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Tianmen Mountain (Tianmen Shan)
Tianmen Mountain (Tianmen Shan)

Tianmen Mountain (Tianmen Shan)

Yongding, Zhangjiajie, Southern China

The Basics

Most visitors reach the mountain by riding the world’s longest aerial tramway—a 4-mile (7-kilometer) journey that takes about 30 minutes. Once on the mountain, visitors can choose to test their courage on a cliff-hanging walkway or a pair of glass skywalks. A 2-person chairlift ferries visitors to the summit of Tianmen Mountain, and a tourist bus winds along the 99 Bends to a natural cave in the mountain face. Tianmen Mountain features on virtually all multi-day tours of Zhangjiajie.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Tianmen Mountain is popular with outdoor enthusiasts and families.

  • The mountain area is quite large with little signage in English, so it’s a good idea to visit on a guided tour.

  • Dress in layers, as temperatures can vary greatly depending on where on the mountain you are.

  • Public restrooms with squat toilets are located at every major scenic spot on the mountain.

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How to Get There

Tianmen Mountain is situated just south of Zhangjiajie City outside the bounds of the national park. While Zhangjiajie has a small airport, most visitors take a bus or train from Changsha, located about four hours away.

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When to Get There

The period between April and October tends to offer the best weather for taking in the scenery on Tianmen Mountain. You’ll want to visit on a clear day, and September is a good bet. Avoid visiting on Chinese national holidays, as the mountain is hugely popular with Chinese tourists.

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Climb the Stairway to Heaven

Travelers can get a workout during a visit to Tianmen Mountain by conquering the 999 steep and narrow steps known as the Stairway to Heaven. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the top, where you’ll find a water-eroded hole through the mountain, as well as a small cave. While the views aren’t the best, the bragging rights are hard to beat.

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