Guanmenshan National Forest Park

Autumn colors at Guanmen Mountain

Autumn colors at Guanmen Mountain by Prince Roy. Sourced via Flickr under Creative Commons Attribution License.

The two peaks of this mountain face each other like the posts on a Chinese gate (men) giving this mountain it's name. The site contains paths leading through the steep sided mountain peaks with beautiful scenery and many different plants and animals all around you. This is a Chinese National Park and rated AAAA by the Chinese National Tourist Agency. As such it is a major tourist attraction and consequently busy at peak season (First week in may and especially the first week in October are busy). The best time to visit is in Autumn, when the leaves of the trees are turning yellow and red. Due to Guanmenshan's hight, the Autumn starts here slightly earlier than in the city.

The main route within the park follows a small river up the valley to the mountains. The path does not actually acend the mountain and is well paved so is suitable for most walkers. Buses can ferry the less able walkers up and down the valley. Bus tickets cost 10 RMB each and 3 buses in total are required to reach the end of the road. Since waking up is tougher than down, I suggest you take the buses to the second stop the walk up and then down from there.

Near the entrance to the park, the river has been dammed and several small lakes formed which are used for recreational boating. At the top end of the park, it is also possible to hire bicycles for the journey up to the extreme end of the river, where a waterfall comes down off the mountains.

Just 500 metres from the entrance to Guanmenshan National Forest Park is Guanmenshan Reservoir Scenic Area. Another short distance away is Guanmenshan Ecological Park. These each require their own ticket for entrance but are worth seeing.

Map showing location of Guanmenshan National Forest Park

Above: Location of Guanmenshan National Forest Park in Benxi, Liaoning, China