Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Facts
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park was the first national forest park in China, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. It is also famous for the inspiration for the movie AVATAR, the Hallelujah Mountain.
Chinese Name: 张家界国家森林公园
Type: World Heritage Site, National Forest Park, Historic Walking Area
Address: Jinbian Road, Wulingyuan, Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province
Best Seasons: All year round
Recommended Visiting Hours: about 2 days
Opening Hours: Apr – Oct: 08:00~18:00 / Nov – Mar: 08:30 – 17:30
Tickets: 245 Yuan/person (including sightseeing bus fee), valid for 3 days
Why is Zhangjiajie National Forest Park So Special?
- Zhangjiaije National Forest Park is the main part of Wulingyuan Scenic Area which was officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992;
- Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is the first national forest park in China. It is noted for more than 3000 quartzite sandstone pillars and peaks with striking beauty of landscape.
- Zhangjiajie National Forest Park was listed as a UNESCO Global Geopark. The most notable geographic features of the park are the pillar-like formations which can be seen through the park.
- Inspiration for the Movie AVATAR, the well-known Hallelujah Mountain. It shows the real Pandora on earth.
- Travelers can try a lot of featured activities like walking, hiking, photography to catch the best scenery of Zhangjiajie.
Brief Introduction of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, set up in 1982, is the first authorized national forest park in China. The area covers 480 thousand square meters (185 square miles). This park, together with Suoxi Valley Nature Reserve, Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve and Yangjiajie Scenic Area makes up the Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area, also known as Zhangjiajie Scenic Spot.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park has been described differently, such as, majestic, eccentric, tranquil, delicate and wild. The park features grotesque peaks, lucid brooks, abundant fauna and floras and hospitable climate. There are six main attraction spots and over 90 smaller ones in the park to date.
History of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
In 1982 it was recognized as China’s first national forest park with an area of 4,810 ha (11,900 acres). Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is part of a much larger 397.5 km2 (153.5 sq mi) Wulingyuan Scenic Area. In 1992, Wulingyuan was officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was then approved by the Ministry of Land and Resources as Zhangjiajie Sandstone Peak Forest National Geopark (3,600 km2 (1,400 sq mi)) in 2001. In 2004, Zhangjiajie geopark was listed as a UNESCO global geopark.
The most notable geographic features of the park are the pillar-like formations that are seen throughout the park. Although resembling karst terrain, this area is not underlain by limestones and is not the product of chemical dissolution, which is characteristic of limestone karst. They are the result of many years of physical, rather than chemical, erosion.
What to Do in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
The whole of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is huge with many different scenic areas. Plan well in advance to maximize your time in the places you are most interested in. The top-rated scenic areas are Yuanjiajie, Tianzi Mountain, and Gold Whip Stream. These three areas can be visited by tourists any age.
Walking is not hard at the main attractions, where cable cars, elevators, a tram, and shuttle buses are available andconcrete paths and steps have been built. The off-the-beaten-path scenic areas are quieter but require more hiking: Yangjiajie, Yellow Stone Village, and Old House Area.
- Yuanjiajie (Yuan Family Territory) — the most popular and most crowded area
- Tianzi Mountain (Heaven Son Mountain) — famous for its clouds and mists
- Yangjiajie (Yang Family Territory) — newly discovered, and most steep
- Gold Whip Stream (Jinbian Xi) — easy and relaxing walking
- Yellow Stone Village (Huangshi Zhai) — similar to Yuanjiajie, but less spectacular
- Old House Area (Laowuchang) — undeveloped, quiet and natural, a must for photographers
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 Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
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 Zhangjiajie National Forest Park with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on travel.
Zhangjiajie Central Bus Station (near Zhangjiajie Railway Station) has regular tourist buses to Wulingyuan every a few minutes and the bus journey takes about 40 minutes. Bus fare is around CNY 12.
Useful Travel Tips
- Try to avoid visiting during Golden Week and summer holidays.
Accommodation: There are hotels and inns in the park and near the Wulingyuan Entrance, most of which do not provide toiletries. A standard double-bed room costs CNY 300 or so. Suoxi Shanju Light Luxury Resort Hotel is a good recommendation.
Fees for elevator, cable car and tourist train
Items Fees Bailong Sightseeing Elevator (Single Trip) CNY 72; CNY 43 for children between 1.3 – 1.5m. Yellow Stone Village Cable Car Single Trip: CNY 65; CNY 40 for children between 1.3 – 1.5m.
Round Trip: CNY 118; CNY 70 for children between 1.3 – 1.5m.
Tianzi Mountain Cable Car (Single Trip) CNY 72; CNY 43 for children between 1.3 – 1.5m. Yangjiajie Cable Car (Single Trip) CNY 76; CNY 46 for children between 1.3 – 1.5m. Ten-mile Gallery Tourist Train (Single Trip) CNY 38; CNY 24 for children between 1.2 (3.9 ft) and 1.5m
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Entrance Fee
Entrance Fee March to November: CNY 225 for adults and CNY 160 for children between 1.3 – 1.5 meters (4.3 – 4.9 feet)
December to February: CNY 115 for adults and 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. With the validity of three consecutive days from March to November and four consecutive days from December to next February, the admission fee includes Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve, Suoxi Valley Nature Reserve, Yangjiajie Scenic Area and the battery car.
2. Tourists can pay CNY 3 to buy the insurance.
Ticket prices for other attractions:
King Dragon Cave: CNY 65
Baofeng Lake: CNY 96
Yellow Dragon Cave: CNY 100
West Hunan Folk Custom Performance: CNY 228/ 268/ 308