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

wansheng stone forest

Wansheng Stone Forest Scenic Area (万盛石林风景区), located in Wansheng District of Chongqing, spans an area of 4.7 square kilometers. Boasting an age dating back approximately 465 to 600 million years, it stands as China’s oldest stone forest and ranks as the country’s second-largest.

The scenic area seamlessly integrates elements of mountains, water, forests, stones, and caves, with a primary focus on karst landforms such as surface stone forests and underground karst caves. Within the park, visitors encounter a breathtaking landscape of unique stones, towering peaks, clear pools, and cascading waterfalls, creating a myriad of picturesque scenes. The diversity of fossils found in the area includes stone fans, stone drums, stone towers, stone sprouts, sword-shaped rocks, and mushroom-shaped rocks, showcasing various fascinating forms.

The scenic area is not only a geological marvel but also home to the “Red-Headed Miao” ethnic group, known as the Miao people. This community, residing in the region for generations, is famous for its vibrant cultural traditions. The “Red-Headed Miao” are skilled in singing and dancing, with traditional festivals and ethnic performances such as Miao mountain gatherings, Ruo Suo Festival, lusheng dance, and wooden drum dance gaining widespread acclaim. Particularly, the annual Miao mountain gathering held in May is renowned throughout the Chongqing-Guizhou region, attracting visitors with its cultural richness and lively celebrations.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of TourA day
Ticket Price65 RMB (1st March – 31st October)
50 RMB (1st November – 28th February)
Opening Hours8.30 – 17.30 (1st March – 31st October)
9.00 – 16.30 (1st November – 28th February)
Telephone Number0086-023-48279999

Location and Transportation

Wansheng Stone Forest is located in Shilin Town, Wansheng District, approximately 20 kilometers away from the city center of Wansheng in Chongqing, China, near the Heishan valley. To reach Wansheng Stone Forest from Chongqing:

  1. Tourist Shuttle Buses:
    • Tourist shuttle buses to Wansheng Stone Forest are available at both Chongqing Long-distance Bus Station and Chongqing Nanping Bus Station.
  2. From Chongqing Nanping Bus Station:
    • Take a bus from Chongqing Nanping Bus Station to Wansheng (operating from 7:00 to 19:30, every 30 minutes).
    • The bus fare is approximately 40 CNY, and the journey takes around 2 hours via the expressway.
    • Upon reaching Wansheng, the bus terminates at Nanchuan Station. From Nanchuan Station to Wansheng Tourist Bus Station, you can take a pedicab for 1 CNY or a taxi for around 3 CNY.
  3. Wansheng to Stone Forest:
    • From Wansheng, there are buses to Shilin operating from 7:00 to 17:00, departing every 15 minutes.
    • The bus fare is 5 CNY, and the journey takes approximately 40 minutes through mountainous roads.
    • Alternatively, you can charter a vehicle for the trip, with taxis generally costing around 50 CNY and minibusses around 80 CNY.

Highlights of Wansheng Stone Forest

Underground Karst Caves

underground karst caves in wansheng stone forest

Wansheng Stone Forest is adorned with a network of underground karst caves, featuring both horizontal and vertical formations. Notable among them are the horizontal caves such as Tianmen Cave, Guojie Lou Cave, Liangfeng Cave, Xianü Cave, Guanma Cave, Touniu Cave, Jiulong Cave, and Guanyin Cave. Tianmen Cave, in particular, stands out for its unique and intricate landscape. The cave’s interior is adorned with stalactites, stalagmites, stone flowers, and stone curtains, hanging, standing, and intersecting in a mesmerizing display akin to glistening jewels and resplendent palaces. The craftsmanship of nature is truly remarkable, earning the caves the epithet of “Heavenly craftsmanship and supernatural artistry.”

Listening to Spring Gorge

listening to spring gorge in wansheng stone forest

Listening to Spring Gorge is a geological wonder formed by karst collapse and fractures. Stretching nearly 300 meters in length, 1–2 meters in width, and plunging to a depth of approximately 80 meters, this gorge features a narrow pathway for pedestrians, allowing only single-file passage. The gorge showcases steep cliffs composed of massive square stones, each weighing several tons and arranged layer by layer. The uniformity of shapes, with precise seams between each layer, resembles an intricately crafted stone wall, defying expectations of a natural formation. The gorge’s exit features the Ascending to Heaven Pass, a natural crevice formed by small stones supporting a massive stone, creating a challenging yet visually stunning passage where individuals must crawl to traverse.

Ancient Fossils

ancient fossils in wansheng stone forest

Wansheng Stone Forest, with a geological history dating back approximately 465 million years, offers a fascinating glimpse into an ancient marine world. This region was once a vast and tumultuous sea, serving as the ancestral home for marine life. The stone forest is rich in diverse fossils, presenting a variety of forms such as stone turtles, stone shells, stone snails, and stone eggs. Among these, the most abundant are the angular stones formed during the Cambrian period. Exhibiting hues of yellow-brown, these fossils can be found both exposed on the surface of rocks and intricately embedded within them, showcasing a myriad of captivating shapes and postures. The fossils hold significant scientific and aesthetic value, contributing to the study of geological evolution in the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and the southeastern part of the Sichuan Basin.

Folk Activities

Folk Activities in wansheng stone forest

Wansheng Stone Forest provides not only geological wonders but also a cultural showcase of the local Miao ethnic group’s vibrant traditions.

  • Bullfighting: A beloved folk activity among the Miao people, bullfighting is widely popular in many southwestern regions of China. Witnessing an exhilarating bullfighting match is a rare and thrilling experience, and visitors are encouraged not to miss the opportunity if it arises.
  • Horse Fighting: Even more rare is the sight of horse fighting, a spectacle where horses participating in competitions are said to be exceptionally intelligent and skillful. These horses, known for their cunning and agility, are believed to avoid agricultural work during regular days but showcase outstanding abilities during competitive events.
  • Knife-Ladder Climbing (上刀山): An ancient and traditional skill of the Miao ethnic group, knife-ladder climbing is a breathtaking performance often presented by skilled warriors during significant festivals or gatherings. This daring act involves climbing a ladder made of sharp knives, providing a visually stunning and heart-pounding experience. It stands as one of the most astonishing and impactful traditional activities, leaving spectators in awe of the performers’ courage and skill.
  • Miao Ethnic Song and Dance: Wansheng Stone Forest treats visitors to daily performances of vibrant Miao ethnic song and dance. The cultural displays include traditional Miao dances, songs, and other artistic expressions, adding a dynamic and lively dimension to the overall experience.

Vlog about Wansheng Stone Forest

Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Entrances and Main Attractions: Wansheng Stone Forest has two main entrances, the North Gate and the South Gate. Most of the attractions are concentrated at the South Gate. Visitors will encounter scenic spots such as the “Running Horses,” “One-Line Sky,” “Stone Fan,” and “Stone Drum Square” along a downhill path. These spots, including the “Mushroom Fan,” are popular for taking photos and selfies.

Footwear and Terrain: Comfortable and lightweight athletic shoes are recommended, especially for exploring the North Gate area, which involves climbing a long staircase. The terrain throughout the stone forest consists of mainly natural pathways, with some slopes and stairs.

Climate and Shade: The stone forest provides ample natural shade from the surrounding trees, making it relatively cool even during warmer days. Additionally, there is often a gentle breeze in the area. However, it’s still advisable to bring sunscreen and wear appropriate clothing for sun protection.

Transportation and Timing: For visitors not traveling by private vehicle, it’s crucial to inquire about the last scheduled bus departure from the park with the park staff before entering. Taxis may be challenging to find, especially during off-peak hours.

Food and Water: Bringing snacks and sufficient water is advisable since there are limited options for purchasing food and beverages within the park.

Accessibility for Elderly Visitors: Due to the presence of slopes and stairs, Wansheng Stone Forest may not be ideal for elderly individuals who have difficulty navigating such terrain.

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