The Silk Road Travel Guide

The Silk Road Sights

Huashan (Huáshān)

  • Mountain–Sight
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 01/20/2010

Fodor's Review

A few hours east of Xi'an lies one of China's five sacred mountains, a traditional watercolor come to life. The 7,218-foot mountain has stunning scenery, Taoist temples, pines reminiscent of a Dr. Seuss creation, and sheer granite walls that rise shockingly out of the surrounding plains. The five peaks of Huashan reminded ancient visitors of flower petals, hence the name; translated it means "Flower Mountain." Climbing the mountain is not a trip for the fainthearted: unless you're an Olympic athlete, hiking the main trail to the highest South Peak will take a good seven to nine hours, some of it along narrow passes on sheer cliffs. Thankfully, there are cable-car rides to the North and West Peak that bring you most of the way up the trail. Thrill-seekers can walk the plank path, a narrow wooden ledge built around a cliffside thousands of meters above ground level, dubbed the most dangerous trail in the world.

From Xi'an you can take a D train (Y35) or G train (Y55) to Huashan North

Station or take one of the coaches that leave hourly every morning from the parking lot in front of the Jiefang Hotel, across from the train station. Tours can be arranged, but it's better to go on your own to have more time on the mountain. On a rainy day, bring a raincoat or buy one there, don't bring an umbrella. Gusts of wind can come out of nowhere, and you could be yanked off balance while hiking the narrow trails. The danger is so real that locals go so far as to call them death umbrellas.

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Sight Information


Xian, Shaanxi, China

Sight Details:

  • Mar.–Nov., Y180; Dec.–Feb., Y100

Published 01/20/2010


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