Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
is located in the southern part of the Wulingyuan Scenic Zone. The several thousand mountain peaks of quartz rise abruptly from the ground. Streams flow through the Jinbian (Gold Whip) Stream Grand Canyon which is flanked by sheer cliffs. The sightseeing platform at Huangshi Village is shrouded in mist. Wild animals play freely in the primeval forests. The scenic zone is like a fairy land with the beaury of wild nature.
In 1982, it was recognized as China's first national forest park (4,810 hectares). Zhangjiajie National Forest Park was designated a much larger (397.5 km²) Wulingyuan National Park by the State Council on August 1, 1988. In 1992, Wulingyuan National Park was officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was then approved by the Ministry of Land and Resources as Zhangjiajie Sandstone Peak Forest National Geopark (3,600 km²) in 2001. In 2004, Zhangjiajie Geopark was listed as a UNESCO Global Geopark.
Origin of the name
The National Forest Park had been given the name of Zhangjiajie
after the name of a small village located within its bounds, and now a popular tourist attraction within the park. The three-character name can be interpreted as follows: Zhang is a common surname in China; Jia can be translated as family; and Jie can be translated as homeland, giving the completed translation of Zhang family homeland. It has been reported that at least one tourist guide has said that the name may have been chosen to convey the idea or impression of Open the family door to welcome the world, but this is not the locally-accepted and directly translated meaning of the name.
Golden Whip Stream
Located in the east of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park and named after the 380-meter high Golden Whip Rock, Golden Whip stream meanders 15 Li. Flowing from Laomo Gully first to Confluence of Four Rivers then to Suoxi Stream, it finally joins Li River, one of the four rivers in Hunan Province. It flows between steep grotesque peaks and luxuriant trees. Here, the meandering streams, the crystal-clear waterfalls, exotic plants and rare animals co-exist and constitute the extraordinarily beautiful, tranquil and natural ecological environment. No wonder it is called "the most beautiful valley in the world" and "the most poetic stream". The major scenic spots include Rock of Welcoming Guests, Golden Whip Rock, Reunion Rock and the Purple Grass Pond.
Huangshi Fort, named after a hermit Huangshi, is 1080m above sea level. It is higher on the south and elevated by stiff cliffs, covering an area of 16.5 hectors. It provides the largest collection of marvelous spectacles and also provides the larges sightseeing terrace above sea level in Zhangjiajie. The chief scenic spots include Treasure Box of Heavenly Books, the Magic Sea-suppressing Needle, the South Pillar of Heaven, the Golden Tortoise Watching the Sea and so on.