Suoxi Valley Nature Reserve in Cili County, Zhangjiajie

Why is Suoxi Valley Nature Reserve So Special?

One of must visit site inside Zhangjiajie National Forest Park with spectacular scenery of grand canyon, caves, forest, mountain and rivers.

Brief Introduction of Suoxi Valley Nature Reserve

Suoxi Yu (Suoxi Valley) Nature Reserve, located in Cili County, Hunan Province – and whose name in the Tujia dialect means “Fog-laden” – is the largest of Wulingyuan Scenic Area’s three subsections, spanning more than 180 square kilometers. The three original subsections of Wulingyuan Scenic Area form a horizontally-oriented triangle whose southern point is Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, whose northern point is Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve and whose eastern point is Suoxi Valley Nature Reserve (a fourth subsection, Yangjiajie Scenic Area, was later added).

Suoxi Valley covers an area of more than 180 square kilometers and is the largest of the three zones. Unlike the solitary stone monoliths of Zhangjiajie, the mountains of Suoxiyu stretch out one after another, like an unfolding scroll of a Chinese painting. However, in the east, there is a collection of caves, for example, Yellow Dragon Cave and Goddess Cave. These are caves made of limestone.

Main Attractions of Suoxi Valley Nature Reserve

Ten-Mile Gallery is a strip gorge located in the northwest part of Suoxi Valley. On both sides of the gorge, many peaks rise in various shapes, looking like “statues” carved by nature. The best-known peak is “Old Gatherer of Herbs”. It is about 300 feet (91 meters) tall and looks like an old man with a basket on his back gathering herbs. It is now the symbol of Ten-Mile Gallery. In addition, Couple Rocks consists of two rocks standing together. The left rock is steep and tall while the right one is gentle and short, resembling a couple whispering gently to each other.

Baizhang Gorge

The gorge is said to be an ancient battlefield. Because of the rough road, it has not been disturbed by too many visitors and the scenery is pristine and wonderful. Visitors may consider going here to experience the steep peaks. Be careful on the roads, however, to avoid injury.

Mandarin Duck Waterfall

Mandarin Duck Waterfall is a 50-meters-high waterfall in two stages, or steps, where the water spills brokenly over over the upper ledge, producing mists so thick that they resemble fog, and where the sheer drop from the lower ledge is so forceful that it produces a thundering sound characteristic of the grandest of waterfalls anywhere.

Baofeng Lake

Surrounded by steep peaks, Baofeng Lake is the only water site in the core scenic area of Zhangjiajie. The scenic spot contains two major parts: Boafeng Lake and Yingwo Village. Visitors may take a boat to enjoy the clear lake reflecting the nearby mountains or admire the ancient temples in Yingwo Village. Moreover, there is a Folk Song Festival held here every April, where young lovers sing folk songs to express their love for each other.

Yellow Dragon Cave is praised as the “All-round Champion Karst Cave in the World”. With an area of about 10 hectares, a length of about 4.7 miles (7.5 kilometers) and a vertical height of about 460 feet (140 meters), it is the largest karst cave in China. Inside are various kinds of stalactites, stalagmites, and stone columns. The best-known site in the cave is the Dragon Palace, which consists of many unusual stones such as the Magic Cudgel. It is the tallest stone pillar in the cave and is more than 200,000 years old.

Best time to visit Zhangjiajie

Generally April through Mid-November is a good time to visit Zhangjiajie. April and October are the two best months to visit Zhangjiajie. The best time to view the red leaves and fall foliage in Zhangjiajie ranges from later October to Mid-November. The weather in spring of Zhangjiajie is pleasant.

How to Get to Suoxi Valley Nature Reserve

Travel with China Dragon Tours (top recommended)

If you want to get rid of hustle of transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers visiting, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Suoxi Valley Nature Reserve in Zhangjiajie with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on travel.

Independent Travel

Take the bus to Suoxi Nature Reserve at Zhangjiajie Central Bus Station, which is close to the Zhangjiajie Railway Station. The buses depart from 06:00 to 17:30 about every 15 minutes in the day. It costs about CNY 12 and takes about 50-60 minutes.

Useful Travel Tips

  1. It is not recommended to visit there during “May 1st” and “October 1st” these two golden vacation weeks. At that time, the hotel reservation and transportation will be in its climax, the price will be much higher than ordinary times.
  2.  Eating and Drinking: The foods sold in scenic area are always more expensive than in downtown area. Be prepared for this.

  3. Amission       Fee Combo Ticket March-November: CNY 225 for adults, CNY 160 for children between 1.3-1.5 meters (4.3 and 4.9 feet) tall;
    December to February: CNY 115 for adults, CNY 85 for children between 1.3-1.5 meters;
    Free entry for children below 1.3 meters but they need to pay CNY 65 for the battery car.

    1. Except Suoxiyu Nature Reserve, the ticket also allows visit to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Tianzi Mountain Natural Reserve, Yangjiajie Scenic Area and a free battery car ride inside and between these scenic spots.
    2. The ticket is valid for 3 days from March to November and 4 days from December to next February.
    3. Visitors may have to pay an extra CNY 3 for insurance.

    Single Site Ticket Yellow Dragon Cave: CNY 100 for adults, CNY 60 for children between 4.3 and 4.9 feet tall, free entry for children under 4.3 feet.
    Labyrinth in Yellow Dragon Cave: CNY 15 for all visitors.

    Baofeng Lake: CNY 96 for adults, CNY 60 for children between 4.3 and 4.9 feet tall, free entry for children under 4.3 feet.

Nearby Attractions

Edited by Bella Ren/任新月