery, prowls through the dense foliage of Huangshan National Park, displaying its agile movements and nocturnal prowess.

Red-crowned Crane

The elegant red-crowned crane, revered in Chinese culture, dances gracefully in the wetlands of Huangshan National Park, symbolizing longevity and prosperity.

Giant Salamander

The giant salamander, a living fossil, inhabits the streams and rivers of Huangshan National Park, embodying resilience and adaptation in its aquatic habitat.

Chinese Muntjac

The diminutive Chinese muntjac, a shy forest dweller, hides amidst the underbrush of Huangshan National Park, nibbling on leaves and fruits under the cover of darkness.

Crested Ibis

The majestic crested ibis, once on the brink of extinction, finds sanctuary in Huangshan National Park, its white plumage soaring gracefully over lush valleys.

Golden Takin

The golden takin, a symbol of strength and determination, roams the rugged slopes of Huangshan National Park, foraging for alpine vegetation with its impressive horns.

Chinese Serow

The elusive Chinese serow, a mountain goat-antelope hybrid, navigates the steep cliffs and rocky outcrops of Huangshan National Park, blending seamlessly into its rocky habitat.

Tufted Deer

The tufted deer, distinguished by its tuft of hair and elegant antlers, roams the forests of Huangshan National Park, grazing on leaves and grasses.

Engaging Huangshan National Park

Huangshan National Park offers a network of well-maintained trails that cater to both casual walkers and serious hikers. These trails wind through stunning scenery of granite peaks, pine trees, and cloud-shrouded vistas.

Hiking in Huangshan is particularly unique due to the ever-changing weather conditions that can dramatically transform the landscape within moments. Popular routes like the Eastern Steps provide a more gradual climb, while the Western Steps offer a steeper challenge. Both routes are lined with viewpoints that offer breathtaking panoramas of the iconic jagged peaks.

For those who prefer a less strenuous way to enjoy the beauty of Huangshan, cable car rides are available. These rides provide a relaxing ascent to some of the park’s highest points, offering passengers a bird’s-eye view of the scenery below.

Cable cars like the Eastern Steps Cableway and the Western Steps Cableway are perfect for those who want to save their energy for exploring the summits or for visitors who are limited in mobility but still wish to experience the majesty of the mountains.

Huangshan National Park Trails

The Eastern Steps

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 4.3 miles (7 km) one way with about 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) elevation gain

Description: This trail is a popular ascent route offering a direct path to the East Sea scenic area and the famous Beginning-to-Believe Peak.

Hikers will experience steep stairs and breathtaking views of unique granite formations, ancient pines, and potentially a sea of clouds.

The trail combines natural beauty with physical challenge, making it a rewarding journey to the mountain’s higher regions.

The Western Steps Trail

Rating: Difficult

Distance and Elevation Gain: 8.7 miles (14 km) one way with about 3,937 feet (1,200 meters) elevation gain

Description: The Western Steps are longer and more challenging than the Eastern Steps but offer equally stunning views and less crowded paths.

This trail passes through several famous spots, including the Cloud-Dispelling Pavilion and the Fairy-Walking Bridge, leading hikers through diverse landscapes and offering panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains.

Bright Top Peak

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 0.6 miles (1 km) one way from the cable car station with about 164 feet (50 meters) elevation gain

Description: Bright Top Peak is one of Huangshan’s highest peaks and a central point offering 360-degree views. The trail to the summit is relatively short but steep, leading to breathtaking panoramic vistas of the surrounding sea of clouds, rugged peaks, and lush valleys. It’s a must-visit for photographers and nature lovers.

Lotus Peak

Rating: Moderate to Difficult

Distance and Elevation Gain: 1 mile (1.6 km) one way with about 984 feet (300 meters) elevation gain from the nearest path junction

Description: As Huangshan’s highest peak, Lotus Peak offers an exhilarating climb culminating in expansive views of the entire mountain range.

The trail is steep and requires a good level of fitness, but the reward is unparalleled views of the iconic jagged granite peaks piercing through a sea of clouds, especially stunning at sunrise.

Lotus Peak Trail

Rating: Moderate to Difficult

Distance and Elevation Gain: 1 mile (1.6 km) one way with about 984 feet (300 meters) elevation gain from the nearest path junction

Description: As Huangshan’s highest peak, Lotus Peak offers an exhilarating climb culminating in expansive views of the entire mountain range.

The trail is steep and requires a good level of fitness, but the reward is unparalleled views of the iconic jagged granite peaks piercing through a sea of clouds, especially stunning at sunrise.

Xihai Grand Canyon

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: Varies, up to 4.7 miles (7.5 km) for the full loop with significant elevation changes

Description: The Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon offers a spectacular loop trail featuring deep valleys, towering peaks, and dense forests.

The trail includes a combination of stairs, paths, and occasional narrow passages, with stunning viewpoints along the way.

It’s an immersive experience into Huangshan’s dramatic landscapes, showcasing the park’s natural beauty and geological diversity.


1. What is Huangshan National Park known for?

Huangshan National Park is renowned for its majestic granite peaks, ancient pine trees, and captivating scenery. Apart from pandas, the park is known for its stunning natural landscapes, including dramatic cliffs, deep ravines, and serene hot springs.

Visitors flock to Huangshan to hike its scenic trails, marvel at the sunrise over the sea of clouds, and explore its cultural heritage sites, such as ancient temples and traditional villages. The park’s ethereal beauty has inspired generations of artists and poets, earning it the title of “the loveliest mountain of China.”

Huangshan National Park offers a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the breathtaking beauty of nature.

2. When is the best time to visit Huangshan National Park?

The best time to visit Huangshan National Park is during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild and comfortable.

Average temperatures during these seasons range from 50°F to 70°F (10°C to 21°C) during the day, providing ideal conditions for outdoor activities such as hiking and sightseeing. Spring and autumn also offer clear skies and less rainfall, allowing visitors to fully enjoy the park’s natural beauty and scenic vistas.

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  • UNESCO, Mount Huangshan,, retrieved April 2024.