Thousands of people visit the steep mountain range everyday due to it’s unique colour and formation. There is a total of five peaks that you can hike to and each has its own breathtaking view to enjoy.
Table of Contents
About Mount Huashan
Mount Hua is located 133km away from the city center of Xi’an in China. The mountain has five main peaks – a North, South, East, West and Center and is noted to be one of the world’s most dangerous places to hike. The infamous plank walk is located at the South Peak and is the most popular tourist attraction among all mountain range.
However, when we visited in October 2019, the plank walk was closed for renovation. We heard from the locals that due to continuous rain and a couple of suicide incidents in the past that they had to re-work on their safety protocol. The locals have also fixed up a temporary photograph booth to take artificial photos of you on the plank walk if you’re interested.
Weather | Best Time to visit Mount Huashan
The best time to visit Mount Hua is from April to October where the weather is cool and comfortable. It’s best to avoid travelling there (or any parts of China) on public holidays such as the Labor Day Holiday (3 days around 1st May) and National Day Holiday (1st – 7th October, also known as their Golden Week).
Remember to check the weather report 1-2 days before going to Mount Hua. You would not want to be there on a day that is foggy and rainy as this will prevent you from being able to see the view at the top.
How to get to Mount Huashan from Xi’an City Center
There are two methods of travelling to Mount Hua you can choose:
1. Book a tour Booking a Day Tour is the most convenient way to tour Mount Hua. The up side is that you wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of finding your way there and there is a guide to show you around the main attractions.
2. Public transportation You will have to take a high speed train from Xi’an North Railway Station to Huashan North Railway Station. Train tickets can be easily booked in advance on trip.com. The cheapest option would be their 2nd class ticket which I believe will be sufficient since it is only a 30min ride. Prices of these tickets start at SGD 10.93. The very first train departs at 6.26am and the last train leaves at 19.58pm. It is recommended that you reach there as early as possible to avoid the tour groups that come in around 9-10am.
Next, take a taxi from Huashan North Railway Station to Huashan visitor center. This will take you about 15 minutes and cost you roughly around 15 yuan. Alternatively, I heard that there is also a free tourist shuttle bus that runs between the station and the visitor center. You can ask around to see if you’re able to find it.
Entrance Fee to Mount Huashan
There are 2 cable cars to the top of Mount Hua, One to North Peak and one to West Peak. Plan your route ahead so that you know which tickets you want to purchase. You should also purchase your tickets online in advance if you’re travelling there independently. This is to avoid the long ticketing queues.
March – November Entrance Fee: 160 yuan Cable Car to North Peak: 80 yuan Cable Car to West Peak: 140 yuan Shuttle Bus to North Peak: 40 yuan Shuttle Bus to West Peak: 20 yuan
December – January Entrance Fee: 100 yuan Cable Car to North Peak: 45 yuan Cable Car to West Peak: 120 yuan Shuttle Bus to North Peak: 40 yuan Shuttle Bus to West Peak: 20 yuan
*The shuttle buses run between the visitor centre and the cable car stations.
North Peak Cable Car Opening Hours: March – November: 7am to 8pm December – February: 8am to 6pm
West Peak Cable Car Opening Hours: March – November: 7am to 7pm December – Feburary: 8am to 5pm
Which Route to Take on Mount Hua?
There are 3 different options that you can consider when exploring Mount Hua.
Option 1: The 4 – 6 hours hike – Take the cable car up to West Peak- Walk counter clockwise (West > South > East > Central > North) – Take the cable car down from North Peak- You can do this the other way as well, which is to go up to the North Peak and down from the West Peak.
Option 2: The 8 – 10 hours hike – Head to Yuquanyuan to hike up to the North Peak (5 hours) – Then walk clockwise to the other 4 peaks (Central > East > South > West) – Take the cable car down from the West Peak
If you want to see the sunrise, the best peak to be at would be the East Peak. It’s recommended for you to start your climb at 9-10pm the night before as it will take you about 7 hours to reach the East Peak (depending on your fitness level).
Option 3: Stay 1 night on Mount Hua – Take a 3 hour hike up to North Peak from the lower cable car station – Then hike clockwise to Central > East > South > West- Watch the sunset from the Wesk Peak – Check into a hotel on any of the peaks (except South Peak as there is no Hotel there) – Walk up early to watch the sunrise from the East peak- Hike back to the North Peak and take the route to go down though Yuquanyuan
It is important to book your hotel ahead of time as rooms are limited
Best Route to take for Mount Huashan
Option 1 is the best route to take if you’re limited on time. It’s the most energy conserving and the best way to see all the 5 peaks within a day. The downside is that you may not have enough time to queue to take a photograph at their vertical ladder drop or visit all the temples as you’d have to be at the North Peak to take the cable car back down before it closes.
Option 3 is probably what I would have gone with if I had the time to stay a night on Mount Hua. It’s the most comprehensive and relaxing way to visit the mountain range and you’d get to enjoy the sunset / sunrise that it has to offer.
If your plan is to be in China for 1 to 2 weeks, check out my full China Itinerary – How to get the Best out of China in 10 Days. It also includes a day trip to Huashan and how you can maximise your time in the country, ensuring that you will not miss out on any main attractions.