South Route 1:
-- From Tangkou to the Bright Top
-- It is the path Xu Xiake, a famous geologist and traveler in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), chose to take when climbing Mount Huangshan.
Take a tour bus from Tangkou Town (near the Southern Gate of Mount Huangshan) to the Mercy Light Pavilion. Then you'll have two options: Take the Yuping Cableway at its south station (Mercy Light Pavilion Station) to the cableway’s north station, right near the must-see Jade Screen Pavilion. The cableway ride will cost you 10 minutes; alternatively, you can walk for about two or three hours all the way up to the Jade Screen Pavilion.
Making your way to the Jade Screen Pavilion, you will pass by the "One Line Sky," a long passage between two peaks so narrow that it allows only one person to pass at once. If you look overhead, you will see the blue sky is completely in one line; this is how "One Line Sky" got its name.
The area near the Jade Screen Pavilion is said to best represent the features of Mount Huangshan. To the left of the pavilion, you'll find Mount Huangshan's iconic Guest-Greeting Pine. Standing high and mighty some three miles to the east of the pavilion, are two of Mount Huangshan's three highest peaks: the Lotus Peak (1,864 meters above sea level) and the Celestial Capital Peak (1,810 meters above sea level).
If you are physically up for it, you can go east for about 1.5 hours towards the second highest peak of Mount Huangshan -- Celestial Capital Peak (1,810 meters above sea level). The peak is quite steep and an up-and-down climb could take an experienced mountain climber 1.5 hours.
You can also walk for about 1.5 hours from the Jade Screen Pavilion towards the Lotus Peak. When climbing the peak, you will have the chance to experience the thrill of walking along the Hundred-Step Cloud Ladder anchored to its northwestern cliffs.
If you are an average mountaineer, you can leave out the Celestial Capital Peak and the Lotus Peak and continue upward from the Jade Screen Pavilion to the Bright Top (the climb takes about 2.5 hours). Along the way, you will see the Turtle Peak, which received its name for its turtle-like appearance.
The Bright Top, located in the center of Mount Huangshan, is the third highest peak of the mountain. Here, you will have 360-degree non-obstructed views. The peak, with its flat terrain, also serves as an optimum spot for watching the sun rise and the clouds floating by.
1. Tourists coming in from Tunxi, the seat of the Huangshan city government, can take this route.
2. The south route can prove very tough for average mountaineers. Tourists are highly advised to take the Yuping Cableway up to the Jade Screen Pavilion.
South Route 2:
-- From Tangkou to the Bright Top or the Beihai Hotel
Take a tour bus from Tangkou Town (near the Southern Gate of Mount Huangshan) to the south station of the Yungu Cableway near the Cloud Valley Temple. Here you can either take the cableway to reach the north station near the White Goose Ridge (8 minutes) or walk towards the White Goose Ridge for about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
This walking is less fascinating than South Route 1, offering nothing interesting but the Fascinating Pavilion and a rock called the Immortal Pointing the Way.
From the White Goose Ridge, you can either turn left towards the Bright Top or right onto the Beihai Hotel.
On your way to the Bright Top, you will pass the rock-watching pavilion; on the way to the Beihai Hotel, you will encounter the Black Tiger Pine. Do bear in mind that fewer tourists seeking stunning sceneries have chosen this route -- unless you want to take an alternative route back to where you started.
1. Tourists coming in from Tunxi, seat of the Huangshan City government, can take this route.