3 Days in Huangshan, China: Ultimate 3-Day Itinerary

3 Days Huangshan Itinerary

Are you going on a trip to China and you have decided to visit Huangshan, Anhui province?

You will not regret it!

Located in southern Anhui province, China, Mt. Huangshan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its stunning granite peaks, pine trees, and seas of clouds.

With an elevation of 1,864 m (6,115 ft), it is home to over 3,000 steps and trails that lead to breathtaking vistas overlooking the clouds and mountain tops.

Mt. Huangshan has a history stretching back millions of years. The unique rock formations were formed by glaciers, wind, rain, and erosion over time.

The area has been an inspiration for Chinese artwork and literature for thousands of years. Mt. Huangshan is often depicted in traditional Chinese paintings and poetry.

Four main scenic areas make up the mountain: the Sea of Clouds in the south, Hot Spring in the northwest, North Sea in the north, and West Sea in the west.

The iconic sea of clouds view can be seen from tops of peaks like Celestial Capital Peak and Refreshing Terrace.- Notable features are the twisted granite pillars and ancient pine trees growing straight out of the rocks on cliff edges. Some pines are over 1,000 years old.

The best times to visit are spring and fall when the temperatures are mild and likelihood of clear mountain views is highest. Summer can be crowded.

So how to visit Huangshan?

Day 1: Huangshan Arrival

Morning: Arrive in Huangshan. Check into your hotel and rest after your journey.

Afternoon: Take a relaxing stroll down the historic Tunxi Ancient Street to appreciate the preserved 900-year-old Huizhou-style architecture.

Tunxi Ancient Street, Huangshan
Tunxi Ancient Street, Huangshan

Evening: Visit the Hu Kaiwen Ink-stick Factory for an interesting look at how ancient Chinese produced ink sticks, a major item used for writing and painting in ancient times.

mixing inksticks

How to get to Huangshan:

There are nonstop flights to Huangshan from major cities like Beijing, Guangzhou, Xi’an and Chengdu, usually 2 flights daily from each city.

You can take high-speed trains from Shanghai (2.5-3.5 hours), Hangzhou (1.5-2 hours), Beijing (5.5-7 hours), and Guangzhou (7 hours).

Huangshan itinerary, best place in China

Day 2: Mt. Huangshan

Today after breakfast, head to Mount Huangshan (Yellow Mountain), the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one of the most beautiful mountains in China. Your memorable Huangshan trip starts!

To save energy and time, you will directly transfer by park bus from the mountain foot to Yungu Temple to take a cableway to upper beautiful sightseeing area of Huangshan Mountain – North Sea Scenic Area which is famous for marvelous precipitous peaks, beautiful giant pine trees and far-reaching vision.

Walk to lofty Begin-to-Believe Peak (1668m) to stretch your eyesight over cloud seas to far distance, and then hike about 40 minutes to Dispelling Cloud Pavilion to look down the Dreamland – West Sea Grand Canyon.

Greeting Pine, Yellow Mountain
Greeting Pine, Yellow Mountain

Walk down along the stone steps to the deeper area of the canyon while enjoying the Avatar-like rising rock peaks, unfathomable cliffs, bizarre stones and tenacious pine trees.

Generally speaking, it takes about 3 hours for an energetic hiker to hike from the Dispelling Cloud Pavilion, via 1st Ring and 2nd Ring to the bottom and return to the starting point. For beginners, children, and senior travelers, you can decide the hiking length on your own according to your physical condition, usually 2 hours for the 1st Ring and 2.5hrs for the 2nd Ring. In the bottom of the canyon, there is also a monorail cable trains for those who don’t want to return by walking to transfer back to the peak area.

If time and energy allow, you can spend about one hour to explore the Sky Sea Scenic Area where you can enjoy the sunset from the second highest peak – Bright Summit (1840m), visit the incredible Flying-over Rock, then return to your hotel on the mountain and have a good rest.

(Please Note: from December to the late March of next year, West Sea Grand Canyon is usually closed for the cold weather and heavy snow. Please feel free to contact us to adjust your itinerary.)

beautiful place to visit in China

Day 3: Huangshan Departure

Get up early (usually around 5am to 6am) to enjoy the magnificent sunrise from Huangshan.

I suggest you watch the sunrise from the Refreshing Terrance which is only a few minutes’ walking from Beihai Hotel.

In good-weather days, you can see clearly the golden light of the sun piercing the mists, and rocky peaks rising above the frothy, ever-changing sea of white clouds. After the sunrise, get back to your hotel for breakfast.

Continue on your wonderful sightseeing on the Yellow Mountain to see the famous Dawn PavilionStone Monkey Watching the Sea on the Lion Peak (1690m). Then walk along the wood path to the cable station to take a cable car to exit the mountain.

Tour ends. Your tour guide will escort you to catch your flight/train to next destination.

Huangshan Hiking Itinerary

1. Hiking Routes and Distances on Huangshan


The hiking routes on Huangshan can be customized according to your days, energy condition and interest, basically for one day, two days or three days. It doesn’t matter a lot to start your hiking from the Front Mountain or the Back Mountain.

1.5 Days Back Mountain + West Sea Grand Canyon Leisure Hiking:

Day 1: Yungu Cableway – Begin-to-Believe Peak – Lion Peak – West Sea Grand Canyon (hiking around 9km/6hrs)
Day 2: Sunrise – Flying-over Rock – Bright Top (hiking around 7km/3hrs)

2 Days Front Mountain + Back Mountain + West Sea Grand Canyon Full Highlights Hiking:

Day 1: Yuping Cableway – Greeting-guests Pine – Lotus Peak – One-line Skye – Bright Top – Flying-over Rock (hiking around 11km/6hrs)
Day 2: Sunrise, West Sea Grand Canyon, Lion Peak, Begin-to-Believe Peak, Yungu Cableway (hiking around 7km/5hrs)

3 Days In-depth Hiking:

Day 1: Mercy Light Pavilion – Half Way Temple – Greeting-guests Pine – Lotus Peak – One-line Skye – Baiyun Hotel (hiking around 14km/7.5hrs)
Day 2: White Cloud Stream, Fairy Walking Bridge, Sanxi Bridge, 2nd Ring, 1st Ring, Dispelling Cloud Pavilion (hiking around 11km/7hrs)
Day 3: Sunrise, Flying-over Rock, Bright Top, Lion Peak, Begin-to-Believe Peak, Yungu Cableway (hiking around 9km/4hrs)

Please feel free to let us know your idea if you have no idea where to start.

2. Accommodation on the Mountain

To stay one night or more on the mountain is very worth doing as you will have more time to enjoy as much as landscape of Huangshan especially the amazing sunset and sunrise.

If you’re planning to stay overnight in Huangshan, I recommend Paiyunlou Hotel that I stayed and there are various accommodation options available to suit different budgets and preferences. Be sure to check out the available options to find the one that best meets your needs.

3. Best Time to Go to Huangshan

Huangshan mountain area features a humid sub-tropical monsoon climate. Summers and Winters are longer than Springs and Autumns. There are plenty of rainfalls, usually more than 180 rainy days through the whole year. It snows often in the Winter days, usually around 50 days per year.

Clouds and fogs occur easily, and go fast sometimes. The average temperature in Summer is around 20°C. In winter days, it will drop to below 10°C.

Basically speaking, Huangshan can be visited all year around. But Lotus Peak, Celestial Capital Peak and West Sea Grand Canyon are not open during Winter days (December to March).

The best time to visit is from March to October. If you want to escape from crazy crowds, you can avoid travelling to Huangshan during Chinese holidays and School summer holidays (July~August).

4. Travel Light and Wear Comfortable

There are a lot of walkings that you can’t avoid on the mountain, so it is very important to travel light to save energy.

Before going up to the mountain, you can just bring a small backpacker to pack up important travel documents, valuables and necessities you will use during the overnight stay, and store your big or heavy luggage in your hotel in Tunxi (Huangshan City), or let your tour guide help you store in a hotel located at the bottom of the mountain.

Recommended packing list: comfortable and breathable clothes, hiking shoes, alpenstock, sunblock, raincoat (May to Oct), small bag and some cashes.

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Camille L.

Passionate about foreign languages, cooking and writing. I wish to share with you the places, the meetings and the gastronomic discoveries which gave relief to my travels.

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