Huangshan Hiking & Walking Tours

To be honest, Huangshan is not one of the highest mountains in China with only the elevation of 1870 meters. But indeed such a “low” mountain offers some impressive and challenging treks, and you begin to feel it is really “high” when you struggle up on the steep staircases.

Unlike some hiking in plateau mountain ranges, such as the Himalaya and Alps, which treks on high snow mountains over 5000 meters and trudge several weeks, Huangshan hiking is a kind of enjoyable walking while sightseeing on up-and-down stone-paved steps to enjoy the fantastic views of the steep peaks and crevices with interesting names, deep gorges, bautiful old pine trees, fabulous sunrise and sunset. Cars and buses can only bring you to the foot area of the mountain, then you need to hike up along the stone steps to different areas on the mountain. Cableways are constructed at some sections to help travelers save energy and time.

Best Huangshan Hiking Tour Packages

The hiking routes on Huangshan can be customized according to your days, energy condition and interest, basically for one day, two days or three days. The mountain can be divided into Front Mountain and Back Mountain. The Front Mountain features dominating peaks, beautiful stone paths and far reaching views. The Back Mountain is famous for idyllic smaller peaks and shapely pine trees. You can get to the mountain top area (Bright Top) from both Front Mountain and Back Mountain. Below are our travel experts’ handpicked top Huangshan Hiking tour packages which covers classic hiking routes, private transfer, experienced hiking guide, etc. Choose one to start your exciting Huangshan hiking trip now!

Huangshan Hiking

3 Days Huangshan Highlights Leisure Walking Tour (Back Mountain + West Sea Grand Canyon)

Tour Pace:Comfortable

Highlights: Begin-to-believe Peak, Lion Peak, West Sea Grand Canyon

If you prefer walking the easier path while not missing the best highlights, this is the ideal trip - short days, classic itinerary, leisure pace, private transfer. You will use park bus and cable cars directly bring you to the sightseeing areas, saving you from unnecessary walking. After a day-and-night trip on the mountain, you will get down the mountain to stroll along the Tunxi Ancient Street to encounter hundred-years' history and admire the "Four Treasures of the Study" in Ink Stone Factory...

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Huangshan Hiking

3 Days Huangshan Classic Hiking Tour (Front + Back Mountain + West Sea Grand Canyon

Tour Pace:Comfortable

Highlights: Greeting Guest Pine, Lotus Peak, Lion Peak

Why should you hike the Front Mountain + Back Mountain together? The Front Mountain features dominating peaks, beautiful stone paths and far reaching views. The Back Mountain is famous for idyllic smaller peaks and shapely pine trees. This tour will take you to explore the best highlights of both Front Mountain and Back Mountain in 2 full days. The hiking pace is neither too tight nor too relaxing. Park bus and cable cars will save you from unnecessary walking, and directly bring you to the sightseeing areas with stunning landscapes and enjoyable hiking experience.

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Huangshan Hiking

4 Days Huangshan Mountain and Local Village Walking Tour (Hongcun to Xidi)

Tour Pace:Comfortable

Highlights: This excellent hiking tour has combined both the classical walking trails on Huangshan Mountain and the beautiful countryside walking from Hongcun Village to Xidi Village, which give you a chance to hike 3 full days with 2 completely different-style experiences. On Huangshan Mountains, you will hike both Front Mountain and Back Mountain. The walking trails are all well-paved with stone steps, and require you to have good physical strength, good knees and strong mind. While, the walking from Hongcun to Xidi is much relaxing. It takes only about 3~4 hours to finish, but you can explore a lot - green jungle, flowing canals, rural villages, quiet country roads, local culture, etc.

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Huangshan Hiking

4 Days Huangshan & West Sea Grand Canyon In-depth Hiking Tour

Tour Pace:Comfortable

Highlights: Front Mountain of Huangshan, Back Mountain of Huangshan, West Sea Grand Canyon

You will conquer the challenging roads and steep peaks with your feet and mind.All the best highlights of Huangshan are covered. The most exciting part is the full-day adventure in the dreamland - West Sea Grand Canyon which is the perfect route for avid hikers to see the most beautiful and untouched scenic of Mt.Huangshan.

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Recommended Huangshan Hiking Routes and Tips

Generally, there are three hiking routes in Huangshan Mountain - the Western Route, Eastern Route and West Sea Grand Canyon Hiking. Choosing the Western Route doesn’t means you have to give up the Eastern Route because they are connected to each other. You can hike up from the Western Route, and hike down from the Easter Route, or go the opposite way. West Sea Grand Canyon, located on the mountain top area, is a highlight. Don’t’ miss out it.

1. Eastern Route (Back Mountain)

Distance: hiking around 14km/7hrs

Route: Yungu Temple - White Goose Ridge - Begin-to-believe Peak - Lion Peak - Beihai Hotel - Bright Summit

The eastern route start with a 7 kilometers’ hiking from Yugu Temple (云谷寺) to White Goose Ridge(白鹅岭). This section is also available for taking cable cars. But this 2.5 hours’ hiking is worth taking for its wild and beautiful scenery. From White Goose Ridge, the mail hiking route is divided into two routes: one takes you directly to the Bright Summit in an hour. Another route, which is strongly recommended, takes you to hike the Beginning-to-believe Peak (始信峰), which takes about 1 hour. The road down the Begin-to-believe peak then will lead you to Beihai Hotel in a half hour where you can hike about 1 hour to Lion Peak(狮子峰) to see the Stone Monkey Watching over the Sea(猴子观海) and Dawn Pavilion. This is area is also very beautiful, as a great place to see Clouds Sea, pine trees and sunrise. Beihai Hotel is much like the tourist center of Back Mountain where there are some shops to get supplies. Hike about 200m from Beihai Hotel, you will get to Monarch Pine (大王松) where there are 2 roads - the left road takes you up to Bright Top in about 45mins, and the right road takes you to Xihai Hotel, Paiyun Hotel and West Sea Grand Canyon in 30mins

Most of travellers choose to take cable car from Yungu Temple to White Goose Ridge instead of walking 2.5 hours to save time and energy as the best highlights of Back Mountain mainly locate around Begin-to-believe Peak and Lion Peak. After hiking Begin-to-believe Peak and Lion Peak, you can get from Beihai Hotel to Dispelling Clouds Pavillion to hike West Sea Grand Canyon. And hike the Bright Top area later.

2. Western Route (Front Mountain)

Distance: hiking around 15km/8hrs

Route: Mercy Light Pavilion - Half Way Temple - Greeting-guests Pine - Lotus Peak - One-line Skye - Baiyun Hotel - Bright Top

The western route starts from Mercy Light Pavilion (慈光阁) to Bright Top (光明顶) with a total distance around 15 kilometers. But you can shorten the hiking by taking the cable car from Mercy Light Pavilion to Jade Screen Pavilion (玉屏楼), which can save about 8 kilometers/3hrs’ walking on the road. This cable transfer is recommended because the landscape on this section is regular. The hiking from Jade Screen Pavilion starts to get interesting since you can visit some famous highlight sites on Huangshan, such as Greeting-guests Pine (迎客松), Celestial Capital Peak (天都峰), Lotus Peak(莲花峰). The Greeting Guest Pine might be the most famous pine tree in China. Many great paintings, photographs, even the cigarette packets and beer labels are themed by this magnificent pine tree. It is also the best place to take photos of the Celestial Capital Peak (天都峰). From the Greeting Pine, walk about 20mins on the up-and-down stone steps to the fork where you can take the right uphill road to hike 1 hour to the top of the Lotus Peak(1864m), the highest peak on the Mount Huang, and 1 another hour to descend the peak to the Lotus Pavilion. You can also miss out the Lotus Peak, and go the left road to get to the Lotus Pavilion to save energy. Leave the Lotus Pavilion and walk down along the One Hundred Cloud Ladder(百步云梯) to a lower valley, then climb up the steeping path of One-Line-Sky(一线天) to get to Turtle Fish Peak. From the peak, keep on hiking about 800 meters to the Bright Top (1860m), the second highest peak on the mountain as well as the central location of the mountain.

3. West Sea Grand Canyon Hiking

West Sea Grand Canyon(西海大峡谷) is a dreamland on Mount Huangshan, a recommended highlight of Huangshan hiking. It is also known as the Mystery Valley for its wildness and fathomless valley.

Half-day hiking starts from Dispelling Cloud Pavilion(排云亭), exploring the 1st Ring(一环) and 2nd Ring(二环), and return to Dispelling Cloud Pavilion, which takes about 3 hours. A full-day hiking connect the hiking route from Dispelling Cloud Pavilion to the bottom (a tourist center) of the West Sea Grand Canyon to the Baiyun New Path (Three Creeks - Fairy-walking Bridge - Baiyun Hotel). The full-day hiking takes about 6~7 hours to finish.

If you want to save time and energy, you can take tram from the tourist center at the bottom of West Sea Grand Canyon directly to upper cableway station near Baiyun Hotel, which charges 100 RMB.

4. How to Plan Your Trip

The hiking routes on Huangshan can be customized according to your days, energy condition and interest, basically for one day, two days or three days. It is suggested to stay at least for one night on the mountain so that you can have enough time to take in all of the sights this beautiful mountain has to offer. But if you have only a day for the Yellow Mountain, or may not be able to find a place to stay in tourist peak season, you can also do the hiking in just a day as long as you start early and take cableways as transfer on the mountain.

1.5 Days Back Mountain + West Sea Grand Canyon Leisure Hiking:

- Day 1: Yungu Cableway - Begin-to-Believe Peak - Lion Peak - West Sea Grand Canyon (hiking around 9km/6hrs)

- Day 2: Sunrise - Flying-over Rock - Bright Top (hiking around 7km/3hrs)

2 Days Front Mountain + Back Mountain + West Sea Grand Canyon Full Highlights Hiking:

- Day 1: Yuping Cableway - Greeting-guests Pine - Lotus Peak - One-line Skye - Bright Top - Flying-over Rock (hiking around 11km/6hrs)

- Day 2: Sunrise, West Sea Grand Canyon, Lion Peak, Begin-to-Believe Peak, Yungu Cableway (hiking around 7km/5hrs)

3 Days In-depth Hiking:

- Day 1: Mercy Light Pavilion - Half Way Temple - Greeting-guests Pine - Lotus Peak - One-line Skye - Baiyun Hotel (hiking around 14km/7.5hrs)

- Day 2: White Cloud Stream, Fairy Walking Bridge, Sanxi Bridge, 2nd Ring, 1st Ring, Dispelling Cloud Pavilion (hiking around 11km/7hrs)

- Day 3: Sunrise, Flying-over Rock, Bright Top, Lion Peak, Begin-to-Believe Peak, Yungu Cableway (hiking around 9km/4hrs)

5. Best Time to Hike Huangshan

Huangshan mountain area features a humid sub-tropical monsoon climate. Summers and Winters are longer than Springs and Autumns. There are plenty of rainfalls, usually more than 180 rainy days through the whole year. It snows often in the Winter days, usually around 50 days per year. Clouds and fogs occur easily, and go fast sometimes. The average temperature in Summer is around 20°C. In winter days, it will drop to below 10°C. Basically speaking, Huangshan can be visited all year around. But Lotus Peak, Celestial Capital Peak and West Sea Grand Canyon are not open during Winter days (December to March). The best time to visit is from March to October. If you want to escape from crazy crowds, you can avoid travelling to Huangshan during Chinese holidays and School summer holidays (July~August).

6. Find the Right Location for Accommodation on the Mountain

Currently there are only 6 hotels on the mountain owned by the state, ranging from 3 Stars standard to 5 Stars - 2 hotels (Yupinglou Hotel and Baiyun Hotel) in the Front Mountain, and 4 hotels (Beihai Hotel, Xihai Hotel, Shilin Hotel, Paiyunlou Hotel) in the Back Mountain. Please kindly knows their prices are usually much expensive than those hotels in the downtown because the demands are very high and all the bricks, tiles, beds and other construction materials as well as the foods were carried to the top of the mountain by local famers with arms by walking many hours as there is no roads for vehicle on the mountain. The South Building of Xihai Hotel is the only 5-star hotel on the mountain. Beihai, Shilin, Baiyun are 4-star, while Paiyunlou and Yupinglou are 3-star.

If you enter the mountain from the front mountain (Mercy Light Pavilion) and walk to the top, you can stay at Baiyun Hotel (on the Bright Summit).

If you take cableway up to visit the Greeting Guest Pine, Lotus Peak and West Sea Grand Canyon together in a day, you can go to stay at Xihai Hotel or Paiyunlou Hotel.

If walk from the back mountain trails (Yung Temple to White Goose Ridge) and visit Begin-to-Belive Peak and Lion Peak in a day, you can stay at Beihai Hotel or Shilin Hotel.

If you take the Yungu Cableway up and visit Begin-to-Believe Peak with West Sea Grand Canyon, also accommodate at Beihai Hotel or Shilin Hotel(they are close).

Don’t worry about sunrise and sunset, because every hotel has a great location for watching sunrise and sunset, such as the Turtle Fish Peak and Bright Summit for Baiyun Hotel, Refreshing Terrace for Beihai Hotel, Purple Cloud Peak for Xihai Hotel and Paiyunlou Hotel.

7. Food on the Mountain

Only hotels provide foods on the mountain, usually Chinese dishes of local Hui-style Cuisine cooked by seasonal vegetables, pork, chicken, beef, fish, etc. Beihai Hotel and Xihai Hotel's buffets are most popular. Western food is usually not provided, but if you ask, Beihai Hotel and Xihai Hotel can arrange. Basic western breakfasts, such as breads, jam and coffee can be offered in Beihai Hotel and Xihai Hotel.

8. What to Pack for Huangshan Hiking

You are supposed to walk for long time on the mountain and the hotels are located on the mountain top areas, so you’d better leave your big luggages at your hotel in downtown or hotel at the foot of the mountain before hiking the mountain. You can bring a small bag to keep your personal belongs and necessities for 1 or 2 days.

  • Comfortable hiking boots or firm running shoes;
  • Light and comfortable pants (trekking pants in winter);
  • T-shirt for summer and long-sleeved shirt and underwear for autumn and winter;
  • Changes of socks;
  • Warm layers for top: fleece, cashmere jumper, sweatshirt/hoodie;
  • Hiking sticks;
  • Some energy bars for the trekking;
  • Sun cream;
  • Rain cape;
  • Bottle waters.

9. Helpful Tips

  • Avoid traveling to Huangshan Mountain on Chinese Holidays. It will be very crowded on the mountain.
  • The weather changes very quickly on the mountain. So if you meet fogs or sudden rains, don’t worry, it may change to sunny very quickly. But sometimes, the fogs can be very heavy and don’t evanish for days. Good luck to you!
  • Prepare some Chinese RMB cash. Credit cards are usually not acceptable on the mountain top.

Recommended Top China Tours including Huangshan Hiking

Have more days to spend in China? Why not travel Huangshan with other popular travel destinations in China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guilin, Yangtze River, etc. Following are several recommended tour packages with private service and budget price.

Breathtaking Scenery of Yellow Mountain - West Sea
9 Days East China & Mt. Huang Tour by High Speed Train

Shanghai / Suzhou / Hangzhou / Mt.Huang

Breathtaking scenery of West Sea Grand Canyon
6 Days Shanghai Tour with Yellow Mountain by Flight

Shanghai / Huangshan

Mt. Huang Climbing
7 Days Shanghai Suzhou Garden Tour with Yellow Mountain Climbing

Shanghai / Suzhou / Huangshan / Shanghai

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