The Routes to Climb up Mt.Hua can be divided into three Parts: the way below North Peak, the way between North Peak and Jinsuo Guan (Gold Lock Pass), and the way above Jinsuo Guan.
Three route ascent to North Peak
The fastest way
In the east side of Yuquan Temple (East Gate) there is an about 8-kilometer-long cement road leading up to Wamiaogou(瓦庙沟) where you can take the cable car directly to the North Peak of Mt. Hua. And the top station of the ropeway is located on the east cliff of North Peak. The whole ropeway is more than 1,500 meters (about 4,921 feet) long and it takes you seven or eight minutes to reach the top.
The most exciting way
First you get to Wamiaogou(瓦庙沟) by bus from the East Gate, and then get to the North Peak of Mt.Hua through the Road of Circumventing Hua shan(智取华山路),which is a two-kilometers ascending way consisted of 3999 steps.
The traditional way
It is a 30-kilometer path which start from Yuquan Temple, and in this route, you enjoy lots of spots. So if you are able to finish this route, we strongly recommend t the main spots in this way are as follows:
Yuquan Yuan (Jade Spring Temple)(玉泉院)
Yuquan Yuan (Jade Spring Temple), one of the main Taoist temples in China located at the foot of Mt. Huashan. It has the architectural style of the classical gardens in south China.
It is considered as one of the steepest passes of Mt.Hua.
Shaluo is equal to bodhi tree, which is introduced into Mt.Hua from India. Shaluo Ping is a 10-mu flat area, in which there are lots of bodhi trees. And because of its location, it is a good place to see the various unique mountaintops and cliffs.
It is also considered as one of the steepest passes of Mt.Hua. The path is built on the margin of the mountain, so if you wan to pass this path, you have to climb up it with the help of the icon chain.
Laojun Furrow (老君犁沟)
North Peak (Cloud Terrace Peak)
There are precipitous cliffs on all sides of North Peak, making it look like a flat terrace in the clouds, hence the name Cloud Terrace Peak. It is 1,614 meters (about 5,295 feet) high. Three sides are cliffs and one side is to the 'Ca'er Cliff' which is a precipitous path where tourists can climb up only by pressing an ear close to the cliff. In the waist of North Peak trees are luxuriantly green, creating a good rest spot.
The way between North Peak and Jinsuo Guan (Gold Lock Pass)
No matter what way you choose before, at last you will reach North Peak from which you have to climb up the most difficult route in Mt.Hua.
Ladder in the Cloud (天梯)
Blue Dragon Cliff(苍龙吟)
Jinsuo Guan (Gold Lock Pass)
Gold Lock Pass is the throat to Middle Peak, East Peak, South Peak and West Peak.
In the Gold Lock Pass you can see thousands of golden locks in the iron chains. As it is customary for visitors to buy a golden lock, and then lock it in the iron chains on both sides of the Gold Lock Pass for families and friends to pray for their safety and health. Within the mountain gate of Gold Lock Pass, a huge golden lock of about 4 meters (about 4.37 yards) long and 1 .5 meters (about 1.64 yards) high stands in a big rock. It is made of pure copper and forged by 9,999 locks left by visitors.
The way above Jinsuo Guan
After passing the Jinsuo Guan, you enter into the key part of Mt Hua, as you begin to “wander” among the five peaks of Mt.Hua. Here we suggest that you can visit the five peaks in the following way: Jinsuo Guan—Middle Peak— East Peak—South Heaven Gate—South Peak—The West Peak —Jinsuo GuanMiddle Peak (Jade Maiden Peak)
Middle Peak clings to East peak and is in the center of East, South and West Peaks. There is a Taoist temple in the peak named 'Jade Maiden Temple'. Legend has it that the daughter of Qin Mugong (569 B.C.-621 B.C.) loved a man who was good at playing Chinese tung-hsiao (vertical flute) and she gave up the royal life to become a hermit who cultivated her spirituality here, hence the name Jade Maiden Peak. Today Jade Maiden Temple and Jade Maiden Basin for Shampooing can be found on the peak.
East Peak (Facing Sun Peak)
East Peak has an altitude of 2,090 meters forming a platform for visitors to view the sunrise. An astronomical telescope is provided here. So it is the best place to enjoy the sunrise.
South Heaven Gate
In the South Heaven Gate, if you are brave enough, you can attempt to experience the “Changkong Zhandao” (a plank path built along the surface of a vertical cliff) which is about 4 meters long and about 0.33 meters wide. Below is the bottomless gulf which makes tourists shake with fear.Changkong Zhandao
South Peak (Landing Wild Geese Peak)
South Peak is the highest peak of Mt. Hua and also the highest peak among the Five Sacred Mountains of China. Looking around when standing at the peak, surrounding mountains are luxuriantly green; the Yellow River wanders far below and everything seems small. At the top of South Peak, the Yangtian Pool at the summit and the Greeting Pines on the southwestern cliff are two attractive resorts. The most dangerous place is called 'Changkong Zhandao'
The West Peak (Lotus Flower Peak)
West Peak has very high cliffs standing erect with an altitude of 2,086.6 meters. There is a Taoist temple called Cuiyun Palace before which a huge rock looking like a lotus flower comes into view, hence the name Lotus Flower Peak.
There are another seven rocks beside Cuiyun Palace, which is said to be the place where Chenxiang (a main character in the movie Lotus Lantern) ripped the mountain to save his mother (The Heavenly Goddess San Sheng Mu). After visiting the five peaks, tourists can go down the mountain from the path on the east side of West Peak.
Special: Xi Yue Temple
If you have time on your way home, and you are interested in the Taoist culture, you can not miss Xi Yue Temple(西岳庙).The Xi Yue Temple is 5 kilometers north of the foot of Mt. Hua and it is one of the earliest temples in ancient China. Palaces and gardens are its main features, resembling the style of the Forbidden City in Beijing; thus the Xi Yue Temple gained fame as the 'Forbidden City of Shaanxi Province'. Admission to Xi Yue Temple is RMB 20.
1. Preparation for your travel
Enough food. The price of food in Mt.Hua is expensive, but the water is cheap, so you have only to take a bottle of water, and when you drink out the water, you can ask the vendor to fill your bottle with drinking water, which only charge you RMB1.
Map. Before you enter into the Mt.Hua, you can buy a map of Mt.Hua, as there are so many spots scattering in the mountain, you can choose what you like according to your own condition
A pair of glove. In the process of climbing, sometimes you have to hold the iron chain, so you can wear the glove in order to protect your hands.
Medicine. According to your own conditions.
RMB 100 (Apr. 1st-Nov. 30th), RMB 50 (Dec. 1st-Mar. 31st);
RMB 110 (round-trip), RMB 60 (one-way)
3. Safety is the most important thing. Some pathes of Mt.Hua is a little bit dangerous, so think twice before you go.
The reference time for sunrise is 5:00a.m.-6:00a.m. in spring, 4:30a.m.-5:20a.m. in summer, 5:00a.m.-5:20a.m. in autumn, 5:30a.m.-6:00a.m. in winter.
The runtime of the ropeway is: 07:00-19:00 (Apr.-Oct.); 09:00 - 16:00 (Nov.-Mar.).
Where to live
If you want to enjoy the sunrise, you had better live on the top of mountain, and there are lots of hotels on the top of mountain and the charge is not so high, if you ignore the posted price bargain with the owner, at most of the case, the final price is only 1/2 or even lower of the posted price.
Here we recommend several hotels which are near the East Peak where you can see the sunrise.
MIddle Peak Hotel(中峰饭店):
Fee: RMB50 per person (three-bed room), but the condition is not so good.
East Peak Hotel(东峰饭店)
Fee: RMB60~150per person according to different room, but the condition is good.
Zhaoyang Cave Hotel(朝阳洞饭店)
Fee: about RMB50 per person, you can enjoy the sunrise in the hotel
All the hotels in the Mt.Hua do not accept advance booking, so if you want to live on the top of mountain, you should first go to hotel you want to live after you reach the Jinsuo Guan. And the price mainly depends on your skill of bargaining.