Skip to content
Site Tools
Increase font size Decrease font size Default font size default color blue color green color
Home Travel in Shanxi Guancenshan National Forest Tour
Guancenshan National Forest Tour
Travel in Shanxi

Guancenshan National Forest

Guancenshan (guǎn cén shān 管涔山) is belong to Luliang (lǚ liáng 吕梁) mountain as a main river running through the territory of Shanxi (shān xī 山西), which is the birthplace of Fen river (fén hé 汾河). The main hill of Guancenshan is Luya (lú yá 芦芽) mountain which marches with Ningwu (níng wǔ 宁武), Kelan (kě lán 岢岚) and Wuzhai (wǔ zhài 五寨) etc. Guancenshan is the native area of north larch of China. In here, it is a rich forest resource because of lush plants and perfect geology.


Guancenshan National Forest  The climate of Guancenshan is cold in winter and cool in summer and autumn. The highest peak is 2603 meters as an origin of Fen river and Sanggan (sāng gàn 桑干) river. There are more than 560 kinds of wild plants, including 60 species of woody plants and around 500 herbs. The most important plants are larch and spruce trees, so that it always names “the hometown of spruce trees” and “the home of larch”. The medicinal plants and wild animals are plenty as well.

Guancenshan National Forest  The national forest is consist by seven different scenic area, which are Luya mountain scenic area, Heyepingyagaoshancaodian (hé yè píng yà gāo shān cǎo diàn 荷叶坪亚高山草甸) scenic area, Mayinghai (mǎ yíng hǎi 马营海) lake zone, Huangcaoliang (huáng cǎo liáng 黄草梁)geological scenic spot, fenyuan (fén yuán 汾源) forest area, Guancen hill and Lianhuapan (lián huā pàn 莲花畔) zoo. There are about 50 different views in total.

Spruce TreesFor example, the zoo has mammals which are deer, leopard, golden eagles and roe deer and birds involve rhododendron bird, golden pheasant, black stork and Hema (hè mǎ 褐马) pheasant etc. In 1995, Guancenshan was awarded the “top ten forestry construction of China” by the Shanxi government. In 1997, it was entitled “the foundation of patriotism education” by Shanxi government and promoted as national nature reserve by the State Council. Now, Guancenshan is becoming a tourism network with Wutaishan (wǔ tái shān 五台山) , Yungangshiku (yún gāng shí kū 云冈石窟), Yingxian tower (yīng xiàn mù tǎ 应县木塔) and Hengshan (héng shān 恒山).


Luya Mountain (lú yá shān 芦芽山)

Luya Mountain The shape of Luya hill looks like sprout of bamboo, with the height of 2745 meters. It is the highest and giant hill in the Guancenshan area. This peak is surrounded by more than 200 hills and 30 waterfalls. When the weather is cloudy, it looks like a bamboo sprout just breaking the ground. After rainy, the green mountain is transforming to kinds of red color, just like the light of Buddha. The culture of Buddha plays an important role in Luya hill , it was the Buddhist shrine since Sui (suí 隋) and Tang (táng 唐) dynasties. As Buddhist people said, “First Luya hills, second Wutai Mountain.”

Ice Cave

Ice CaveIce cave is located Madigoucun (má dì gōu cūn 麻地沟村) of Chunjingwaxiang (chūn jǐng wā xiāng 春景洼乡) of Ningwuxian (níng wǔ xiàn 宁武县). As Chinese sciences experts said, this cave was formed in the Cenozoic Quatemary Ice Age. From now on, it is already has three million years. The strange thing that this cave should not iced according to local climate, but it freezes in four seasons, whenever winter or summer. It total divides into five layers, via ice stairs to different views in different layers. Each layer can be stand dozens of people. In ice cave, it formed ice pillars, ice falls, ice flowers, ice Buddha, ice bed, ice clock and iceman and so forth. The another strange thing that there has a thousand years “fire” lie on 200 meters away from ice cave. This fire can not be put out, so that local people names it “Millennium volcano”.

Fen River (fén hé 汾河)

Fen River The Fen River is located 30 kilometers southwest of Ningwuxian. There is a pond of 25 square meters at the exit of Fen River. The water is clear like crystal. Before, the flow rate of Fen River can transport the woods from Guancenshan, but now the flow rate is reducing and needs urgent protection.

Lake Zone

Tianchi A group of mountain lakes lies on Guancenshan. There has Tianchi (tiān chí 天池), Yuanchi (yuán chí 元池), Pipahai (pí pá hǎi 琵琶海), Small Lake (xiǎo hǎi zǐ 小海子), Dry Lake (gān hǎi 干海) and Laoshifu Lake (lǎo shī fù hǎi 老师傅海) with other 10 natural lakes. The biggest lake is Tianchi. In the past, it was feed horse for army in Tang dynasty, so it is also known as Mayinghai (mǎ yíng hǎi 马营海) as well.

Zhiguoqishi (zhī guō qí shí 支锅奇石)

ZhiguoqishiThis stone is standing at 40 degree of slopes, with the width of 2 meters and only 2 foot square stone as supporting point. The gap between surface of stone and the supporting point can stay 3 people. The rock would slight shake if one people push it, but it remains same if three people push again.

Coffins on Cliff

Coffins on CliffIt is the only one area where found the coffins on cliffs in China. This view lies on a canyon where 70 kilometers far from Ningwuxian. It is around 11 coffins in total hanging up on the cliffs, some of them embedded in the grotto, some of them exposed at the outside of cliffs, some of them used wood to support and some of them used metal chains to bundle it. Burial is popular in Luya area. And this unusual burial custom is named “stone burial” by local. As expert analysis, there are four group of people buried this way: monks, elderly who did not have children, soldiers who died on battlefield and child. It stills a mystery of initiation year of these coffins, but presumably, it may start at mid-Ming or Qing dynasties.

Qingrengu (qíng rén gǔ 情人谷)

QingrenguQingrengu is a new developed attractions where is located 46 kilometers southwest of Malunxiang (mǎ lún xiāng 马仑乡) of Ningwuxian. It has peach valley, xinghuaxiu (xìng huā xiù 杏花岫) and spruce ,sometime, pheasant and squirrels are through in forest. As legend side, young lovers can marry soon and stay together forever if they come to Qingrengu.

Location: Dongzhaizhen (dōng zhài zhèn 东寨镇), Ningwuxian (níng wǔ xiàn 宁武县), Xinzhou (xīn zhōu 忻州), Shanxi (shān xī 山西)
Transportation: Take bus at Ningwuxian bus station to Dongzhaizhen, RMB 6 per person and half an hour one the way. And then rent a car at Dongzhaizhen to Guancenshan National Forest.
Recommended time to visit: 4 hours or more
Opening hours: 8:00-18:30
Ticket: RMB 20 at Luya (lú yá 芦芽) Hill, RMB 10 at Qingrengu (qíng rén gǔ 情人谷)
1. Best time to go: anytime
2. The local food: mushroom, rabbits, pheasants, vinegar, Jelly and baked potatoes.
3. Please take food in advance if you have a special requirement of food.