West Sea Grand Canyon - the Essence of Huangshan Mountain
Type: World Heritage Site, Geologic Formations, Nature and Parks
Best Seasons: from March to November
Recommended Visiting Hours: about 1~7hours
Popular Activities: hiking, photography
Open Hours: 24 hours (only recommended in day time)
Tickets: 190 Yuan per person (covered in Huangshan Mountain ticketand it only opened to tourists during March to November)
Address: Near to Paiyunlou Hotel, Huangshan Mountain, Huangshan City, Anhui Province; 65 km from Huangshan downtown areaWest Sea Grand Canyon Facts
Overview of West Sea Grand Canyon
West Sea Grand Canyon is the perfect place to get you close to the interesting rock formations of Huangshan Mountain. It also leaves you some leisure time to muse over things. There are many formations of stones, rock and peaks with very unique shapes, such as Upside-down Boot, Lady Playing Piano, Dog Watching Sky, Immortal Walking on Stilts, Archway Peak, Nine-dragon Peak, Double Bamboo Shoot Peak, Stone-bed Peak, Stone-pillar Peak and Pine Forest Peak, etc. One needs look very carefully to find those interesting formations. So a local knowledgeable guide will be very helpful if you are interested in these formations. The lush pine trees magically rooting in the crevices and on the bald surface of stone peaks will also amuse your eyes. You can’t help marveling at the magic power of nature. The stone path constructed on steep cliff is the third highlight of West Sea Grand Canyon. It’s no doubt a difficult, narrow and steep path, yet rewarding you fantastic views and sense of exciting adventure. It took 5 years to build the stone path in the canyon by hand and most old way. The works sit in the basket, and used the rope to lift them into the cliff to dig holes first, then installed pillars and flagstones step by step to build the road along the cliff. There was no damage made to the nature. The most exciting part is the left path (descending from Dispelling Cloud Pavilion) of the 2nd Ring where the stone steps are completely hanging over the cliff.
Ways to visit West Sea Grand Canyon
The full circle of Hiking route in West Sea Grand Canyon can be as long as up to 10km, around 6~7 hours. First part is about 3km’s hiking down from Dispelling Clouds Pavilion to the cableway station. This part is the highlight of the canyon. Second part is about 2.5km’s further hiking down from the cableway station to Sanxi Bridge. The third part is from Sanxi Bridge to Baiyun Hotel via Fairy Walking Bridge, which is a uprising hiking around 5km. Travellers can plan the hiking routes accordingly to your physical strengths, time and interests.The routes below just for your reference.
Leisure hiking from Dispelling Pavilion to 1st Ring
This route is recommended for senior travelers, families with kids and those without greater strength to complete the full circle. Start your hiking from the Dispelling Pavilion (near to Xihai Hotel and Paiyunlou Hotel) where you can look down upon the whole deep valley and take some nice pictures of lofty rock formations. Then trail from here is relatively gradual until getting to the 1st Ring. If your time and energy allow, you can walk down from the right path of the 1st Ring and get back from the left path. Then return back to Dispelling Pavilion. It takes about 1.5hrs to finish this route.
1st Ring + 2nd Ring + Xihai Cable Car
This route is recommended for those who have better strength, and also want to explore the Front Mountain area. Also starting from Dispelling Pavilion, hike about 20~30mins to first ring where you can go down either by left path or right path (most travellers suggest right path). Walking about 30~45min, you will reach the 2nd Ring where you are suggested to go the left path which has better views. It takes about 30~45min to finish the left path and rest path to the bottom of the canyon (Paiyunxi Cableway Station). Get some rest at the bottom, then take Xihai Cable Car up to Tianhai Station (about 10min) where you can keep walking about 15mins to Baiyun Hotel, 40mins to Bright Summit, 80mins to Beihai Hotel and 2 hours to Greeting-gust Pine of Front Mountain.
Full Circle (Dispelling Pavilion - 1st Ring - 2nd Ring – Fairy Walking Bridge – Bright Summit)
This route is an in-depth West Sea Grand Canyon exploration. You will explore all the best highlighting sights in the canyon during the 6hrs’ strenuous hiking. It is only recommended for professional hikers. You will hike about 1.5~2 hours from Dispelling Pavilion to the bottom (Paiyunxi Cableway Station) via the 1st Ring and 2nd Ring. From the cableway station, keep walking down about 1hr to Sanxi Bridge (三溪口) where take the left path heading up to the mountain. You have to walk about 2~3hrs along steep and narrow stone steps before getting to the famous Fairy Walking Bridge. The hiking from the cableway station to Fairy Walking Bridge is quite quiet as there are few tourist groups taking this trail. From the Fairy Walking Bridge, there has a 1hr’s hiking to Baiyun Hotel which is not tough while very scenic. After arriving at Baiyun Hotel, you can choose to hike up to Bright Summit or to Turtle Fish Peak, Lotus Peak, Guest-greeting Pine and other famous sights in Front Mountain.
Best Time to Hike West Sea Grand Canyon
Firstly avoid travelling to West Sea Grand Canyon in winter days (December to February of next year) when the canyon is blocked for maintenance. All months from March to November are suitable to hike the canyon. But July and August have bigger chance of rainy and foggy weather days as well as being crowded because of school summer holidays. Middle April to late May is the perfect time to see the wild azaleas. The golden and red scenery of the canyon and other parts on the Huangshan Mountain usually starts from late September to early November when is also a good time for hike. If your time is flexible, you can also avoid visit Huangshan during Chines holidays, such as New Year, May Day, Middle Autumn Festival, National Holiday, Spring Festival, and weekends to enjoy a less crowded adventure.
★By taking the cable car in West Sea Grand Canyon-Save Time and Energy
Xihai (West Sea) Cable Way connects Baiyun Hotel and Bright Summit area to the bottom of West Sea Grand Canyon. The upper station is Tianhai Station (天海站), about 15mins’ walking from Baiyun Hotel. The low station is Paiyunxi Station (排云溪站), about 2 hours walking from Dispelling Clouds Pavilion. It usually takes about 3~4 hours to hike from the bottom of the West Sea Grand Canyon (排云溪站) to Baiyun Hotel or Bright Summit, while the Xihai Cable Way costs only about 10mins from escort from Paiyunxi Station to Tianhai Station where you only need to walk about 30~45mins to get to Bright Summit. The Cable Cars usually operate from 08:00am - 17:00pm. The price is 100RMB in March ~ November and 80RMB in December ~ February.