Xihai Great Canyon
Xihai Great Canyon
4.5
Top ways to experience Xihai Great Canyon

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles181 reviews
Excellent
142
Very good
34
Average
3
Poor
1
Terrible
1

bweeindc
Washington DC, District of Columbia118 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017 • Couples
We started off the day by ascending the Yuping cableway (i.e. the Jade Screen Telpher) at around 9am, dumped our stuff at the XiHai (West Sea) hotel, and started off for the XiHai Great Canyon hike from the hotel. We went in the anti-clockwise direction, starting from a high elevation (approx. 5400 ft / 1645 m) at 1pm, and dropped to the bottom of the Canyon by 3:30pm (approx. 3900 ft / 1188 m), from where we took the funicular back up to approx. 5500 ft / 1676 m.

There are two points on the trail that split into alternate routes and rejoin later. On some maps, they may be labeled "1st Ring" and "2nd Ring". We were recommended to take the right fork when we came to the 1st Ring (for spectacular rock formations), and the left fork when we came to the 2nd Ring (for spectacular views of the canyon).

The funicular costs 100 RMB per person. Your hotel may be able to provide you a service where you pay for those tickets in advance at the hotel, whereupon you will be issued a receipt which you can use at the funicular station to exchange for a ticket. According to our hotel (XiGu Mountain Villa in the town of TangKou: see my review, highly recommended), the lines for the funicular may be very long, and this system of exchanging the receipt for tickets will allow you to forgo any long ticket lines. In the mid-April 2017 period for a Monday hike, there were no lines.

I would strongly recommend checking out openstreetmaps.org to get an idea of the trail layout for XiHai Great Canyon, and the HuangShan scenic area in general. The paper maps that I have seen, and even some of the posted route maps on the mountain itself, are not necessarily intuitive. Good map-making, which balances abstraction, scale, orientation, readability, and intuitiveness is not a commodity skill. The paper / posted route maps I have seen are confusing in some way or manner.

Better still, for those with Android-powered phones, download the app MAPS.ME and download the offline map for AnHui province. This will get you the detailed map from openstreetmaps.org with all the trails on HuangShan, and allow you to pinpoint your location at will.
Written April 22, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ofersy
Ridgefield, CT1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Family
Just came back from an 11 day trip in China, and the Yellow Mountains are easily the highlight of the trip. Do not miss it!
This national park is not cheap to get to or to go in, but certainly worth it.
Here are the costs, as of April 2018, in Chinese yuan (about 17 US cents):
310 taxi from Tunxi (i.e. Huangshan City) to the Northern Gate, including the 25 Yuan tolls. It should cost 150 to 230 Yuan to go to or from the South gate.
5 Y per person, shuttle bus from north gate to the nearest cable car
115 entrance fee for kids or students (with ID)
230 entrance fee for adults
80 Y for each cable car (one way) or 160 Y round trip
66 shuttle bus from or to the south gate to or from the bus station

Hope it helps.

Enjoy!
Written April 16, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ekholland27
Amersfoort, The Netherlands448 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2017 • Solo
Reviews mentioned that the xihai grand canyon is special. It is nice, steep stairs and narrow paths, good scenery but not grand! and definately very noisy.
see also my review of the Huangshan scenic area for more info.
Written November 21, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jason416852
Hong Kong, China241 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012 • Couples
In Chinese, there is the following saying - “五嶽歸來不看山,黃山歸來不看嶽' - that is, "if you see the five great mountains of China you don't have to bother seeing any other mountains. But if you see Huangshan, you don't have to see the other great mountains of China". I'm not so sure how much I agree with that saying, and really think travellers have to think twice about whether or not they want to come.

Having said that, Xihai Great Canyon is the area I chose to explore during my trip based on my research, which was heavily influenced by a Tripadvisor contributor named "Ellyse" - in retrospect her advice was spot on. It is the section that takes the most effort to get to, the most energy to walk (lots of stairs up and down) but it does have the best views the smallest crowds. Local tour groups generally go to the other parts of Huangshan and it gets extremely crowded and loud on those sections. You will see people scattered along the path of Xihai, but generally you can expect to not have your personal space violated every few minutes in this section!

I accessed Xihai Canyon through the Taiping Telpher (Cable Car) and walked both the 1st and 2nd ring - after which I had to turn around and follow the path back to the Western Gate. It is the best cable car to take up because it drops you off at Purple Cloud Station which puts you only 1 km away from the entrance of Xihai Canyon. Other cable cars are not only smaller but wayt further away. If you arrange for a driver and want to see Xihai Canyon, insist on going to Taiping. A large section of the canyon is closed between the end of the 2nd ring and the path towards Plunk Way so you do have to do a U-turn and double back to where you started your journey from if you choose my path. On a slightly overcast day, views are ok but nothing to write home about. It all started to look the same after a while, but at least the steepness of the stairs proved to be a good challenge (if you like that kind of thing) and the air was fresh and clean - a reprieve from the pollution and heat at the bottom of the mountain. Note paths are all paved and well maintained - people actually use the garbage bins here. Also FYI - there is a great map of Huangshan on Huangshantour.com that will help you orient yourself around the various places I mentioned above.

We chose to descend the mountain via the Yuping Cableway, which involved a 2 hour walk towards the Western steps from our hotel, which was located half a kilometer from Bright Top a popular sunrise vantage point. This walk was full of loud, large domestic tour groups and involved following a procession of tourists up and down various flights of stairs. At this point, we just wanted to get off the mountain ASAP.

This trip is not cheap - for one person you'll have to pay 230 RMB to get in the park, 80 RMB for the Taiping Telpher, and something around 60 RMB for the Yuping Telpher. Add to that a C$200 hotel stay plus overpriced food at the top of the mountain (buy your supplies at the bottom of the mountain or elsehwere!!) and if you're like me you start to wonder if your time and money in Huangshan was well spent.

My final point is that despite the grandiose descriptions of Huangshan you may hear - while the air is clean the mountains are very unique - I would recommend managing your expectations in terms of what to expect from a trip to even what I would consider the prettiest part of the entire scenic area. The weather is hit or miss (the morning after, visibility was next to zero), the scenery does get a bit monotonous, but it is nice for those interested in China and its places of significance to check Huangshan off their list.

So if you really have to go - I'd say go to this section over any other section of Huangshan Scenic Area.
Written August 2, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

m0untainandlakes
Singapore, Singapore195 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2017 • Friends
We went in Sept 2017. I walked in a figure of 8, down the right side of 1st Ring and left side of 2nd Ring, then came back up by the right side of 2nd Ring and left side of 1st Ring. The view is different from the 前山 (Western Steps) and 后山 (Eastern Steps). Very beautiful!

The steps here at the Xihai grand canyon are much steeper and narrower than the Eastern Steps and much of Western Steps. I'm in late 30s and fit, used a pair of proper hiking poles and highly recommend other travellers to get 2 proper hiking poles too if you want to hike the Xihai grand canyon. Do not bring luggage to hike this route - leave them at the hotel. There are no shops once you enter the grand canyon so the last place to buy water, food or rain coat is at 排云厅 (Dispelling Cloud Pavilion). There are no toilets between 排云厅 (Dispelling Cloud Pavilion) to the bottom of 2nd Ring except for one toilet not far up the right side of 2nd Ring. This toilet looked flooded from the outside and I did not use it. I did not go down from the bottom of 2nd Ring to 谷底 (bottom of canyon) where the funicular station is located. Perhaps there may be toilets there.

Take some time to sit down and enjoy the view of Xihai from 排云厅 (Dispelling Cloud Pavilion) before you enter/after you exit the Xihai grand canyon. The scenery changes by the minute depending on fog levels and how the mist is being blown around. I went to see this view twice in my 1st trip to Huangshan in June 2017, and 5 times in my 2nd trip to Huangshan in Sept 2017. Got my most beautiful picture of Huangshan here on the 7th visit to Xihai at 排云厅 (Dispelling Cloud Pavilion) - it looks just like a classical Chinese painting!

You can buy hiking poles at the shops next to the Tangkou station at the base of Mt Huangshan, or the row of shops which you will walk past after you alight from the mountain eco bus and walk to the Yungu cable car station. I got mine for RMB 40 (2 proper collapsible hiking poles, not the L shape collapsible type or wooden type) at Tangkou. It is easier to find proper hiking poles along the row of shops before Yungu cable car and I expect the price to be higher.
Written September 14, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carolinetravels2
Calgary, Canada304 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Couples
We are seasoned hikers, but this was challenging even for us. The stairs are steep, and cling to the side of the mountain. I am not in any way afraid of heights, but there were times looking down the stairs, that I found myself hanging on to the rail for dear life. There seems to be nothing between you and a 1500 foot drop at several points along the way. The cable car at the bottom is a fairly new addition, not shown on some maps, and is a very welcome way to get up if you are intending to go to the other side of the mountain. We walked back up the stairs the same way that we had come though, because the cable car put us about 2 hours away from the Hotel when it reached the top and it was getting late. Had we started out earlier, it would have been nice to take the cable car up and do the full circuit. Make sure and carry a map, or have a guide, and know where the trails are in relation to your hotel. Take plenty of water, use the bathroom prior as there are no facilities on this trail, and if you have a walking stick it does help with the knees! The views are spectacular and are worth the effort. I would just caution those that are afraid of heights to be aware!
Written June 1, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rebak629
Denver, CO15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2014 • Couples
We did the entire Xihai Canyon - once you ditch the tourists at the cable car, you have the mountain to yourself. It took about 5 hours and was worth every minute. Gorgeous views. Try and get an updated map - the older ones online don't show the new cable car routes, which makes it confusing.
Written September 22, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Waddler
York, UK11,639 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Solo
If you come to Huangshan you MUST go to the West Sea. If you do not, you are missing the best bit of the mountain.

The remainder of the mountain is spoiled by crowds, noise and tour groups. But as soon as you set off from Cloud Dispelling Pavilion towards the bottom the crowds start to recede. There are still some people, but more "normal" amounts of people and no tour groups with megaphones/loud music.

There are great views at literally every turn on the way down. Spectacular, and plenty of places to take it all in quietly.

Once you get to the "bottom" you reach the new cablecar that can take you up to Baiyun Hotel. There used to be a path open from near here up to the Fairy Walking Bridge to form a circuit walk but that path remains closed.

However, there is still a circular option - as it turns out the "bottom" is not the bottom. Steps continue down for another 20 minutes or so until you reach a basic local store where there is a signpost pointing left to the "Heavenly Sea". Take this and you end up back at the Fairy Walking Bridge (although its up all the way for over 2 hours to get there!).

This was my favourite stretch of the mountain, seeing only 5 people in those 2 hours and appreciating the silence. The views on the way up are quite majestic but perhaps not quite as geologically stunning as on the way down to the "bottom".

The whole circuit back to Cloud Dispelling Pavilion could take around 6 hours. But it is worth it.

The closure of the old way back up deprives walkers of the "plank way", a walkways built into the side of the cliff. But actually you can still experience it as once at the Fairy Walking Bridge you can access the top of that track. Walk 5 minutes down it and you get to two sections - quite scary actually!
Written October 29, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

patrickph
Manila, Philippines317 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2013 • Family
treacherous stairs, 4 hours up the scenice route was difficult but the vistas were beautiful sight to see. I suggest stay 2 Nite shere and just enjoy the muntaina top comfortable at Hotel Xhai or Pai Lan YOu hotel. Food was alright. Due to the heavy fog and rain, after our morning walk was coffee break all day at the hotel lobby lounge. On DAy 3 , the morning weather cleared and hundreds of people had the same idea to go see the sunrise.YOu have to be patient, too many tourist up their at the viewpoint, but right after the snrise just in 15-20 minutes they will be all gone and you can have the viewpoint to yourselves by 620am ;-)
Written April 9, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jessica F
Phuket Town, Thailand19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018 • Solo
This is a deeply beautiful place that offers a nice contrast to the soaring horizons elsewhere in the park - this is a more intimate and dramatic place, and if you go down the more rarely visited Guanming Ding side of the Xihai trail, that descends past the famous 'Fairy Walking Bridge', then it is also the quietest trail in the park, especially in the mornings.
I did the whole circuit down and up (in about 2.5-3 hours) - and it was exhausting - but felt like a Real Hike, with incredible views both way. If you're a good hiker and rest well afterward over lunch, you'll still have energy to go to Tiandu peak and walk down the rest of the way to the bottom of the Yungu cable way - saving 80yuan, and catching the late bus (there are still plenty of buses until 7 or 8pm) back out of the park.
Written September 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 93
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Xihai Great Canyon - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All Huangshan HotelsHuangshan Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Huangshan
All things to do in Huangshan
Day Trips in HuangshanZoos & Aquariums in HuangshanTheater & Concerts in Huangshan
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars