Shennongjia Nature Reserve: A well-preserved Natural Geopark

With 3,253 square kilometers, Shennongjia Nature Reserve also named Shennongjia Forest Zone is located in western Hubei Province, adjacent to the Wudang Mountain about 5-hour car driving. Featuring an intact subtropical forest ecosystem, Shennongjia is the only well-preserved natural resources including valuable and rare animals and plants. There are over 20 peaks in the reserve, and the highest peak is called Shennongding (Shennong Peak) with 3105.4 meters above sea level-the First Peak in Central China, which makes Shennongjia has a nickname of the Roof of Central China.

Taking about Shennongjia's Origin, there is a myth that a man called Shennong, also known as Yandi, the Chinese ancestors with two horns on his head, tasted all kinds of herbs to heal people, at the same time he engaged to find many useful herbal medicines. Thanks to his great contribution, this place was named for him, called Shennongjia. Now this place is the 28th Chinese World Geopark listed in 2013.

Map of Shennongjia China

Top Attractions of Shennongjia

With pleasant weather of 12℃ annual temperature, Shennongjia is suitable for any time visit and the best time to go is from May to October where you can appreciate rhododendrons blooming, enjoy the climbing and even cycling around. Apart from these activities, there are some featured scenic spots in Shennongjia Nature Reserve needed to visit, like:

Shennongding Scenic Area

As the highest peak Shennongding lies in the southwest of this reserve. With two square kilometers, this area dotted with bamboo forest, rhododendron forest and alpine fir forest along the way to the top and was called four seasons mountain. There is a natural forest nearby, where you can see some waterfalls, canyons and caves. The wild animal shelter adopted some wild animals, like golden haired monkey, spotted deer, etc.

Shennongjia Golden Haired Monkey

Shennongjia Golden Haired Monkey

Shennong Altar Scenic Area

Located in the south gate of Shengnongjia, Shennong altar spot is the place for Chinese people memorize ancestors and worship gods for peace. Any Chinese tourist can pray here. In the center of altar, there is a majestic statue of bull head and human body, the symbol of Shennong standing between mountains with up to 21 meters tall and 35 meters wide. Going down the steps, you can find many bells, drums, tripod and censer which are the tools for sacrificing.

Shennong Altar

Shennong Altar to worship Yandi

Travel Tips

Get to /out of Shennongjia mainly depends on highway when you are from/to Shiya, Yichang and Wuhan city. Mostly first arrive in Xingshan County then take a bus directly to Shennongjia.

  • From Shiyan: with 202 km, there is only one long-distance bus with 7-hour, departing at 7:00 am each day.
  • From Yichang: Each 30 minutes, there is a coach for Xingshan County within 3.5 hours. Then take bus for Shennongjia about 1.5-hour.
  • From Wuhan:Take sleeper at Wuhan Xinhua Road Bus Station at 20:00 and arrive in Xingshan County in next morning about 6:00 am.

Note: Located in Hongping Town with 50 km away from Shennongjia Forest Zone, Muyu Town, Shennongjia Airport was operated its first flight from Shanghai, passing by Wuhan, which means now you can take flight from Wuhan Tianhe International Airport to Shennongjia within 50 minutes.

As the Shennongjia Forest Zone is quite large and each spot is decentralized, so after arriving, you need to take tourist bus to visit them or rant car.

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