Wulingyuan Scenic Area
Located in northwestern Hunan, the Wulingyuan Scenic Area consists of three parts: Zhangjiajie National Park, Suoxiyu Nature Reserve and Tianzi Mountain Natural Reserve, covering a total area of 350 square kilometers. Being a complete quartz and sandstone geomorphological structure, Wulingyuan boasts some 3,100 peaks (of which over 1,000 rise at least 200 meters), which look like bamboo shoots: spectacular and grotesque, lofty and elegant. It is a real wonder to have such a large forest of natural peaks on the several hundred-meter-thick quartz and sandstone base. This, plus the mysterious deep valleys and grottos, offers fantastic views.
In dense forests covering over 90 percent of the scenic area grow rare species of trees and inhabited by rare species of birds and animals. There are also streams, brooks, springs, lakes and waterfalls. Zhangjiajie, in particular, is rich in forest resources, featuring both virgin and artificial secondary forests. It is home to some 3,000 species of high-grade plants of which 35 are rare species under state protection. There are also 116 types of animals living in Zhangjiajie, the first national park in China.
The Wulingyuan Scenic Area was listed as a world natural heritage in 1992.