Yellow Mountain in Anhui Province of China has gained its fame for its wondrous pines, weird rocks, sea clouds and hot springs since the ancient times. It is often seen in the famous Chinese paintings due to its unique landscape. While Chinese people go to the front range to see the big Greeting Guests Pine known from their textbooks when they were young, I would like to recommend a beautiful trekking route hidden at back, trekking through the West Sea Canyon. For this hiking, one-night accommodation on the mountain is recommended and you will also enjoy the chance to admire the breathtaking sunrise and sunset.
West Sea Canyon Trekking
West Sea Canyon is surrounded by the celebrated weird rocks of Stone Pillar Peak, Stone Bed Peak, Thin Knife Peak, Flying-over Rock, Cloud Dispelling Pavilion, Purple Cloud Peak, Pine Forest Peak, Nine Dragons Peak, etc. Just the names of the peaks make you want to get packing, don’t they?
Three Popular Hiking Routes:
- Start from the Cloud Dispelling Pavilion and back to the Cloud Dispelling Pavilion. The trekking is beautiful but it is also energy consuming. 3 hours is needed in total to hike from the Cloud Dispelling Pavilion down to the First Ring, then the Second Ring and take the same way back to Cloud Dispelling Pavilion. All the way down to the bottom of the Canyon, you will hike through the plank stone road built into the cliff, which is often vertical steep, and narrow. During the hiking, your eyes will be feasted with the fantastic scenery and tons of weird rocks. Activity Level: Medium. Time Needed: 3 hours.
- Start from the Cloud Dispelling Pavilion to the White Cloud Hotel with a monorail ride. Hike down to the First Ring, Second Ring and get to the Dispelling Cloud Valley to take the monorail which takes you up to Heaven Sea Station. Then walk to the White Cloud Hotel. This route specially fits for travelers living at the White Cloud Hotel and continue the tour to the front range of the mountain. Activity Level: Medium. Time Needed: 2.5 hours.
- This one is the craziest and the most tough route to experience the West Sea Canyon. You will as well start from the Cloud Dispelling Pavilion and hike down to the First Ring, Second Ring and get to the bottom of the Canyon. Then skip the monorail and hike straight towards the Three Stream Bridge to the Fairy Walking Bridge, the essence of the Canyon.The Fairy Walking Bridge(4330ft) is a small stone bridge built into two pillar-like peaks, connecting the two. After crossing the bridge with your shaking legs, there still needs another 30 minutes hiking to the White Cloud Hotel to finish this thrilling and tiring route. Activity Level: Advanced. Time Needed: 6-7 hours
Note: If you are a frequent hiker, you will be fine with the first two trekking routes here. Otherwise, a stick is recommended to help make the hiking easier. And for the 3rd route, it is only for SUPER hikers.
Best time for hiking
March to November is the best time to hike in West Sea Canyon with comfortable weather and magnificent scenery. December to February is winter time and it is cold on the mountain with frequent snow. The trekking on the mountain during this period is not suggested yet the stunning winter view of the whole mountain covered with snow and ice is still worth a go.
Get to West Sea Canyon
The cable car is recommended which takes you to White Goose Ridge to save your energy for the beautiful trekking. Please note that there are several cable cars running on the Yellow Mountain and this one is the Yungu Cable Car.
If you are a hiking fan and happen to plan a China tour with Yellow Mountain, the above information will surely help.
Check out the spectacular Begin-to-Believe-Peak for an ultimate Yellow Mountain Experience
Yellow Mountain offers more than hiking. A visit to the famous Begin-to-Believe Peak is a must. From the hotel to the bottom of the Peak, you will witness quite a lot of well-known stunning sights like the Stone Monkey Looking Over the Sea, Dream Flower Pine, Black Tiger Pine, and Boys Worshipping the God. The sea cloud seen from the top of Begin-to-Believe Peak is just amazing and all you need do is to grab each opportunity for as many as great shots as possible.
Do not miss the stunning sunrise or sunset
Hotels on Yellow Mountain have electronic board with useful information forecasting the chance of seeing the sunrise since the weather on the mountain is quite changeable. The electronic board tells the exact time of sunrise, chance of rain the next morning for travelers’ reference. For sunset, you could tell from the day’s weather.
If you live in Beihai Hotel, the best spot for view of sunrise/sunset is Lion Rock which is around 5-10 minutes’ hike from the hotel.
If you live in Xihai Hotel, the best spot for view of the sunrise/sunset is Purple Cloud Peak, around 10-20 minutes’ hiking to get on the top.
How to get to Yellow Mountain
By Air: Yellow Mountain is located in Huangshan City, which enjoys direct flights with many big and popular tourist cities in China, such as Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai, Guilin, Kunming and Chengdu, making fairly easy access for travelers to go admire the stunning beauty of Yellow Mountain.
By Rail: Alternatively, you could take the well-developed Chinese high-speed trains to get to Huangshan from Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou. Generally, highspeed train ride within 6 hours is acceptable, otherwise it is too long sitting on the train without much to do.
From Huangshan City to Yellow Mountain
You could either hop on a bus at the Huangshan General Bus Station at the cost of CNY20 or take a taxi to the scenic area. Please keep in mind Chinese legal taxis use meters. Otherwise, negotiate a price if the driver refuses to use meters.
If you are a hiking fan, this beautiful hiking route on Yellow Mountain will not let you down. And I hope this guide will not scare you or mislead you. Yellow Mountain is also a popular destination for nature lovers to take in the gorgeous natural beauty.
This guest post was written by Sarah Zhou. Sarah says: “Hi everyone! I’m Sarah from China. I love traveling and sharing my adventures with fellow travelers. My wanderlust has driven me to many parts of China, the must-sees and the hidden gems. Crazy about food, photography and hiking, I hope my experiences could inspire you and provide useful info for your discovery to China.”