Zhangjiajie National Forest Park was established by the State Council in 1982 as the first National Forest Park of China. It was listed into the World Heritage Directory by UNESCO in 1992, and in 2004, Zhangjiajie was listed as a UNESCO Global Geopark. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is known for its unique cliff mountains, deep valleys and the greenery woods. It is also famous for abundant animals and plant resources. Its forest coverage rate reaches to 98%. An extraordinary biological treasure and natural oxygen bar, it is entitled as the “Nature Museum” and “Nature Botanical Garden”.
Zhangjiajie is in the subtropical climate zone. As an ideal summer resort, the average annual temperature in the Park is 12.8℃, and the average maximum temperature in the summer is 16.8℃. The Park has currently developed four scenic areas including Huangshizhai, Yaozizhai, Golden Whip Brook and Yuanjiajie.
Huangshizhai is the largest viewing platform of Zhangjiajie. At an elevation of 1300 m, the platform can provide an overall panorama of the Park. A common saying goes that: “it is no avail of you trip to Zhangjiajie, unless you come to the summit of Huangshizhai.” There’s a tale about ZhangLiang (250-186 B.C.), a famous officer of the Han Dynasty. It’s said that Zhang Liang practiced Taoism here and met with a mishap, and was rescued by Huangshi Taoist, who became his master later. Thus this place was named after the Taoist. In the ancient times, many hermits lived here to avoid wars and chaos.
Golden Whip Brook has extremely beautiful and elegant ecological environment. Many famous Chinese TV series and movies including “Journey to the West” were filmed here. It is known as “the most beautiful canyons in the world”. The main scenic spots in this area include Greeting Rock, Golden Whip Rock, Purple Weed Pond, Thousands of Miles’ Meeting and Water Around Four Gates, etc.
The Second National Class AAAAA Scenery Spot is Mount Tianman. Tourists can ascend on the top of the Mount Tianman by taking the touring ropeway, experiencig the excitement of flying over the clouds. They can feast their eyes with the panoramic viewing of Zhangjiajie, and experience the proud and freedom of standing at the highest peak. They can also take the smaller ropeway from the top of the peak to the Cherry Bay, flying over the trees and enjoying the natural garden in the air. The Mount Tianmen Temple shall take the tourists close to the Buddhism and experience the solemn of the Temple which has witnessed thousands years’ time. For tourists who like challenge and excitement, the west tourist route of Ghost Plank Road where they can scream heartily is a good choice. Lingxiao Platform (Platform over the Sky) is the place where the tourists can enjoy city scenery and the magnificent landscape. When they get to the Middle station of the ropeway, they can transfer to the sightseeing bus to experience the unique road with 99 turnings. The following destination is Tianmen Cave where the tourists can experience the unique heritage of the nature. Then they can take the sightseeing bus back to the Middle Station of the Ropeway and take the ropeway to return to the city.
The forest of Garden in the Air at the top of the Mount Tianmen is the primeval forest, in which grow many rare species. Besides, Mount Tianmen is full of kinds of fruits, in January there is “Wineuuu-ice fruit”, in February there’s “Bang Milk berry”;strawberry follows in the March, and in April, comes the loquat, and then comes the cherry in May. Peaches are ripe in June, and pear in July; In August, carambola is ready and in September, Chestnut and wild litchi become ripe. In October, Laba melon is eaten; and when the winter comes in November, there’s lilac persimmon, and in December, a local berry called “Jiu Bing Liang” (Reinforcements’ Brain Berry) are ready to be eaten.
In 2007, the famous French Spiderman broke the myth, and successfully climbed over the Tianmen Cave bare-handed. The beautiful flower of courage and braveness blossomed over the life-and-death cliff, and Tianmen Cave, even since that moment, has become the birthplace of miracles.
The Third Asia Cup Rock Climbing Competition was held on November 5, 2007. The artificial rock wall, 15m in height and 14m in width, was set on the famous scenic area Mount Tianmen whose altitude is over 1300 m. Players from more than one dozen countries and regions participated in the competition, including those who came from South Korea, Japan etc.