Years of erosion by vegetation and expanding ice carved Zhangjiajie National Park’s narrow, terraced sandstone pillars, some of which climb over 200 meters! The park’s steep cliffs and plunging gullies also make the perfect home for more than 100 vertebrate species, including scaly anteaters, giant salamanders, and sprightly rhesus monkeys.
Meanwhile, the damp subtropical climate nourishes diverse, sometimes unusual, flora, like dove trees for instance.
Known as “living fossils,” these white-flowered trees are actually survivors of the fourth glacial period 2.5 million years ago.
Zhangjiajie National Park—China’s first national park—is one of many within the Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area in Hunan Province, named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992.