Brief Introduction to Hukou Waterfall

Located in the intersection of Shanxi(山西) Province and Shaanxi (陕西) Province, Hukou Waterfall is divided into two parts by the Yellow River. The two parts are not connected by a bridge, so you can visit ether Shanxi part or Shaanxi Part.

Hukou Waterfall is the largest yellowish waterfall in the world and the second largest waterfall in China next to Huangguoshu Waterfall in Guizhou Province. Its tableau has appeared in many Chinese paintings and once printed on the Chinese current of 50-yuan bill. Featured wonders in Hukou Waterfall have attracted incomputable tourists to appreciate the natural splendor, making it a Key National Scenic Spot , an excellent tourist attraction, geological relic reserve , and an AAAA Scenic Spot .

Hukou Waterfall is one of the most extraordinary waterfalls in the world. Standing by the Yellow River, you will be shocked by the crashing waves and thundering waterfalls, as if the Yellow River is howling and surging with its indomitable momentum. In fact, the magnificent Yellow River always symbolizes the spirit of unyielding Chinese People in many literatures and television works.

How Hukou Waterfall Forms

From its headstream in Qinghai Province, the Yellow River runs all the way eastwards, carrying the history and civilization of 5,000 years across the Qin-jin Gorge in the northwest Loess Plateau. As it flows to Hukou Village where the river course is sharply reduced from 500 meters wide to only about 50 meters, the placid river cascades and pours into a stone pond which is more than 30 meters lower than the primitive river course, creating an illusion as if thousands of wild horses which have just been set free, tumbling, ragingly running forward wildly. As a result, this spectacular waterfall appears. With a shape of the spout of a kettle, it was named Hukou (meaning kettle spout literally) Waterfall.

Highlighted Attractions in Hukou Waterfall

Hukou Waterfall presents us such a heart-shaking sight with its ten magical attractions which are called Ten Wonders in Hukou Waterfall. Some attractions can only be seen in the Shanxi part of Hukou Waterfall. Main attractions include:

Amazing Dragon Cave (Long Dong)

One small cave is located in the front-left side of Hukou Waterfall. It is said that there once to be an evil Dragon making trouble and causing floods. When the King Yu came to tame the flood and arrest the dragon, the dragon escaped and scurried into the mountain, leaving this deep cave. Compared with the overview of Hukou Waterfall from higher place, the scenery from Dragon Cave is quite different. Getting down along with the winding stone steps, you will get to a 118-square-meter view-platform which is able to hold more than 20 tourists and considered as the best place to watch the waterfall. The Yellow River seems falling from the heaven with a huge roar and hazy mist. The water beats against the rocks, making a splash. You can also find a cloud of white smoke rise from the bottle.

Admission Fee: Extra 20 RMB

Location: In the Shanxi (山西) part of Hukou Waterfall only

Ten-mile Dragon Trough (Shi Li Long Cao)

There is an about 40-meter wide, 15-meter deep trough inlaid into the riverbed between Hukou Waterfall and Mengmen Mountain. An old history goes that this trough is made by a dragon. Eroded by water for hundreds of thousands of years, the rocks on each side of the Dragon Trough appears in various shapes and patterns, which arouses people’s imagination. On the east side of the trough just beside the waterfall, you’ll notice a whirled cave just above the water shaped by the strong impact of water. The river bottom around the Dragon Trough is made by tough gravel, so wide and flat that a vehicle can pass over. One wonder in Hukou Waterfall called “Sailing on Dry Land” is taking advantage of this special geomorphology.

Location: In the Yellow River and can be seen from both parts

Circumzenithal Arc (Ni Hong Tong Tian)

The sprays due to the repeated impact of Hukou Waterfall, in addition to the refraction effect of the shine always create a beautiful rainbow – honored as Circumzenithal Arc. Sometimes liking a colorful bridge across the river, sometimes liking a rich multicolored decoration above the shrouded mist and sometimes liking a long dragon plunging into the water, the rainbow never fails to show off its beauty. Visiting Hukou Waterfall around 10:00 am in a sunny day, it’s easy to savor an amazing rainbow. If you are lucky enough, you can even see double rainbows.

Location: Both Parts

Featured Activities – Drum Fight

Hukou Drum Fights is a unique folk artistic form originated from the Hukou village and spreading in the northern region of Shaanxi (陕西) province. A poem that “With the momentum of an avalanche, thousands of horses gallop ahead.” is a description to Hukou Waterfall as well as Hukou Drum Fight. Hukou Drum Fight, taking dance, Kungfu and percussion music together, features in powerful voice, fierce rhythm and local culture. The characteristics of the people of the Loess Plateau are integrated in Drum Fight, including vigor, doughtiness, fierceness etc. Drum Fight always occurs in great days and special festivals. If you want to take part in the activities instead of watching the show, the performers will be glad to teach you how to play.

Seasons and Best Time to Visit

Hukou Waterfall appears very differently with different volumes of water from the upper reaches and temperature in each season.

In the early spring, the frozen river melts and drafts with the raining water, likes an army of soldiers and horses galloping to the far. Soon, the peach trees nearby begin to blossom.

In summer, the gap of the waterfall increases dramatically. As the strong turbulent water rushes downwards with a large amounts of sprays and smokes. What a tableau vibrant.

In autumn, the sky is rather blue and the air is quite fresh. Surrounding mountain spring and brook converges into a one stream shows a relatively light music. Bursts of autumn breezes rustling through brings you smell of wildness.

In the winter, ice-decorated Hukou Waterfall reveals its charm. The subsidiary waterfalls freeze into icicles on the top of cliffs, turning to be fantastic images in various postures on different animals, crouching, standing or sitting.

Due to large rainfall in summer and the frozen ice in winter, the scenic spot might be closed for the sake of tourists’ safety. So the best seasons range from April to May and September to November.

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Hukou Waterfall Sightseeing from Dragon Cave (Shanxi, 山西)
Hukou Waterfall Ten-mile Dragon Trough (Shaanxi, 陕西)
Hukou Waterfall Beautiful Rainbow (Shanxi, 山西)
Hukou Waterfall Drum Fights (shaanxi, 陕西)
Hukou Waterfall Hukou Waterfall in Spring
Hukou Waterfall Hukou Waterfall in Autumn

Nearby Attraction - Mengmen Mountain

In the downstream of Hukou Waterfall standing two huge rocks are Mengmen Mountain. The Yellow River is divided into two branches flowing along with two sides of the rocks and then become one again. Legend has it that the two rocks are originally a mountain which was split by King Yu to get a more fluent stream. Mengmen Mountain is 300-meter long, and 10-meter high above the water level. There is a large statue of a turtle carrying a statue of King Yu. On the southern stony cliff is carved with four Chinese words “卧镇狂流” which means that Mengmen Mountain stands steadfastly and unshakably against the rapids of the river.

Admission Fee: 20 RMB

Location: In the Yellow River and can only be reached from Shanxi (山西).

Hukou Waterfall Mengmen Mountain (Shanxi, 山西)

Location & Transportation

Where is Hukou Waterfall

Hukou Waterfall is located at a joint between Shanxi and Shaanxi, approximately 400km from Xian, 140km from Yanan, 135km from Linfen City and 275km from Pingyao. Travelers usually travel to Hukou Waterfall from Xian or Pingyao. The best months to visit the Hukou Waterfall are April, May, September, October and November.

How to Get to Hukou Waterfall

Since there is no flight connecting Hukou Waterfall, but travelers can firstly fly to Xian or Pingyao, then transfer to Hukou Waterfall by driving or taking a coach.

Hukou Waterfall Location Map Hukou Waterfall Map

By Train

Travelers can take bullet trains or regular trains from Beijing, Xian, Taiyuan, Pingyao to Linfen (临汾) or Yan’an(延安), then transfer to Hukou Waterfall.

Beijing Xian (about 2 hours) Pingyao (about 2 hours) Taiyuan
To Linfen D2001(7:52)
G605 (10:28)
D2003(13:18)
D2005(15:29)
D2502(08:10)
D2512(11:07)
D2532(16:12)
D2530(19:07)
D5301(08:13)
D2001(12:10)
G605(14:34)
D2521(16:58)
D2501(07:00)
D2511(12:45)
D5315(16:34)
D2003(17:00)
To Yanan T41 (14:22)
T7 (16:40),
Z43 (20:12)
D5090(08:28)
D5092(13:55)
D5096(15:05)
D5088(20:55)
\ K1573(09:37)
T41(20:12)
K548(22: 15)

By Driving or by Coach

  • 135km From Linfen(临汾): The driving journey from Linfen to Hukou takes about 2~3 hours. There is also daily coach to Hukou from Linfen, taking about 5 hours, with stopover in Jinxian County.
  • 400km from Xian: It costs about 4~5 hours by driving or coach.
  • 380km from Yan’an: There is a coach leaving Yan’an South Station directly for Hukou Waterfall in the early morning.

Travel with China Discovery

If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our knowledgeable local tour guide and skilled driver will escort you to Hukou Waterfall with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.

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