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You are here: Home » China Hiking » Mount Hua Hiking

Mount Huashan (or Huashan Mountain, Mount Hua) is located in Shaanxi Province, 120 kilometers away from Xian. It is not only as one of the sacred Taoist mountains in China, but also a very challenging mountain for hiking lovers. Mount Huashan is famous for its lofty peaks and steep paths. Some travelers who have walked the Skywalk (Plankroad in the Sky) describe Mount Huashan Hiking as the “Most Dangerous Hike in the World”. Well, this used to be true many years ago when little safe facilities were constructed, such as the cableway, tight wire, handrails. Today, it is available for most travelers to climb from the foot to the top of the mountain.

Huashan Hiking News (updated on December 30, 2019):

(1) Mount Huashan and Plank Road are open 24 hours all year around, but there may be snow during winters. You'd better pack and wear accordingly; (2) There are two cableways on the Mountain which are usually only operated during 07:30~17:00. (3) Accommodation on the mountain is very basic. You can finish the hike and return to Xian in a single day.

Best Mount Huashan Hiking Tour Packages

Below are our travel experts’ handpicked the top Mount Huashan Hiking tour packages which take you to explore with classic experience. The hiking itself usually takes 1 or 2 days to finish according to sections you choose to walk. If you want to do it in a day, you can take cableway up and down to shorten the length. If you have more day, you can climb up along the ancient stairs to the top, which allows you to see the sunrise and sunset. A Mount Huashan tour is perfect extension to both Xian and Luoyang city tour.

Mount Huashan Hiking

4 Days Xian Highlights Tour with Mount Huashan Hiking

Queit down to soak in the wondeful history and culture of ancient Xian. Visit the best attractions in Xian, then take a side trip to hike the classic hiking trail of Mount Huashan.

Difficulty: medium (walking about 6~7 hrs)
Route: Cable Car - North Peak - Canglongling - East Peak - Plank Walk - South Peak - West Peak - Cable Car

Mount Huashan Hiking

2 Days Terracotta Warriors Tour with Mount Hua Hiking

Challenge the breathtaking hiking at the Plankroad in the Sky and other highlighting trails on Mount Huashan after exploring the world famous heritage site - Terracotta Warriors and must-see Ancient City Wall in Xian.

Difficulty: medium (walking about 6~7 hrs)
Route: Cable Car - North Peak - Canglongling - East Peak - Plank Walk - South Peak - West Peak - Cable Car

Mount Huashan Hiking

3 Days Xian Mount Huashan Leisure Tour (Best for Families and Seniors)

How to visit Xian and hike Huashan in a leisure way? Take our private tour package which has your own private vehicle, tour guide as well as featured itinerary.

Difficulty: medium (walking about 5~6hrs)
Route: Cable Car - West Peak - South Peak - Plank Walk - East Peak - West Peak - Cable Car

Mount Huashan Hiking Trails - Connecting Five Peaks

Unlike other typical mountains with one central dominating peak, Mount Hua is spread out into five peaks – South Peak, North Peak, East Peak, West Peak and Central Peak. The North Peak is located alone at the northern part of the whole scenic area, and the rest four peaks are located all together in the south, only hundreds meters from each other.

North Peak (1614m), close to North Peak Cable Car, has is the entrance to other peaks if you hike up the mountain or take North Peak Cable Car. Three sides of North Peak are steep cliffs which are not possible for climbing. Only the southern side is accessible as the start of the trail towards East Peak and Central Peak, on which there are many famous places to explore, such as the Ear Rubbing Cliff, Heavenly Ladders, Sun & Moon Cliff, Black Dragon Ridge, Golden Lock Pass. It usually takes about 1.5hrs to get to East Peak and Central Peak from North Peak.

East Peak (2096m) is a Must-see on Mount Huashan, as well as the best location for sunrise. It also has a wide view of surrounding. It’s eastern side is fearsome cliff while the rest sides are flourishing with ancient trees. Most famous attraction on East Peak is Sparrow Hawk Turning Over (鹞子翻身) and Chess Playing Pavilion.

South Peak (2155m) is the highest peak on Mount Huashan, located between East Peak and West Peak. Standing on the summit of South Peak, you can enjoy the beautiful panoramic views of the rolling mountains, winding Yellow River and Wei River, plains, valleys. The famous Plank Road in the Sky is located on the eastern side of East Peak. Tourist usually visit South Peak after East Peak, then go to West Peak.

West Peak (2082m) is also known as the Lotus Peak, only several minutes’ walking from West Peak Cable Car. It is a giant complete stone made by nature. The west and north sides are so cragged and straight, like peel buy a large knife, which also represents the mountain landform of Mount Huashan. After you climb up on the peak, you could see from a distance of the surrounding mountains rising up and down, clouds and sunglow fluttering lightly. If time allows, you would be lucky to enjoy the most beautiful sunset at this best place (around 18:30)

Central Peak (2073m) is not really like a peak. Actually in the ancient time, people took it as a part of East Peak because it is located at the shoulder of East Peak. There are not many special things to see. You can skip it.

Mount Huashan Peaks

Mount Huashan Peaks (North Peak / East Peak / South Peak / West Peak)

1 Day Hiking

To finish a hike on Mount Huashan in a single day, you’d better get to the tourist center at the foot of the mountain in early morning before 8:30, or you will have to wait in long lines to purchase tickets, ride sightseeing bus and wait for cable car. The tourist traffic usually gets busy after 9:00. There are several bullet trains departing before 8 A.M. from Xian North Railway Station, and arriving at Huashan North Railway Station in 40mins. Try to catch up the earliest two trains (around 6:30 an d 7:30). If you use private car to transfer to Huashan, you also need to depart from Xian before 7 A.M. You should also use cable cars to save time and energy. Below are two suggested 1 Day Mount Hua hiking trails:

1 Day Classic Mount Huashan Hike

Tourist Center – North Peak Cable Car – East Peak – South Peak – West Peak – West Peak Cable Car – Tourist Center
Duration: 6~8 hours (starting from tourist center and ending at tourist center)

This is the classic hiking trail on Mount Huashan which can be done by most people. You will take North Peak Cable car up to the mountain, and start hiking from North Peak to East Peak, South Peak and West Peak, then descend the mountain by West Peak Cable car. Most of the beautiful scenery on the mountain are not missed, including the Plank Walk, Yaozi Fanshen, etc.

4 Days Xian Highlights Tour with Mount Huashan Classic Hike

1 Day Leisure Mount Huashan Hike

Tourist Center – West Peak Cable Car – West Peak – South Peak – East Peak – West Peak – West Peak Cable Car – Tourist Center
Duration: 5~6 hours (starting from tourist center and ending at tourist center)

Taking West Peak Cable cars to ascend and descend is the most leisure and time-saving way to hike Mount Huashan. It is recommended for families with kids and senior tourists. You will take tourist bus to the station of West Peak Cableway, then take a cable car directly up to the summit area of the mountain. Hike West Peak first, then South Peak, Plank Walk, East Peak, and then take West Peak Cable car to descend the mountain.

3 Days Xian Tour with Mount Huashan Leisure Hike

Mount Huashan Hiking Trail Map

Huashan Hiking Map 2024

2 Days Mount Huashan Hiking

If you have 2 days to hike Mount Huashan, you will be able to hike all the walking trails on the mountain and have opportunities to enjoy the precious sunset and sunrise, but it may be a huge pressure to your feet and knees, and some sections of the trails has to be walked twice. To protect your knees and avoid walking repeated trails, we advise you to start hiking up the mountain from Yuquan Temple, via North Peak, East Peak and South Peak, and finish hiking at West Peak, then use West Cable Car to descend the mountain.

Day 1 Tourist Center – Yuquan Temple – North Peak – East Peak
Take park bus (about 15mins) from Huashan Tourist Center to Yuquan Temple (玉泉院), then walk about 20min to the West Gate of Mount Hua. Then climb the stone stairs uphill to Huixin Rock(回心岩). This section is easy with good road condition, but has to take about 2 hours. From Huixin Rock, the real serious hiking starts. The stairs become narrow and steep. You must climb with fully concentration, and hold the iron chains tight. It takes about another 2 hours to get to the North Peak. Take a rest for sightseeing. Then you will leave North Peak to East Peak taking the same route of one day hiking. Accommodate on East Peak.

Day 2 East Peak – South Peak – West Peak – West Peak Cable Car – Tourist Center
Today get up very early to witness the breathtaking sunrise landscape (around 6:20). Then visit the Sunrise Pavilion, Sparrow Hawk Turning Over (鹞子翻身) and Chess Playing Pavilion (about 1hr), then hike about 30mins to the entrance of Plank Road in the Sky. Spend about 30mins to walk the plank road, but may spend more time queuing up in the lines to get down the plank road. Then hike 30mins to South Peak, and another 30mins to West Peak. Sightsee around 30mins on the West Peak, then walk about 20mins to West Cableway. Take a cable car (about 20mins) down the mountain. Hiking ends.

Walk the Plank Road in the Sky

Plank Road in the Sky (长空栈道) is the biggest highlight of Mount Huashan hiking. It is said as one of the most dangerous hiking trails in the world. It was constructed at the South Peak by a Taoist in 700 years ago. Being 4 meters long, 0.3 meters wide, the plank road was constructed on the surface of a vertical cliff. Iron stake are nailed into the cliff, and wire ropes link the stakes together. Narrow planks are placed on the stakes for you to move steps. Upper the plank road, there are another lines of wire rope fixed on the surface of cliff. You can move steps while holding the rope. Note: for your safety, there are safety ropes for rent (¥30/person/time, which is required for travellers walking the Plank Road in the Sky)

Most Important Mount Huashan Hiking Notes

1. Where to Stay on the Mountain

Frankly speaking , Huashan's accommodation conditions are very poor. There are several hotels (actually inns) on the hill that provide basic room facilities, food and drinks. All hotels do not provide private toilets and showers. Most of the rooms are small dormitories that can accommodate 8 to 16 people. Only a few rooms are 2 bed rooms, 3 bed rooms and 4 bed rooms. However, if you want to enjoy the sunset and sunrise, and don't mind the poor accommodation and the high cost, you can spend the night on the mountains.

Camping is allowed on Mount Huashan, but you should not camp in the forest area, not camp on the cliff side of the mountain, not hinder the paths, not punch holes in the constructed area or near tourist faculties and not use fireworks during camping.

2. Huashan Cable Cars

There are two cableways on Mount Huashan – West Peak Taiping Cableway and North Peak Sante Cableway. They can help you save a lot of time and energy. West Peak Cable Car transports you directly to the top area of Mount Hua where you can reach West Peak and South Peak in 15mins, and reach East Peak in 20mins. North Peak Cable Car transports you directly to North Peak where you can walk about 1.5hrs to get to East Peak, then South Peak and West Peak. Our recommendation is to take North Cable Car up to North Peak, then hike up the East Peak, South Peak and West Peak, then descend the mountain by West Cable Car, which is the most classic way to explore Huashan.

3. How to Get to Huashan

You can get to Mount Huashan without much effort by bullet train, coaches or private cars from Xian city. There are about 40 daily high speed trains from Xian North Railway Station to Huashan North Railway Station, which run about only 30-40 minutes to arrive. The station is only 5 km away from Mount Huashan; Over 20 long distance coaches depart from Xian Bus Station to Huashan, which take about 2 hours. 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 local tour guide and driver will escort you to Mount Huashan with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.

4. Best Time to Hike Huashan & Wearing Tips

The best hiking periods of Mount Huashan is April to June and September to Middle November. It’s windy and snowy during December to March of next year, which make it dangerous to walk the stairs. July and August are rainy season as well as the summer school holiday, not good time to hike Mount Huashan.

Wear a pair of comfortable hiking shoes, comfortable clothes for hiking, gloves for hold on to the chains, rain gears. If you plan to accommodate outside the Mount Huashan Scenic Spot and would hike the mountain during night to watch the sunrise, it is advised to prepare your head torch of good quality to light your way.

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