Kunming Stone Forest – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

kunming stone forest

The Kunming Stone Forest (昆明石林), a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Global Geopark, is renowned for its unique karst geological formations, predominantly featuring limestone landscapes. This geological wonderland showcases a diverse array of karst formations, with towering stone pillars resembling swords, columns, and mushrooms. Additionally, visitors can marvel at caves, stalactites, karst lakes, natural bridges, cliffs, waterfalls, and cone-shaped peaks, encompassing nearly every known karst formation worldwide, creating a panoramic view of karst geological landscapes.

Scattered across various areas, the Stone Forest is primarily centered around the Large and Small Stone Forest areas. The Naigu Stone Forest (乃古石林) lies approximately 12 kilometers north of the Large and Small Stone Forest area, while the Dadieshui area (大叠水景区, Grand Waterfall Area) is situated about 29 kilometers southwest of it. Further southeast, the Changhu Lake area is located approximately 26 kilometers away. However, most visitors typically explore the Large and Small Stone Forest areas due to their accessibility and concentration of attractions.

Recognized by UNESCO for its geological significance and natural beauty, the Kunming Stone Forest offers visitors a captivating journey through ancient geological processes, providing a glimpse into the stunning karst landscapes that have evolved over millions of years

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 day
Ticket Price130 RMB
Shuttle Bus within the Area25 RMB
Opening Hours7.30 – 17.30
Telephone Number0086-0871-67711439

Location and Transportation

The Stone Forest Scenic Area is situated within the territory of Shilin Yi Autonomous County in Kunming City, Yunnan Province, approximately 78 kilometers away from downtown Kunming. Visitors can conveniently travel to the scenic area by taking a tourist shuttle bus from the Kunming East Bus Terminal. These buses operate from 08:00 to 18:00 and depart when full, with the journey typically lasting around 2 hours.

Highlights of Kunming Stone Forest

Large and Small Stone Forests

large and small stone forests in kunming stone forest

The Large Stone Forest comprises densely packed stone peaks, standing tall and majestic. These stone pillars rise abruptly, with smooth lines and a subtle bluish-gray hue, some towering over 40 meters in height. Iconic sites within this area include the “Lotus Peak,” “Sword Peak Pond,” “Close Call,” “Narrow Pass,” “Elephant Distance Stone Platform,” “Deep Valley of Orchids,” and “Phoenix Spreading Wings.” In the area, the “Peak Viewing Pavilion” offers the best vantage point to admire the vast expanse of stone formations. In contrast, the Small Stone Forest features the famous “Ashima,” characterized by thick, sturdy stone walls resembling screens. At nightfall, the colorful lights illuminate the landscape, transforming it into a vibrant spectacle of colors.

Naigu Stone Forest

naigu stone forest in kunming stone forest

The Naigu Stone Forest is distinguished by its castle-like, tower-like, and mushroom-like rock formations. In addition to the ridge-shaped and sword-shaped stone pillars similar to those in the Large and Small Stone Forests, they exhibit a stark contrast in color, appearing predominantly black. Spanning a vast area, the Naigu Stone Forest exudes a rugged, ancient beauty, evoking a sense of wilderness and tranquility. The entrance to the Naigu Stone Forest is graced by the serene White Cloud Lake, reflecting the surrounding scenery like a mirror, with clear waters teeming with fish.

Changhu Lake

changhu lake in kunming stone forest

Nestled amidst the Kunming Stone Forest, Changhu Lake is a mesmerizing volcanic lake fed by underground springs. With a circumference of 5 kilometers and a width of 300 meters, this pristine lake boasts an average depth of 24 meters. Surrounded by verdant hills, with a vegetation coverage of over 95%, the air is fresh and the water is crystal clear, free from pollution. The lake features small islands and shores lined with Yunnan pine forests, creating a tranquil and picturesque environment. Situated at an elevation of 1907 meters, the lake resembles the slender figure of a maiden, believed to be the homeland of Ashima from local folklore. Due to its secluded location amidst the lush greenery of the hills, Changhu Lake is also known as the “Hidden Lake.”

Stone Forest Karst Geological Museum

Stone Forest Karst Geological Museum kunming

Spanning an impressive area of 36,320.45 square meters, the Stone Forest Karst Geological Museum is a treasure trove of over ten thousand exhibits, including hundreds of national-level treasures. Ten exhibits from the museum have been recognized as the best in China by the Guinness World Records Headquarters in Shanghai. The museum serves as an enlightening companion to the natural wonders of the Stone Forest, providing comprehensive insights into its geological significance and cultural heritage. Divided into seven exhibition areas, including topics such as karst evolution, the history of Earth’s biological development, geological resources, precious gemstones, geological phenomena, ornamental stone culture, and rare woods like ebony, the museum offers a fascinating journey through the geological wonders and cultural treasures of the region.

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