- Visit Zhangjiajie National Forest Park by a private bus instead of the shared one.
Overview – Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is a national forest park located in Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province, China. It is one of several national parks within the Wulingyuan Scenic Area.
The most notable geographic features of the park are the pillar-like formations that are seen throughout the park. Although resembling karst terrain, this area is not underlain by limestones and is not the product of chemical dissolution, which is characteristic of limestone karst. They are the result of many years of physical, rather than chemical, erosion.
Much of the weathering that forms these pillars is the result of expanding ice in the winter and the plants that grow on them. The weather is moist year-round, and as a result, the foliage is very dense. The weathered material is carried away primarily by streams. These formations are a distinct hallmark of the Chinese landscape, and can be found in many ancient Chinese paintings.
In 1982, the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park was recognized as China’s first national forest park with an area of 4,810 ha (11,900 acres). Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is part of a much larger 397.5 km2 (153.5 sq mi) Wulingyuan Scenic Area. In 1992, Wulingyuan was officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Ministry then approved Land and Resources as Zhangjiajie Sandstone Peak Forest National Geopark (3,600 km2 (1,400 sq mi)) in 2001. In 2004, Zhangjiajie Geopark was listed as a UNESCO global geopark.
A spectacular area stretching over more than 26,000 ha in China’s Hunan Province, the site is dominated by more than 3,000 narrow sandstone pillars and peaks, many over 200 m high. Between the peaks lie ravines and gorges with streams, pools and waterfalls, some 40 caves, and two large natural bridges. In addition to the striking beauty of the landscape, the region is also noted for the fact that it is home to a number of endangered plant and animal speciesUNESCO
One of the quartz-sandstone pillars in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, the 1,080-metre (3,540 ft) Southern Sky Column, was officially renamed “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain” in honor of the movie Avatar in January 2010. The film’s director and production designers said that they drew inspiration for the floating rocks from mountains from around the world, including those in Hunan province.
The Bailong Elevator, literally “hundred dragons sky lift”, was opened to the public in 2002. At 326 m (1,070 ft), it is the world’s tallest outdoor lift. It can transport visitors to the top from its foot in less than two minutes. The structure is composed of three separate glass elevators, each of which can carry up to 50 people at a time.