Locating in the southern suburb of Zhangjiajie, Zhangjiajie Tianmen Mountain, or Zhangjiajie Heaven's Gate Mountain, is 1,518 meters high. The name of Tianmen came from the famous natural arch which has the highest elevation on this planet. The mountain has charming scenery, giant trees in the old-growth forest and many cultural sites with rich history. It is the natural landscape screen of Zhangjiajie and enjoys a reputation of "the No. 1 Holy Mountain in Western Hunan province".
Zhangjiajie Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park in which the Tianmen Mountain is located, is rated as a national level AAAAA scenic area. It receives four million visitors annually.
☝ Zhangjiajie Tianmen Mountain, photo was taken at the entrance gate of the park
Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park opens from 06:30 to 18:00 in the peak season from March 1st to November 30th and opens from 08:00 to 17:30 in the off season from December 1st to February 29th of the following year.
According to the latest notice from the Development and Reform Commission of Hunan Province, starting from March 1st, 2020, the ticket price of Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park has been reduced from CNY 238 Yuan per person to CNY 225 Yuan per person which includes the admission fee at CNY 62 Yuan per person and transportation cost at CNY163 Yuan per person.
Children with height under 120 cm don't need to purchase tickets of any type; Children who are under 14 years old, seniors who are 65 years old and above, disabled people, military in service and military retired cadres just need to pay half of the transportation ticket to be admitted, meaning admission fee is not required.
Minors who are 14 to 18 years old, seniors who are 60 to 65 years old and full-time college students can purchase half tickets.
Best seasons to visit Tianmen Mountain are spring, summer, and autumn.
In winter, the fog is heavy, and the icy roads on the mountain are slippery, and thus it is not a good time to visit. Besides this, the annual cableway inspection and maintenance start early November and last about one month, many attractions will be temporarily closed because of this and visitor number reduces largely during this time. However, the scenery of Zhangjiajie Tianmen Mountain has its own charm in winter, the snow, the mists, the clouds and the blue sky are all nice and beautiful.
Zhangjiajie Tianmen Mountain has attractions that are quite concentrated, various travel routes that are clearly outlined as well as complete service facilities. With cable cars, escalators and sightseeing buses moving up and down the mountain, visitors do not need to be physically strong to visit here and it is quite suitable for family tour.
The lengthy cableway, transparent glass skywalk, Ghost Valley plank road, and the tunnel elevator all bring visitors with unforgettable experiences. Therefore, Tianmen Mountain is favored by young people and adventurous travelers as well.
Excluding transfer and waiting times, it takes 4 to 5 hours to visit Tianmen Mountain.
☝ Zhangjiajie Tianmen Mountain, photo was taken near the plank road on the mountain top
When visiting Tianmen Mountain, visitors should not miss the following attractions:
➀. The longest cableway in the world------ Tianmen Mountain cableway. It takes half an hour to take the cable car to travel from Zhangjiajie downtown to the mountain top. The first half way is gentle, and the second is a bit rushed. Throughout the journey, travelers can see countless views of towns, villages, rivers, forests and mountains changing quickly one after another. The cable journey is really impressive.
➁. Heaven's Gate or Tianmen Cave. It is a world famous natural arch.
➂. Stairway to Heaven with 999 steps.
➃. Escalators running inside the mountain tunnels. The escalator is divided into upper and lower parts with a total of 12 sections, and the lower part with 5 sections is paralleled to the 999 steps. Additional charge is required to use the tunnel escalator.
➄. Mountain Road with 99 Turns. It is known as one of the most dangerous road in the world.
➅. The Ghost Valley Plank Road and glass skywalks. Hanging above the cliff, the glass skywalks bring visitors with really thrilling experience.
➆. Tianmen Temple
➇. Biye Yaotai Old Growth Forest
☝ Tourist is looking at the sea of clouds standing on the viewing deck near the glass skywalk of Zhangjiajie Tianmen Mountain
There are actually five public transport itineraries making to the Heaven's Gate.😤
🚇 🔃 🚇 Line A with Round Trip Cable Car. ❶ For this option, travelers can take the cable car from the lower station in Zhangjiajie city to go directly to the mountaintop firstly. After going through the mountaintop tour, travelers can then take the tunnel elevator to continue the tour to Tianmen Cave. From Tianmen Cave, travelers can take the Tianmen Cave Express Cable Car to go downhill to the entrance of Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park and then take the shuttle bus to return to Zhangjiajie city center. ❕ Tianmen Cave Express Cable Car opened on March 2020. With the length of 1209 meters, Tianmen Cave Cable Car can transport tourists from the entrance of the park at the foot of the mountain to Tianmen Cave Square on the hillside in just 4 minutes.
🚇 🔃 🚇 Line B with Round Trip Cable Car. ❷ Go through ticket check at the park entrance and then take the Tianmen Cave Express Cable Car to go uphill to take a tour around Tianmen Cave. Take the tunnel escalator to go to the mountaintop. Once having completed the mountaintop tour, travelers can then take the cable care there to go directly to Zhangjiajie downtown.
🚇 🔃 🚇 Line C with Round Trip Cable Car. ❸ Go through ticket check at the entrance and then take the Tianmen Cave Express Cable Car to go uphill to take a tour around Tianmen Cave and then take the tunnel escalator to go to the mountaintop. After the mountaintop tour, take the tunnel escalator to return to Tianmen Cave and then return to the entrance of the park with the Tianmen Cave Express Cable Car and go back to the city with the shuttle bus.
🚇 🔃 🚌 Route D cable car + bus ❹ Going uphill by cable car, and downhill by bus. Firstly, take the cable car from the lower station in the downtown directly to the mountaintop; Secondly, take the escalator down to the Front Cave Square (Dongqian Square); Thirdly, take the sightseeing bus down to the mountain base via the Avenue to Heaven with 99 Turns; Lastly, change to shuttle bus at the gate of the park and return to the city.
🚌 🔃🚇 Route E bus+cable car
❺ Going uphill by bus and downhill by cable car.
Firstly, take the shuttle bus to the entrance gate of Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park from the lower cableway station in the downtown; Secondly, change to sightseeing bus and go up to the Front Cave Square by the Avenue to Heaven with 99 Turns; Thirdly, take the Stairway with 999 steps or the tunnel escalator to reach the Tianmen Cave (need to pay extra); Lastly, take the free escalator to the top of the mountain and use the cable car to return to the city center.
❗ The three lines and two routes cost exactly the same, and the attractions visitors see are exactly the same, except that the order of the tour and the travel experience are a little bit different. Tourists for more travel experience are advised to choose intermodel transport including Route D and Route E. Tourists with tight schedule can use the cable car for both journeys.
☝ The Heaven's Gate, Tianmen Cave, a natural arch with the highest elevation in the world.
It is said that there are gods living on the top of Tianmen Mountain as the mountaintop has the most beautiful scenery. Three core scenic areas are divided on the mountaintop: the eastern line scenic area, the western line scenic area and the central line scenic area. The eastern line scenic area is dominated by old growth forest; the western line scenic area is full of beautiful sights, including thrilling glass skywalks and ghost valley plank Road; the central line scenic area mainly has human made landscape with Tianmen Mountain Temple and Qiu'er Cave as its core. Most tourists would take the west line firstly, then the east line. This way, tourists can travel counterclockwise and complete the tour in two to three hours. You can visit the central line scenic area only if you have time.
Zhangjiajie Tianmen Mountain has been a popular and flourishing Buddhist center in West Hunan province since the Tang Dynasty. There is a Tianmen Altar of Worship in front of the stairway to heaven. On top of the mountain is Tianmen Temple which has the highest elevation among all Buddhist buildings in Hunan Province. Tianmen Mountain Temple holds a sarira from the Sakyamuni Buddha which attracts believers from all over the place come here to visit and worship.
☝ Having fun on the Glass Walkway on Tianmen Mountain.
A. Accommodation is not available inside Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park and visitors are advised to finish the tour in one day as the ticket is validated for one day only. B. Temperature difference between the mountain top and the ground is about 8 degrees Celsius. Visitors are advised to bring additional more clothes with them to visit the mountain. C. There are 365 days for a year but more than 200 days in Tianmen Mountain area are rainy and foggy. Travelers have good luck to see the real appearance of the Tianmen Mountain only on a sunny day. To make sure you will have better mountain view, travelers are advised to check the weather forecast in advance and try to go there on a sunny day. D. There are restaurants on the mountain peak, serving fried and fast food. However, they offer too few choices and the food price is also high. E. To visit Tianmen Mountain in winter, tourists should wear both anti-slip safety shoes and gloves. On the other hand, to visit it in summer, tourists are advised to bring with sunblocks, sun hats, snacks and drinks. F. Each autumn, extreme sport competitions such as wingsuit flying are held on Tianmen Mountain which attract lots of people. For visitors who want to watch such activities please confirm the event schedule in advance so that you can watch such activities as soon as you arrive here. G. The tourist service center at the entrance of Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park provides safe luggage storage. H. There are overwhelming crowds of tourists during winter and summer vacations as well as Labor Day and China National Day holidays (known as the Golden Week). If you happen to visit Tianmen Mountain during these times, please try your best to get up in the early morning to avoid the crowds.