Distinguished by peculiarly jagged granite formations, the 72 peaks of the Huangshan Mountain Range cover over 150sq kilometers in the southern region of Anhui Provence. Huangshan Mountain translates literally to mean yellow Mountain. The area has become not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also one of Chinaâ€™s most visited natural attractions because of its magnificent scenery, vivid sunsets, Huangshan Pine Trees, fascinating geological formations, and awe-nspiring sky-scapes. The region is also frequently the subject of Chinese painting, literature, and photography.
Three dominant peaks: Lotus Peak, Bright Summit Peak, and Tiandu Peak stand out amongst the drastically serrated range, all reaching an elevation surpassing 1,800 meters above sea level. The staggering mountains were formed in place of what was once an ancient sea that disappeared due to uplift during the Mesozoic period approximately 100 million years ago. The region boasts a diverse and vibrant vegetative environment, varying at different elevations. Below 1,100 meters moist forests flourish, providing life to numerous species of ferns and fauna. From 1,100-1,800 meters, the landscape is defined by a vast deciduous forest characterized by the unique forms of the Huangshan Pines. Native to the region, the pines vary greatly in shape and size as they twist crookedly upward. Unlike most species of pine, the roots of the Huangshan Pine are grounded in rock instead of soil. The dense, moist environment also makes yellow mountain one of Chinaâ€™s premier regions for growing green tea leaves.
Perhaps the most astounding scenery Yellow Mountain has to offer exists in the skies that surround its peaks. From the summit, you will find yourself seemingly swimming in a sea of billowing clouds, known commonly as â€œHuangshan Sea.â€ Certain vistas have even been named â€œNorth Seaâ€ and â€œSouth Seaâ€ because of the striking resemblance the sky-scape bears to a vast oceanic expanse. The region is also well known for its unique natural lighting. The renowned Yellow Mountain sunrise remains a staple on any visitorâ€™s must-see list while visiting the area. Stone steps carved within the side of the mountain provide accessibility to more than 140 sections open to visitors in the area. The exact origins of the more than 60,000 carved steps remains uncertain, but it is believed that the forged pathway began construction over 1,500 years ago.