is one of the five sacred mountains of China and was called Mt. Taihuashan in ancient times for its five main peaks shaped much like a flower. Hua was historically the location of several influential Taoist monasteries, and was known as a center for the practice of traditional Chinese martial arts. Situated in Huayin County, Mt. Huashan is some 120 kilometers (about 75 miles) east of Xian City in Shaanxi Province. This mountain is celebrated for its majestic breath-taking crags, steep paths, beautiful scenery and it is said to be the most precipitous mountain in the world.|
Until recently there was only one way to reach the top of Mt. Huashan since ancient times. Most of the trail is very narrow and steep; some parts are almost vertical. Iron chains have been set up along the path, but courage and an adventurous spirit are still necessary if you decide to climb Mt. Huashan on foot. Recent developments have added two alternate ways of traveling to the summit. Now you can take the ropeway, or ride in a cable car to enjoy the unique scenery of Mt. Huashan.
Mt. Huashan has more than two hundred places of interest and fascinating scenic spots. Its five main peaks, the South Peak (Landing Wild Goose Peak), the West Peak (Lotus Flower Peak), the East Peak (Facing Sun Peak), the Middle Peak (Pure Girl Peak) and the North Peak (Yuntai Peak), each of them has its peculiar scene and moving legend.
The South Peak (Landing Wild Goose Peak)Of the five main peaks, the South Peak (Landing Wild Goose Peak) is the highest at 2,160 meters (about 7,087 feet), it is also the highest peak of the Five Sacred Mountains. When traveling to the top of the peak, you will feel that you can touch the stars in the sky.
Facing Sun Peak, Huashan Mountain, XianThe south side of the Peak has very high cliffs standing erect as if they had been cut by an axe. The summit of the South Peak is the highest point in the sacred mountains and climbers consider it an honor to make it to the Peak. At the summit you will find the Black Dragon Pool and see the Greeting Pines on the southwest cliffs. Around the South Peak are Songhui Peak (Pine Trees and Junipers Peak) and Xiaozi Peak (Filial Son Peak). There is a famous Taoism palace called Jintian Palace, or Baidi Temple. The narrow pass, which is the plank road, is built along the cliff leading to the East Peak. The road is no more than 0.3 meters (about 1 foot) wide and runs above a very deep gorge. The stout hearted can travel this road by hanging on to a chain that is attached to the face of the cliff.
The West Peak (Lotus Flower Peak)At 2,082 meters (about 6,831 feet) above the sea level, the West Peak is a huge granite rock. Since the big rock in front of Cuiyun Palace is shaped much like a lotus flower, it is also called Lotus Flower Peak. The West Peak is the most beautiful and dangerous peak of Mt. Huashan.
The West Peak has numerous tourist spots including Cuiyun Palace (a famous Taoism Palace), Lotus Flower Cave and Axe-hewing Rock. Each site has its own beautiful myth and legend. The legend of Chen Xiang, a filial son, who split the mountain with an axe to save his mother, is quite intriguing. A popular cartoon film called 'Lotus Lantern' was made to portray this legend.
The East Peak (Facing Sun Peak)With a height of 2,090 meters (about 6,857 feet), the East Peak, also called Facing Sun Peak is like a platform available for visitors to view the sun rising. In ancient times the path to the top was full of hardships and danger, but recently steps were built making it comparatively easy to reach the top.
The East Peak is the best place to watch the rising sun but you should start your climb at night if you want to see the wonderful scenery because it takes 4 to 6 hours to reach the top. There are more than ten scenic spots on the East Peak including the natural stone veins on the cliff that resemble a huge palm. The tranquil and serene environment on the top of the Peak will make you feel completely relaxed and happy.
How to Travel
By Ropeway: Yuquan Palace, a famous Quanzhen sect of Taoism Palace at the foot of Mt. Huashan, is generally the starting post to climb the mountain. 2 kilometers (about 1 mile ) east away from Yuquan Palace, there is a some 8-kilometer-long (about 5 miles) cement road to Wamiaogou where you can travel to the top of the North Peak by the ropeway. The ride up only takes about eight minutes and the cost is 60 Yuan for a one way ticket and 110 Yuan for a return ticket. The ropeway is in operation from April to October from 7:00 to 19:00, and from December to March 9:00 to 16:00.
On foot: you can start from Yuquan Palace, and go up along the path to the top of the North Peak, and from here you can go to the other four peaks. It takes about 10 hours to travel to the five main peaks on foot.