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How To Visit Huashan Mountain And Walk China’s Plank Road


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Thia Scholz



If you’re seeking an exhilarating adventure amidst breathtaking natural beauty, then a visit to Huashan Mountain in China should be at the top of your bucket list. Located in Shaanxi province, Huashan Mountain is renowned for its steep cliffs, narrow trails, and the famous Plank Road in the Sky. It offers a unique and thrilling experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.


As one of the Five Great Mountains of China, Huashan is not only a popular pilgrimage site for Buddhists and Taoists but also attracts tourists from all around the world. Its sacred peaks, stunning scenery, and historic significance make it a must-visit destination for those looking to explore China’s rich cultural heritage.


In this article, we will guide you through the various aspects of visiting Huashan Mountain, including how to get there, what to expect when exploring the base of the mountain, the exhilarating hiking trails, the once-in-a-lifetime Plank Road experience, safety precautions to consider, and tips for maximizing your enjoyment of the stunning scenic views.


Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply someone who appreciates awe-inspiring natural wonders, Huashan Mountain offers an unforgettable experience that will leave you amazed and inspired. So, pack your bags, put on your hiking boots, and get ready to embark on this exhilarating journey to one of China’s most remarkable destinations.


Getting to Huashan Mountain

Before embarking on your adventure to Huashan Mountain, you’ll need to first make your way to the city of Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi province. Xi’an is well-connected to major cities in China by air, train, and bus. Once you arrive in Xi’an, you have several options for reaching Huashan Mountain.


By Train: From Xi’an, you can take a train to Huashan North Railway Station, which is the closest station to the mountain. The journey takes approximately one hour, and trains run frequently throughout the day. From the station, you can take a taxi or a shuttle bus to the mountain base.


By Bus: Another option is to take a bus from Xi’an to Huashan. Buses depart from Xi’an Bus Station and the journey takes around two hours. Once you reach Huashan, you can take a shuttle bus or a taxi to the mountain base.


By Car: If you prefer the flexibility of driving, you can rent a car from Xi’an and make your way to Huashan Mountain. The journey takes approximately two hours, depending on the traffic conditions.


By Tour: If you prefer a hassle-free experience, you can join a guided tour from Xi’an that includes transportation to and from Huashan Mountain. This option allows you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey without worrying about logistics.


Once you arrive at the base of Huashan Mountain, you’ll need to purchase an entrance ticket to access the hiking trails and attractions. The ticket price may vary depending on the time of year and the specific areas you wish to explore. It is advisable to check the official website or consult with the local tourism office for the most up-to-date information.


Now that you know how to get to Huashan Mountain, it’s time to prepare for an unforgettable adventure filled with scenic beauty, challenging trails, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. So, grab your hiking gear, embrace the spirit of exploration, and get ready to conquer this magnificent mountain.


Exploring the Base of the Mountain

As you begin your journey to Huashan Mountain, your first stop will be the base of the mountain, where you’ll find a vibrant and bustling area filled with shops, restaurants, and accommodations. The base serves as the gateway to the various trails and attractions on the mountain, and it’s worth taking some time to explore and familiarize yourself with the surroundings before starting your ascent.


At the base, you’ll find a range of facilities and amenities, including souvenir shops where you can purchase mementos of your visit, restaurants serving both traditional and modern Chinese cuisine, and guesthouses offering comfortable accommodation options for overnight stays.


Before starting your ascent, it’s recommended to fuel up with a hearty meal and gather any essentials you may need for the hike, such as water, snacks, and weather-appropriate clothing. There are also lockers available at the base where you can store any belongings you don’t want to carry during the climb.


While exploring the base, you’ll also come across temples and cultural sites that are worth a visit. One notable temple is the Xiyue Temple, which dates back to the Tang Dynasty and is a popular pilgrimage site for those seeking blessings before their ascent. The intricate architecture, colorful decorations, and serene atmosphere make it a must-see attraction.


Additionally, don’t miss the opportunity to admire the stunning natural landscapes surrounding the base of the mountain. The lush greenery, cascading waterfalls, and serene ponds create a picturesque setting that will leave you in awe.


As you immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and gather your energy at the base, take a moment to appreciate the anticipation and excitement that comes with embarking on this thrilling journey. Your adventure to Huashan Mountain is just beginning, and as you take your first steps on the trail, prepare to be amazed by the natural wonders and unforgettable experiences that await you.


Hiking Huashan’s Trails

Huashan Mountain offers a variety of hiking trails that cater to all levels of fitness and experience. Each trail presents its own unique challenges and rewards, allowing you to choose the route that best suits your preferences and abilities.


The most popular trail on Huashan Mountain is the Wangyun Trail, which starts from the Visitor Center at the base of the mountain. This trail takes you through dense forests, up steep slopes, and offers stunning views along the way. It is a moderate-level trail that can be completed in around 2-3 hours, depending on your pace.


If you’re looking for a more challenging adventure, the Zhuque Trail is a great option. This trail is known for its steep ascent and exhilarating cliffside sections, offering a thrilling experience for more experienced hikers. It takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and rewards you with breathtaking panoramic views from the summit.


For those seeking a more leisurely hike, the Yunyou Trail is a gentle and scenic route that takes you through tranquil valleys and past picturesque waterfalls. This trail is ideal for taking in the natural beauty of the mountain at a relaxed pace, allowing you to enjoy the serenity of the surroundings.


As you hike Huashan’s trails, you’ll encounter stone steps, narrow pathways, and occasional steep sections. It is important to remain cautious and watch your footing, especially in areas with potentially slippery surfaces. Wearing appropriate hiking boots with good traction is highly recommended to ensure stability and minimize the risk of accidents.


Throughout your hike, be sure to take breaks, hydrate regularly, and listen to your body. Huashan Mountain’s trails can be physically demanding, so it’s important to pace yourself and not overexert. Take the time to rest and admire the breathtaking scenery around you.


Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination when hiking Huashan Mountain. Embrace the sense of adventure, immerse yourself in nature’s beauty, and let the serenity of the mountain envelop you. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a novice explorer, Huashan’s trails offer a truly unforgettable experience for all.


The Plank Road Experience

One of the most thrilling and iconic experiences on Huashan Mountain is walking the Plank Road in the Sky, also known as the “Plank Walk.” This heart-pounding adventure takes you along a narrow cliffside pathway that is bolted onto the sheer face of the mountain.


The Plank Road is not for the faint of heart, as it requires a combination of physical stamina, mental fortitude, and a sense of adventure. This adrenaline-inducing trek begins after reaching the South Peak of Huashan Mountain, where you’ll be equipped with a safety harness and instructed on safety precautions.


As you navigate the Plank Road, suspended precariously along the cliff, you’ll need to carefully step on the narrow wooden planks and hold on to the chains for support. This unique experience offers unparalleled views of the surrounding landscape, with breathtaking vistas of valleys, peaks, and the sheer drop below.


Walking the Plank Road is an awe-inspiring and once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave you with a profound sense of accomplishment. Along the way, you’ll be accompanied by experienced guides who ensure your safety while sharing intriguing stories and legends about the mountain.


Due to the nature of this experience, it requires reservations and has limited availability. It is advisable to book your slot in advance and check the weather conditions, as the Plank Road may be closed during inclement weather or for maintenance purposes.


While the Plank Road is an extraordinary adventure, it’s important to prioritize safety. Follow the instructions of your guides, use the safety equipment provided, and be aware of your surroundings at all times. It’s recommended to wear comfortable and non-restrictive clothing, as well as secure any loose items that could be dropped or blown away by the wind.


Walking the Plank Road on Huashan Mountain is an experience that pushes boundaries, tests your limits, and rewards you with an incredible sense of achievement. It’s a truly unforgettable adventure that encapsulates the essence of Huashan’s captivating allure.


Safety Precautions

When embarking on your adventure to Huashan Mountain, it is essential to prioritize your safety. The rugged terrain and challenging trails require careful preparation and adherence to safety precautions. Here are some important tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:


1. Proper Gear: Wear sturdy and comfortable hiking boots with good traction to provide stability and prevent slips. Dress in layers to accommodate changing weather conditions and bring essential items such as a hat, sunscreen, and a waterproof jacket in case of rain.


2. Stay Hydrated: Carry enough water with you to stay hydrated throughout your hike. There are also water stations along the trails where you can refill your bottles. It’s important to drink regularly, particularly during the summer months when temperatures can be high.


3. Follow Marked Paths: Stick to the designated trails and follow the signage to avoid getting lost or venturing into unsafe areas. Venturing off the main paths can be dangerous and may lead to accidents or injuries.


4. Be Mindful of Weather Conditions: Check the weather forecast before your hike and be prepared for changing conditions. Avoid hiking during thunderstorms, heavy rain, or foggy weather as it can make the trails slippery and decrease visibility.


5. Pace Yourself: Huashan Mountain’s trails can be physically demanding, especially for those not accustomed to regular hiking. Take breaks, listen to your body, and pace yourself accordingly. Pushing beyond your limits can lead to fatigue, dehydration, and increase the risk of accidents.


6. Use Safety Equipment: When walking the Plank Road, always use the safety harness provided and follow the instructions of the guides. Pay attention to the guidelines regarding weight restrictions and ensure that you are properly attached and secure at all times.


7. Respect the Mountain: Huashan Mountain is not only a natural wonder but also a sacred site with cultural significance. Show respect by refraining from littering, damaging vegetation, or interfering with any historical or religious structures.


8. Stay Alert: Be aware of your surroundings, especially on steep or narrow sections of the trails. Watch your footing, be cautious of loose rocks, and hold onto handrails and chains when available. Stay away from the edges of cliffs and be mindful of other hikers around you.


By following these precautions and using common sense, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience while exploring Huashan Mountain. Your safety should always be the top priority, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty and adventure that this remarkable destination has to offer.


Enjoying the Scenic Views

One of the most rewarding aspects of visiting Huashan Mountain is the opportunity to immerse yourself in its stunning scenic views. As you hike the trails and explore the mountain, you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas that showcase the natural beauty of the area. Here are some tips for maximizing your enjoyment of these spectacular sights:


Take Your Time: Huashan Mountain is not just about reaching the summit—it’s about savoring the journey. Take breaks along the trails to pause and appreciate the awe-inspiring scenery around you. Whether it’s a panoramic view of the valleys below or the magnificent peaks that pierce the sky, take your time to soak it all in.


Choose the Right Time: The best time to capture the mesmerizing views is during sunrise or sunset. The soft golden light casts a magical glow over the mountains, creating a truly mesmerizing atmosphere. Plan your hike accordingly to witness these breathtaking moments and capture stunning photographs.


Explore Different Viewing Points: Huashan Mountain offers several viewing points that provide unique perspectives of the surrounding landscape. Be sure to visit spots such as the East Peak, West Peak, and South Peak to marvel at the different vantage points and the incredible beauty they offer.


Admire the Changing Seasons: Huashan Mountain boasts unique beauty throughout the year, thanks to its diverse flora. In spring, vibrant blossoms adorn the mountain, while in autumn, the leaves transform into a kaleidoscope of colors. Visiting during different seasons allows you to witness the ever-changing beauty of the mountain.


Pause at Scenic Rest Areas: Along the hiking trails, you’ll come across well-positioned rest areas that offer a place to relax and appreciate the views. Take advantage of these spots to catch your breath, take memorable photos, and enjoy a peaceful moment surrounded by nature’s grandeur.


Engage with Local Culture: Huashan Mountain is not just a natural wonder; it’s also steeped in rich cultural heritage. Engaging with the local culture adds another layer of depth to your experience. Visit the ancient temples and shrines, converse with the resident monks, and learn about the mountain’s historical significance.


Embrace Serenity: Finally, as you stand in awe of the breathtaking vistas, take a moment to embrace the serenity of the surroundings. Let the peacefulness of the mountain wash over you, allowing you to connect with nature and find tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life.


Remember, Huashan Mountain offers you a chance to disconnect from the outside world and immerse yourself in the captivating beauty of nature. So, as you embark on your adventure, open your eyes, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and get ready to be captivated by the scenic views that await you at every turn.


Tips for a Successful Visit

A successful visit to Huashan Mountain involves careful planning and preparation. Here are some essential tips to make the most of your experience:


1. Plan Ahead: Research and decide on the best time to visit based on weather conditions, crowd levels, and personal preferences. Consider weekdays or off-peak seasons to avoid the busiest periods.


2. Allow Ample Time: Huashan Mountain is vast, and exploring all its trails and attractions can take several days. Allocate enough time to fully experience the mountain without rushing.


3. Start Early: To beat the crowds and catch stunning sunrise views, start your hike early in the morning. This will also give you more time to complete your desired trails and enjoy the sights without feeling rushed.


4. Be Mindful of Physical Fitness: Huashan Mountain involves steep ascents, challenging trails, and high elevation. Assess your physical fitness and choose trails suitable for your abilities. Pace yourself and take breaks when needed.


5. Dress Appropriately: Wear comfortable clothing and suitable footwear for hiking. Layer your clothing for temperature changes and bring rain gear in case of precipitation. Don’t forget to wear a hat and apply sunscreen for sun protection.


6. Bring Necessary Supplies: Carry essentials such as water, energy-packed snacks, a map or guidebook, a flashlight, and a fully charged phone or camera to capture the memorable moments.


7. Stay Overnight: Consider staying overnight on the mountain to fully immerse yourself in the experience. There are guesthouses and accommodations available for those who want to witness the sunset or sunrise from the summit.


8. Respect Other Hikers: Huashan Mountain can be crowded, particularly during peak seasons. Be mindful of other hikers and maintain proper trail etiquette. Yield to faster hikers, don’t litter, and be considerate of noise levels.


9. Bring Cash: While some places accept mobile payments, it’s advisable to carry cash for purchasing tickets, food, and souvenirs. ATMs and currency exchange services may not be readily available on the mountain.


10. Embrace the Experience: Finally, embrace the adventure and immerse yourself in the unique beauty and culture of Huashan Mountain. Be open to new experiences, interact with locals, and create lasting memories.


By following these tips, you can ensure a successful and enjoyable visit to Huashan Mountain. Prepare well, be mindful of your surroundings, and embrace the remarkable journey that awaits you in one of China’s most captivating natural wonders.



A visit to Huashan Mountain offers a remarkable adventure filled with stunning natural landscapes, exhilarating trails, and cultural treasures. As one of China’s Five Great Mountains, Huashan captures the hearts of visitors with its unique blend of natural beauty and ancient history.


From the moment you set foot at the base of the mountain, you’ll be captivated by the vibrant atmosphere and awe-inspiring surroundings. As you ascend the trails, you’ll encounter breathtaking views of valleys, peaks, and lush greenery that will leave you in awe.


Whether you choose to hike the challenging Zhuque Trail, conquer the famous Plank Road in the Sky, or leisurely explore the gentle Yunyou Trail, Huashan offers an experience suited to every adventurer’s preference.


Throughout your journey, it’s essential to prioritize safety by following the recommended precautions, using proper gear, and respecting the mountain’s rules and regulations. By doing so, you can fully immerse yourself in the astounding beauty of Huashan while minimizing risks.


Beyond the physical aspects, Huashan Mountain also offers a chance to explore the rich cultural heritage of China. Visit the ancient temples, engage with local monks, and learn about the mountain’s history to gain a deeper understanding of its significance.


At the end of your visit, as you descend from the mountain, you’ll carry with you memories of breathtaking views, exhilarating adventures, and a sense of accomplishment. Huashan Mountain will leave an indelible mark on your soul, reminding you of the extraordinary beauty that nature has to offer.


So, whether you’re an avid hiker, a nature lover, or a seeker of adventure, plan your journey to Huashan Mountain and let it inspire and rejuvenate your spirit as you embark on an incredible exploration of one of China’s most cherished destinations.