Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Guide

Claimed to be an inspiration for the Hollywood blockbuster film Avatar, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is an amazing temple in nature, built by nature herself. 

As such, the national park hoards many different species of plants, trees, and animals that are magnificent to witness.

In fact, according to Zhangjiajie Tourist guide, 98% of the national park is covered by forestry.

So if you are planning to visit this beauty then in this guide, we’ll be sharing the best places to visit in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, the place’s history, best time to visit, etc.



ParkZhangjiajie National Forest Park
Founded in1982
Things to doHiking, Scenic Drive and many more
Hotels near Zhangjiajie National Forest ParkMount View Cottage, Crown Plaza Zhangjiajie and many more
Entry fee 139 RMP -289 RMP
Camping locationsMultiple Locations

Where Is Zhangjiajie National Forest Park?

This Park is China’s first national park which is located in Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province, within the Wulingyuan Scenic Area. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park attracts visitors at all times.

You can enjoy your visit here at Zhangjiajie National Forest Park amidst the scenic terrain of Zhangjiajie all year around.

About Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Featuring breathtaking viewpoints, unique geological & formations, the Park is among China’s first batch of 5-A-Class tourist attractions.

Encompassing more than 200 square miles, the Park is full of deep canyons, giant peaks, and lush forests that are one of the most prominent geological features of the Park. 

The Park has earned many big titles like the World’s Natural Heritage Site and World Geo-Park for its marvelous scenery and diverse landscape.

The Bailong Elevator and Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge are the two main highlights of the Park.

This Park is a perfect destination for nature lovers, hikers, and adrenaline seekers looking to explore something unique and exciting. 1

Avatar Mountains! Zhangjiajie National Forest

History Of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Before 1978, this park’s area was a forest arm, an area of planting and logging.

In 1980, the local provincial government, realized the importance of the area and documented Zhangjiajie Forest to facilitate tourism.

In 1982, the local government constructed roads and electric lines connecting the national forest to nearby cities.

A section of a railway station ad suggested the Park be set aside as a National Forest Park.

From 1989 to 1999, commercialism took over, and the Park faced an immense increase in visitors.

Also, in 1992, UNESCO named the forest park as a World Heritage Site, along with Wulingyuan Scenic Area, Tianzi Mountain, and Suoxiyu Nature Reserve. 

In 2001, the Park got approved by the Ministry of Land and Resource as Zhangjiajie Sandstone Peak Forest National Geopark.

In 2004, the Park got listed as a UNESCO global geopark for its outstanding geological sites and spectacular landscapes. 

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Things To See In Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

This Park is full of breathtaking visuals and scenic areas that tourists of any age can visit. Here are some top-rated sights to witness in the Park:

Yuanjiajie Scenic Area

Yuanjiajie Scenic Area is one of the most famous sights in this Park. Surrounded by higher peaks, deep valleys, and grotesque mountains, the area, is nothing short but spectacular.

Visitors can take the Bailong Elevator up to the Yuanjiajie Scenic Area or take a hike if they are physically fit.

Other notable highlights of the area are First Bridge Under the Heaven, Lost Souls Platform, and Avatar Hallelujah Mountain. 

Tianzi Mountain 

Tianzi Mountain is one of the unique pieces of landscape in the Wulingyuan Scenic Area.

It offers stunning views of peaks combined with the unparalleled beauty of Guilin, the awesomeness of Mount Hua, and the majesty of Mount Tai.

At the top of the mountain, you can enjoy the panoramic views of the Wulingyuan Scenic Area and the famous four wonders of the area, including the Sea of Clouds, Rays of Sunshine, the Radiance of the Moonlight, and Snow in the winter.

Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge

Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge is the world’s tallest and longest pedestrian bridge in China and worldwide.

Hanging 300 meters above the canyon floor, the bridge offers marvelous views of the surrounding serene nature while creating an experience of being suspended in mid-air.

The bridge can accommodate up to 800 visitors and serves as the stage for Bungee jumping, rope sliding, and other cultural events and shows.

Golden Whip Brook

The Golden Whop Brook is a thin stream in the Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Area famous for its pristine waters, serene surroundings, and stunning hiking trail.

Extending 5,700 meters, the stream winds across the valleys, grotesque mountains, and canyons.

There are many scenic spots along the route, including Golden Whip Rock, Camel Peak, etc.

You can take a hike on the walking path alongside the stream to enjoy the spectacular scenery, spot animals, and take some fantastic photographs.

The best time to visit the stream is from March to November during the ice-free period.


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Adventures at Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (aka “Avatar Mountains”) in China
by u/MsLynn in travel

Best Time To Visit 

Though this Park is an absolute delight to visit in all four seasons, some months are better than others, depending on what you want to experience.

The best time to visit the Zhangjiajie National Forest is April to May and September to October. 

The weather is most comfortable during these months, and the Park is least crowded.

A brief period from the end of October to mid-November is also a great time to visit with a mild climate and fewer people around. 3

Map Of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Walking is the main form of transport in this Park, so make sure to grab a map of the Park in advance to navigate effectively and enjoy the beautiful scenery without the fear of getting lost.

Make sure to download the map in advance as Google is blocked in China. You can download the map of the Park from the official site of the China Discovery.

Just find the map you’re interested in and click download to get the PDF version. 

Hotels Near Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

There are tons of star-rated hotels near this Park that offer decent quality accommodations if you want to save time and avoid the morning crowd.

But, keep in mind that most of these hotels are pretty old and might only be compared to economy standard hotels in the big cities. Here are some closest hotels to choose from: 

  • Crown Plaza Zhangjiajie
  • Pullman Zhangjiajie Hotel
  • Sunshine Hotel & Resort Zhangjiajie
  • Mount View Cottage 
  • Zhangjiajie Tongfu Inn
  • Zhangjiajie Xinyu Hotel

Camping Locations At Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

This Park has no designated campgrounds, and you can pitch your site anywhere you want.

The Park offers different hiking and camping tours of up to four days in the most beautiful areas, allowing you to enjoy the gorgeous scenery and explore the Park on your feet.

For more information or book a tour, click here.  

Weather Of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park 

This Park sits within the continental tropical monsoon climate zone and experiences clear distinctions between the four seasons.

The weather is foggy and humid for more than 200 days per year. Summers are hot and humid, while winter is cold and dry with occasional snow.

Fall brings comfortable temperatures with beautiful scenery, and Spring is the time to see the Park at its freshest.

Make sure to check the current weather forecast before planning a trip to avoid any surprises. 

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Entry Fee & Passes

The entrance fee of this Park was cheap earlier, but now visitors can only purchase a 4-day ticket.

The fee is 248 RMP from March to November, and from December to February, it’s much cheaper at 139 RMP.

If you want to ride the Bailong Elevator, you’ll have to pay an extra 72 RMB, not included in the entry ticket. 

Checklist Of Things To Pack

Knowing what to pack for a trip to this Park is the key to having a pleasant and smooth journey.

Here are some essentials you must pack to make your trip a success: 

  1. Your ID and Documents
  2. A light daypack
  3. Moisture-wicking Clothes
  4. Comfortable Hiking Shoes
  5. Sunscreen & hat
  6. Rain jacket
  7. Binoculars
  8. Camera
  9. Power bank
  10. First-aid kit
  11. Lots of snacks and water
  12. Flashlight
  13. Map


How much time do I need to explore Zhangjiajie National Forest Park?

Unless you’re a hardcore national park lover, 1-2 days are enough to explore the Park and get a decent taste of everything the Park has to offer. 

Is there a shuttle service in the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park?

There’s a free shuttle service in the Park, but they won’t take you to take you everywhere in the Park.

You have to travel on your foot between the designated points most of the time.

What languages are spoken in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park?

Zhangjiajie, also known as the Tujia, is the official language of the Park. People in the Park can’t speak English, so we recommended a guide to avoid has

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  1. https://asocialnomad.com/china/zhangjiajie/[]
  2. https://www.chinahighlights.com/zhangjiajie/travel-tips.htm[]
  3. https://www.chinahighlights.com/zhangjiajie/best-time-to-visit.htm#:~:text=While%20all%20four%20seasons%20in,scenery%2C%20and%20comparatively%20fewer%20people.[]

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