YangJiajie (样家界) : The Forest of Pinnacles

Trail Map

yangjiajie elevation chart
A wooden boat drifts on Baofeng Lake

A walk in the woods of Yangjiajie is no mere walk in the woods. The tree-topped pinnacles of Wulingyuan provide an unbelievable backdrop to the moss-covered steps and flourishing pines of the forest's thick tapestry.

Cloud drifts up from pine trees after a night of rainfall

The forest of Yangjiajie feels like it's been whispered into life from the words of a fantasy novel. Its halls are awash with greenery. Pixies or nymphs could live here (and they probably do!). The iconic lime-quartz pillars stand in wordless defiance to gravity. One pillar would be enough to leave you breathless and yet there are over 3000 of them.

As I stared on in disbelief, I tried to envisage the rock that would have once filled the space, aeons ago. Before water seeped into the earth, creating cracks and eating it away, the landscape was one vast mass of rock.

Islands adrift on a bed of white cloud

At the edge of Yangjiajie forest park is the place where the pillars meet the rolling Bali Hills. Seeing the pillars side by side with what would ordinarily be a beautiful landscape puts into perspective the extraordinary uniqueness of Wulingyuan.

Mist and fog drift down a steep, green valley

As the path wound up the summit of Tianbo mansion, the views seemed to crescendo like the last line of a treasured haiku. We dangled our feet from the clifftops and wished it didn't have to end.

Mist and fog drift down a steep, green valley

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