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Zhangjiajie Photo Tour: Hiking the Avatar Mountains of Wulingyuan Scenic Area

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Thousands of steps and four burning calves were well worth it to soak in the mystical land of Zhangjiajie.  Known colloquially as the Avatar Mountains, the finger-like pillars of Zhangjiajie are a landform seen nowhere else in the world.  Unique to this area of China, the over 3000 sandstone pillars of Wulingyuan Scenic Area in Zhangjiajie, China have been carefully crafted through the weathering of nature over thousands of years to become the natural skyscrapers we marvel at today.  The area is often shrouded in clouds and mist, giving the mountains a dramatic and mysterious aura that complements their already otherworldly appearance.

Hiking to Huangshizhai

Climbing up to Huangshizhai.  Our first view of the rock pillars along the hiking trail halfway up the mountain.
Dramatic pillars of rock begin to emerge through a gap in the trees, halfway up the mountain.
A lone column bursts through the foliage below.
Admiring the famous Five Fingers Peak from the top of Huangshizhai.
The views just keep coming as we walk along the mountaintop path.
Not even the dreary weather could keep our smiles at bay with views like these.
There are no shortage of panoramic views in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.

Hiking Tianzi Mountain

Descending Tianzi Mountain via cable car.  We hiked up completely in the clouds so we were glad that taking the cable car down offered us these amazing views.
Clouds shroud the mountains in mist on our descent.
Floating through the mountains in our cable car without a doubt provided the best views of the day.  Mountains on all sides.
Shrouded in mystery, it’s easy to see where the creators of Avatar got their inspiration for the floating “Hallelujah Mountains”

Inspired to visit Zhangjiajie? Check out our FREE Zhangjiajie Guidebook!


Have you ever been to the Avatar Mountains of Zhangjiajie?  If so, tell us what you thought!  If not we hope you are inspired to see it with your own eyes.  It’s truly a sight to behold, and a one of a kind experience not to be missed if you are traveling in China.


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Zhangjiajie | Travel Photography | China Travel | Zhangjiajie Photos | Avatar Mountains Photos | Zhangjiajie Travel | Wulingyuan Scenic Area

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  1. Visited during the low season, attractions were not as crowded and lines for the cable car and elevator was not long. The only drawback was the weather, which was cold and drizzling.

    We took the cable car up to Tianzi mountain, shuttle bus to Yuanjiajie then the elavator down. The views are spectacular. My only regret was that we only had limited time to explore the park.

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