Tianmen Mountain - the Most Beautiful Mountain in Zhangjiajie
Tianmen Mountain, by Zhangjiajie city, in central China’s Hunan Province, has the reputation of “one of the most beautiful mountains in the world”. Many travelers who have been there were full of praise. There are stunning views, including Tianmen Cave (Heaven's Door), the 99 Bends, vertical cliffs, the thrilling cliff-hanging walkway and glass skywalk, and the world's longest cable car ride. All these make it unquestionably one of the best mountains to visit in China.
- Chinese: 天门山 (Tian Men Shan /tyen-mnn-shan/)
- Location: Yongding District, South of Zhangjiajie City, Hunan Province
- Height: 1,519 meters (4,983 feet)
- Suggested time for visiting: half a day
- Opening hours: 8 AM-6 PM from March to November (Stop ticketing time: 4:30 PM); 8:30 AM- 6 PM from December to February (Stop ticketing time: 4 PM)
- Admission: CNY 258
Highlights of Tianmen Mountain
The World's Longest Cable Car Ride up to the Mountain Top
The best way to reach the mountain is by cable car. The aerial tramway to Tianmen Mountain is the longest in the world at the length of 7.5 km (24,458 feet), taking about 30 minutes. One cable car contains eight people. The cable car starts near Zhangjiajie Bus Station and the Railway Station. The cable car runs at 7:30 in summer and 8:00 in winter. As it’s often very busy, we suggest you arrive half an hour earlier to avoid a long wait. Otherwise you may need to line for 2 hours or even longer. Viewed from the cable car, the scenery is stunning - lush mountain peaks, deep valleys and the 99 Bends (99 sharp curves on a road up to the mountain peak).
Note: The cableway may close when there are thunderstorms, high winds, or heavy snowfalls.
Tianmen Cave – Heaven’s Door and the Portal to the Heaven
The cave is a natural mountain-penetrating karst cave hanging on the towering cliff, like the door to heaven. With a height of 131.5 meters (431.4 feet), a width of 57 meters (187 feet), a depth of 60 meters (197 feet), the unusual cave is grand and magnificent. The highlight of Tianmen Cave is the mystic views of fog and cloud. You’ll feel like traveling in a place with profound questions asked by God. Travelers may need to walk up 999 steps to reach the cave. It will be tried but lucky, because '9' is the biggest number in Chinese culture and 999 means eternality and forever.
The 99 Bends
Rising from 200 meters to 1300 meters, the famous 99 Bends has 99 sharp curves on the road up to Tianmen Cave. It is worth the title – ‘wonder of highway in the world’. The road is built for tourist use, from the mountain foot to the top of the mountain and Tianmen Cave. Tourist buses take passengers from the midway cable car station along some of these 99 bends to Tianmen Cave. The best place to see and take photos of these bends is from the cable car.
The glass skywalk marks the Tianmen Mountain tour climax, which gives a thrilling feeling like walking in the sky. It is absolutely not suitable for the faint-hearted. It is interesting to see people leaning against the cliff as they cross it and scared of the height. On foggy days, it is easier to walk across as you can see nothing below, however, the thrilling feature of the walkways is lost. You can check the weather forecast before heading there. The glass walkways close when they are covered by ice and snow in winter.
Best Time to Visit
The golden time to visit Tianmen Mountain is April to October, as the temperature during this period is moderate and comfortable. December to February is the proper time to appreciate snow scenery on the mountain, and the best time for snow photography. The temperature difference between the foot and top of the mountain is large, so it's necessary to bring some thick clothes to keep warm.
In the morning, take the longest cableway up to Tianmen Mountain. Enjoy the spectacular beauty of a full-day tour with an experienced guide. Test your nerves on Glass Walkway perched at 4,691 feet (1,430 meters). After lunch, climb 999 steps to Tianmen Cave and shuttle down the mountain along a road with 99 bends.
- See more on: One-Day Zhangjiajie Tianmen Mountain Tour
Good to Know
- Comfortable shoes are necessary. A lot of walking is involved in this tour, including 6 kilometers of walking along the cliff walkway and 999 steep steps.
- There are probably long lines. As Tianmen mountain is very famous among Chinese travelers, expect to see large and noisy crowds.
- No English signs here and no English is spoken, so it is not easy to find the way in such a huge park if you travel alone.
- The tourist area is quite BIG. You’re recommended to have a guide to help you deal with all the above hassles and for finding good places for photos.