Tianmen Mountain has been called “one of the most beautiful mountains in the world” by many travelers who have been there. The stunning views including ‘Heaven’s Door’ and the 99 Bends, vertical cliffs, the thrilling cliff-hanging walkway and glass skywalk, and the world’s longest cable car ride, make it unquestionably one of the best mountains to visit in China. Welcome to Tianmen Mountain – Stairway to Heaven’s Door.
It located by Zhangjiajie city, in central China’s Hunan Province. It’s height is 1,519 meters (4,983 feet). Mountain Tourist Area here is 10 square kilometers (4 square miles).
The World’s Longest Cable Car Ride up to the Mountain Top
The mountain is best reached by cable car. The aerial tramway ride is the longest in the world, taking about 30 minutes for over 7 kilometers. The last part of the cable way is very steep, going up at 37 degrees over sheer cliffs to one of the mountain peaks.
The cable car starts close to the bus station and railway station. It is often very busy, and waiting in line is normal. The cable car starts at 7:30 in summer and 8:00 in winter. Our guide will suggest our customers to arrive there early (half an hour or more before it officially opens) to avoid a long wait. While you are waiting for the cable car, your guide is waiting at the ticket office for the cable car ticket for you.
The scenery viewed from the cable car is fantastic: lush mountain peaks, the 99 Bends (99 sharp curves on a road up to the mountain peak), and deep valleys. One cable car holding eight people, and our guide is with you in the same cable car.
The Cliff-Hanging Walkway
The walkway was built along the edges of this mountain’s summits, clinging to the vertical cliffs. The walkway is about 1.6 kilometers long, about 1,400 meters high. The cliffside loop takes about 90 minutes. At the end of the walkway, there is a hanging bridge linking two peaks.
It is always busy and crowded along the walkway. You may find you need to fight for a place to take photos. Avoiding the crowds is essential for you to enjoy the highlights and take good photos. Your experienced guide knows how to help you get the best out of the experience.
The Glass Skywalk — “the Walk of Faith”
The glass walkway is part of the cliff-hanging walkway, and is the highest section. The skywalk is 60 meters long, with a width of 1.6 meters. On a clear day, walking on it, a sheer drop of thousands of feet below can be clearly seen. It gives a thrilling feeling like walking in the sky. It is definitely not suitable for the faint hearted. It is interesting to see people (scared of the height) leaning against the cliff as they cross it.
On foggy days, it is easier to walk across as you can see nothing below, however the thrilling feature of the walkway is lost. If it rains the day before, there is usually heavy fog at the mountain top.
The 99 Bends
There are 99 sharp curves on the road up to Tianmen Cave, the famous 99 Bends. The road is built for tourist use, taking tourists from the mountain foot to the top of the mountain and Tianmen Cave. Tourist buses take travelers from the midway cable car station along some of these 99 bends to Tianmen Cave. The bus doesn’t stop on the way. It takes about 20 minutes to the cave. The ride, full of sharp turns along vertical cliffs, is not recommended for those who are easily carsick.
Tianmen Cave — ‘Heaven’s Door’ and the “Stairway to Heaven”
Tianmen Cave is a large (30 meters or 100 feet wide) water-eroded hole between two peaks, like a huge doorway in the cliff face. It’s the highest hole of its sort in the world.
There are 999 steep and narrow steps up to the cave — “the Stairway to Heaven”. It is a hard and tiresome climb (about 30 minutes). The views from the cave are quite plain, and it is always crowded, and hard to find a good place for photos. So it’s only really worth doing to say you’ve “climbed the stairway to heaven” and “knocked on Heaven’s Door”.
The World Wingsuit League held the first and second World Wingsuit Championships at Tianmen Mountain, flying through Tianmen Cave!
Good to know
The tour needs more than half a day, even a full day if you want to travel slowly. Our guide will remind you to bring some snacks / a picnic. Food sold at the small restaurants on the mountain is expensive, and the quality is unreliable. We don’t arrange our customers to eat at the mountain restaurants.
April to October is the golden time to travel to Tianmen Mountain, as the temperature during this period is moderate and comfortable. Choose September for drier weather, while there is still warmth at the peaks.
The temperature difference between the foot and top of the mountain is large, so bringing some thick clothes to keep warm is necessary.
The scenery is best on clear days. On rainy days there is usually thick fog (cloud) over the mountains, which covers everything. Mists are usually heavy if it rains the day before. The mountains in mist are a mystical scene, so there is an upside to the cloudiness.
The tour requires a lot of walking, including 6 kilometers of easy walking along the cliff walkway and 999 steep steps. The mountain’s tourist area is BIG. No English is spoken and there are no English signs, so it is not easy to find the way in such a big park if you travel alone. A guide is recommended to help you deal with all the above hassles and for finding good places for photos.
And here is the source (^_^)