As one of the five best-known mountains in China, Mount Huashan is located to the south of Huayin city, 120 kilometers east of Xi'an, in Shaanxi province, with an elevation of 2200 meters above sea level.
In ancient times, Mount Huashan was called Mt. Taihuashan. Seen from afar, the five peaks looks like five petals of a flower. Hence its name, Mount Huashan (= five flowers). Today, it is listed as one of the renowned national scenic spots.
Mount Huashan is famous for its breath-taking cliffs. Along the12-kilometer-long winding path up to the top are awe-inspiring precipices, looking into which will take your breath away. Among the five peaks, East Peak (Facing Sun Peak), West Peak (Lotus Peak) and South Peak (Dropping Goose Peak) are comparatively high. Standing at the top of East Peak, one can enjoy the rising sun early in the morning. West Peak, in resemblance to a lotus flower, is the most graceful peak in Mount Huashan.
In addition, there are Middle Peak(Jade Maiden Peak) and North Peak (Clouds Stand). The middle peak got its name because of a story telling that once a young lady rode a white horse among the mountains. North Peak, like a flat platform in the clouds, is the place where the story Capturing Mount Huashan Wisely took place.
Mount Huashan boasts lot of places of interest. Here and there stand Buddhist and Taoist temples, pavilions and buildings as well as sculptures and engravings. Of the ruins, Yuquan (Jade Spring), Zhenwu Palace, and Jintian Palace are, comparatively speaking, famous. Xiyue Temple, seven kilometers north of Mount Huashan is the place where people of ancient times paid tribute to the Mount Huashan God.
Along the cliff of South Peak is a planked path equipped with an iron chain, with the help of which, adventurers can walk on the frightful path. There is a giant rock in front of Cuiyun Palace on West Peak. As it takes the shape of a lotus flower, the mountain is also called Lotus Peak.
As legend has it, Chen Xiang, a filial young man, once split the mountain and rescued his mother out of it. Now a crack can b witnessed in a giant rock beside Cuiyun Palace as if an axe made it. Thus, the rock is called "Axe-splitting Rock," beside which is a huge axe with a long handle. The northwest side of the peak is called Fatal Cliff for it is as steep as if it was cut by a sharp sword.
North Peak, with cliffs on three sides, has only one road leading to the south. From here one goes south to Ca'er Precipice, the fourth most dangerous place along the only path in Mount Huashan. The cliff path is less than 30 centimeters wide, and faces such a deep valley that the tourists have to edge along carefully. Then one comes to Sky-leading Ladder, Sun and Moon Precipice and the well-known Blue Dragon Mountain.
East Peak, with a rising-sun platform favorable for viewing the morning sun, is also called Facing Sun Peak. As the sun emerges from the sea of clouds, one cannot help but show great admiration.