Tianmen Mountain: Stairway to Heaven's Gate

Tianmen Mountain is a magnificent destination in Zhangjiajie, China. It is famous for its blend of natural beauty and thrilling experiences, such as the 999 steps to Heaven and the glass cliff walkways, which captivate the hearts of visitors from around the globe.

Height: 1518.6 m
Opening time: 8 am-6 pm
Location: South of Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province, China

Stone forestStone Forest

Generally, the best time to visit Tianmen Mountain is Spring and Autumn. Both of these two seasons offer cool weather for climbing the stairway to heaven. Between March and June, you can catch the vibrant plants and misty mountains, while between September and November, the weather is sunny and dry, giving you an excellent chance to see the bright scenery of the whole mountain.

Summer between July and August is usually the peak season for sightseeing as it provides a refreshing escape with its cooler weather. If you're traveling there during this period, visiting the mountain earlier in the morning is recommended to avoid crowds and long queues.

Winter falls from December to February. Since the weather can be cold, the accommodation here offers a bargain price than other seasons. And you may be able to photograph the snow-capped Tianmen Mountain without worrying about the crowds. Every visit to this mountain is different and unique in its own way, which means you'll always have an unforgettable journey no matter when you decide to go.

1. Enjoy the Scenic Cable Car Ride

The aerial journey via cableway may become an indelible memory. Tiammen Mountain Cableway is one of the longest Cableways in the world, offering panoramic vistas that will leave you spellbound. It takes about 28 minutes. During the ride, you can have a bird-eye-view of the 999 steps to heaven, the dangerous road with 99 bends, and beautiful forests and mountains.

Scenic Cable Car RideScenic Cable Car Ride

2. Climb Up the 999 Steps to Heaven

At the heart of Tianmen Mountain's allure stands 999 Steps to Heaven, one of the ways to Tianmen Cave. The 999 steps on this staircase, divided into nine parts, range from easy to difficult, with the first five being the most manageable. As you make your way up this holy mountain, keep an eye out for the platforms depicting the five blessings venerated in Chinese culture: prosperity, happiness, long life, power, and luck.

3. Visiting Tianmen Cave

After finishing the stairway to heaven, you can finally reach the Tianmen Caves, known as the "Heaven's Gate". Carved naturally through the mountain is about 131.5 meters tall, 57 meters wide, and 60 meters deep. Legend says it was formed in 263 A.D., and one side of the cliff collapsed suddenly, just like the portal to heaven. As you pass through the imposing rock formations, the ethereal beauty of the caves, with their intricate formations and inspiring views, will leave you in awe.

4. Enjoy the View of Haven-Linking Avenue

Meandering through the heart of Tianmen Mountain, Heaven-Linking Avenue is a scenic roadway that leads you on an enchanting journey. The twisted road offers an easy way for travelers to reach the Tianmen caves if you want to take the easy sightseeing. It looks like a white-lying dragon if you see it from the cable car. Regarding one of the most amazing mountain roads, it is also good for bike riding. Bicycle lovers would certainly enjoy a challenge and conquer such a mountain distance.

5. Explore the Thrilling Cliff Walkaways

Tianmen Mountain has three outstanding Cliff Walkaways, each offering different experiences. Among them, the Walk of Faith stands out as the most famous, crafted with thick glass flooring that grants you a perfect view deep into the valley below. For the best view of the Heaven-Linking Avenue, the newly Coiled Dragon Cliff promises an unforgettable sight from above. The third walkaway, a daring cliff-hanging path, features a suspended bridge connecting two peaks of Tianmen Mountain, providing an adrenaline rush for both photo enthusiasts and adventurous souls.

Thrilling Cliff WalkawaysThrilling Cliff Walkaways

The average tourist spends four to six hours on Tianmen Mountain. Since it is a physically demanding excursion, we advise setting up a whole day for it. Take your time exploring Tianmen Mountain and taking in the breathtaking vistas, and then relax and rejuvenate for the remainder of the day.

1. Price:

March-November: 42 USD
December-February: 37 USD

2. Ticket Types:

Five ticket variants are available: Line A, B, C, and Line 1, 2. The price is the same. The distinction between them pertains solely to the means of ascent and descent from the mountain peak. Regardless of the ticket type, each offers you the same opportunity to fully experience the panoramic beauty of this magnificent park.

Ticket TypeGo UpGo Down
ACable CarHigh-Speed Cable Car
BHigh-Speed Cable CarCable Car
CHigh-Speed Cable CarHigh-Speed Cable Car
1Cable CarBus
2BusCable Car

The high-speed cable car: Established in 2020, was designed for visitors who prefer shorter cable car rides. While the regular cable car journey lasts approximately 28 minutes, the fast cable car gets you there in just 10 minutes.

If you're considering the bus option, be prepared for a bumpy mountain road. Be careful when choosing Routes 1 and 2 if you're prone to motion sickness.

1. Health Considerations

The ascent of Tianmen Mountain's 999 steps can be physically demanding. It is important to assess your fitness level and take breaks as needed. Stay hydrated throughout the climb and listen to your body to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Engaging in regular exercise prior to your visit can help build stamina and prepare you for the journey. Remember to pace yourself and enjoy the journey rather than focusing solely on reaching the summit.

2. Temperature and Attire

Tianmen Mountain's weather can vary, so it is advisable to check the forecast before your visit. Dress in layers to accommodate any temperature changes and wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking long distances. Sun protection and rain gear are recommended to ensure your comfort during the visit. Carrying a small backpack with essentials such as water, snacks, and sunscreen is also advisable.

Tianmen Mountain stands as a gateway to heavenly realms, inviting you to embark on a journey of wonder, spiritual exploration, and natural splendor. From the profound symbolism of the 999 steps to the breathtaking attractions that await at the summit, this natural wonder encapsulates China's rich cultural wonders and mesmerizing landscapes. If you are interested in a tour to China, Tianmen Mountain should be on your bucket list.

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