Tianmen Mountain April 2015

Tianmen Mountain in Zhangjiajie City in China translates to “Heaven’s Door”.  There is a cable car station in the city and is one of the longest cable car rides in the world.  At the top is the water eroded hole between two peaks like a doorway, hence Heaven’s Door.

After the horrible experience of waiting in line at the Bailong Elevator in Zhangjiajie national park, we made sure our guide explored all options.  When we arrived at the cable car station in the morning, the lines were very long, probably 2-3 hours long.  Fortunately, there is the option to take a minibus outside the station to the lesser peak entrance and then change to another park bus to the stairs leading up to Heaven’s Door cave.  We only had to wait for about 20 mins for the minibus.

DSCF0304The switchback road leading up to Tianmen cave.  If you look carefully, you can see some buses on the winding roads.


There are 999 steps up to the Tianmen Cave but you can cheat and take a very long escalator which is what I did!  After reaching the cave, there are more escalators taking you up to the walkways hugging the cliff and the famous Glass Walkway which was unfortunately (or fortunately) closed for repairs while we were there…..  After the leisurely walk around the mountain, we took the cable car back to the city.  Strangely enough, there was barely any line going down.

DSCF0313Coming up the 999 steps.


DSCF0308Or cheat and go up by escalator :)




DSCF0353We had to wait quite a while for this large tour group to pass.


Walkways hugging the mountain




DSCF0361Red ribbons with auspicious sayings and wishes tied to trees on Tianmen Mountain.

DSCF0381The mist cleared only briefly for us to see the pathway.

DSCF0385Chair lift up to Tianmen Temple.

DSCF0390A very long cable car ride down the mountain.



DSCF0413After our visit to Tianmen mountain, we had a late lunch at a san xia guo restaurant serving the local favorite which is basically a spicy hotpot without the soup.

DSCF0414Cute little bar at the san xia gou restaurant that reminded me of a tiki bar.

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