Hiking the famous Yellow mountain of China was breathtakingly fabulous but physically torturous!!

The Fabulous Yellow Mountain!
The Fabulous Yellow Mountain!
Ready for the Yellow Mountain Hike
Ready for the Yellow Mountain Hike

Our long awaited hike of China’s Yellow or Huangshan Mountain was the last item on our huge China Odyssey tour and definitely worth the wait.

Huangshan is a mountain range in South East China. The range is composed of material that was uplifted from an ancient sea during the Mesozoic era, 100 million years ago. The mountains themselves were carved by glaciers during the QuaternaryThe area is well known for its scenery, peculiarly shaped granite peaks, Huangshan Pine trees, and views of the clouds from above.

We started our morning with a 30 minute walk to the bus station and in the heat we were all already sweating a bit by the time we got onto the bus. The bus ride took us up into the mountains on a very windy road with bamboo forests all along the way.

crossed valleys and traveled past mountain outcrops and over forests
We crossed valleys and traveled past mountain outcrops and over forests in the cable car

In one of these cable cars we crossed valleys and traveled past mountain outcrops and over forests. It was a breathtaking view and I didnt want the ride to end.

 Yellow Mountain
Mist covered Yellow Mountain

The mist was creeping in slowly, filling the forest and giving everything an eerie feel. As of 1990, there were over 50 kilometers of footpaths providing access to scenic areas for visitors and staffers of the facilities. Luckily there are cable cars that we could use to ride directly from the base to one of the summits. 

Once we reached the summit it was nice and cool, perfect weather for hiking in.

Yellow Mountain Hike
The start of our Yellow Mountain Hike

The Huangshan mountain range has many peaks, some more than 1,000 meters high. The three tallest and best-known peaks are Lotus Peak (Lian Hua Feng, 1,864 m), Bright Summit Peak (Guang Ming Ding, 1,840 m), and Celestial Peak (Tian Du Feng, literallyCapital of Heaven Peak, 1,829 m).

 Yellow Mountain
Mom and I on top of Yellow Mountain
Yellow mountain
The stunning Yellow mountain

The vegetation of the area varies with elevation. Mesic forests cover the landscape below 1,100 meters. Deciduous forest stretches from 1,100 meters up to the tree line at 1,800 meters. Above that point, the vegetation consists of alpine grasslands.

The Huangshan pine is named after Huangshan and is considered an example of vigor because the trees thrive by growing straight out of the rocks. Many of the area’s pine trees are more than a hundred years old and have been given their own names.  The pines vary greatly in shape and size, with the most crooked of the trees being considered the most attractive.

Yellow mountain
Such a beautiful sight!

“To enjoy the magnificence of a mountain, you have to look upwards in most cases. To enjoy Mount Huangshan, however, you’ve got to look downward.

Yellow mountain
Mist covered Yellow mountain

We planned on doing a 3 hour long hike over the mountains and were geared with water, food and even walking sticks for our big adventure.

Yellow mountain
Enjoying the cool misty Yellow mountain

The hike was amazing, the scenery absolutely worth it. The mountain top was shrouded in mist and the many peaks appeared to float on the clouds.

Yellow mountain
Jagged granite peaks cover Yellow mountain

Jagged granite peaks clothed in uniquely shaped pine trees create a spectacular landscape of great interest to artists and photographers.

Walking along the 2m wide paved paths
Walking along the 2m wide paved paths
look over the side of some of these paths, you will see a long sheer drop.
Look over the side of some of these paths, you will see a long sheer drop.

The walkways in Huangshan mountain area are properly engineered 2m wide paved paths over the main routes from the cable car stations and probably on the steps up from the valleys. Handrails and parapets are done well, and that’s a good thing because when you look over the side of some of these paths, you will see a long sheer drop.

Unfortunately the walk included a lot of stairs up and down as we crossed the cliffs and walked through the valleys. These steps ended up being quite hard on our knees so I was suffering a bit by the end of our hike.

The hotels, restaurants, and other facilities at the top of the mountain are serviced and kept stocked by porters who carry resources up the mountain on foot, hanging their cargo from long poles balanced over their shoulders or backs.

porters who carry resources up the mountain on foot
Porters who carry resources up the mountain on foot

After 3 hours of hiking we were all tired and sore. Unfortunately our guide Jay had gotten a bit lost and had to ask for directions. He then told us not to worry, the cable car is just another 15 minute walk away.

 Yellow Mountain
After 3 hours of hiking we are nearly done for!

This turned into the longest 15 minutes of my life as nearly 2 hours later and countless of steps up and down we only reached the cable car.

 Yellow Mountain
Struggling up more steps

We were quite proud of ourselves for surviving this very difficult 5 hour long hike but was in no mood to walk anywhere the rest of the evening. Once we got back to Mr Hu’s hostel we had a shower and mister Hu, the sweet owner cooked us some dinner.

Mr Hu’s hostel
Mr Hu owner of Mr Hu’s hostel

Huangshan is a frequent subject of traditional Chinese paintings and literature, as well as modern photography no wonder it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of China’s major tourist destinations. Together with the Yellow River, the Yangtze River and the Great Wall, it has become one of the great symbols of China and I was glad to end my China adventure with this mountain hike.

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58 comments

  1. This looks like an amazing adventure! I think it must have felt amazing to actually see all that with your own eyes and have the satisfaction of climbing the mountain. The photos make the mountains look scary and yet so appealing, the mist is beautiful over the jagged tops.

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  2. Jeeez .. now I stand with respect to you and Mom… that does not look an easy place to hike… but Kudos to you and again I just love the photos you shared… what a beautiful place…

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  3. It’s good you were able to visit Huangshan, and to have hiked it for so long, despite the momentary being-lost part. The trails look very developed and spacious, and it seems there weren’t that many tourists. Huangshan is definitely the place I’d most like to go to in China.

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  4. You Ladies are amazing! I have tried to keep up with your adventures here online and the photos you taken are stunning but I doubt if they convey even a small view of the beauty how have see.
    And that plus miles covered has me marveling at you two but this one had me wore out just reading it! Thanks for sharing and safe journeys!

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