Baofeng Lake (宝峰湖) : Suoxi Mountains Afloat Lake & Sky

Trail Map

A wooden boat drifts on Baofeng Lake

Baofeng Lake is truly unique in Zhangjiajie. The Ying Wo Zhai path runs away from the lakeside, up and through a steep chasm. Sheer walls of rock hem you in on either side. Above, enormous boulders lie dormant, trapped in the jaws of rock.

Cloud drifts up from pine trees after a night of rainfall

The walls part to reveal a cliffside walkway - the bird's nest for which the path is named. Views outwards are sublime, especially after the rain. Islands of stone float on a white sky. I imagined these were other birds nests, home to the offspring of mystical creatures, looking out on the world.

Islands adrift on a bed of white cloud

The pass continues past a couple of temples. The bell tower of one overlooked the valley and its mist-coated slopes. In the other, a lonely buddha gave the hollow building a chilling atmosphere.

Mist and fog drift down a steep, green valley

On the water of Baofeng Lake, mountains float on water, not cloud. Every bend in the boat ride brings another spectacular sight into view. At the far side of the lake, a pair of crags tower above the rest. On my visit, cloud twisted around the flanks of these immense stone guardians in a lethargic whirlwind.

It was a sight worth traveling the world for.

A whirlwind of cloud twists around a mighty mountain

        Words & Photography: Scott Norris (@radventuresofficial) // Summer 2016