Bājiǎozhài National Geopark

Top choice national park in Ziyuan

This park is named after eight Dānxiá stone peaks that lie near the border with Húnán. Round, isolated, featuring ringlike troughs and leaning 45 degrees in the same direction, they resemble snails sunning themselves after the rain. The trail winds past steep cliffs, collapsed boulders, plunging gorges and bamboo forests.

From the car park, hike up to Jiànglóng Monastery (降龙寺; Jiánglóng Sì). After descending for 15 minutes, you'll see a junction near a snack shop. Bear left for an hour to Longtou Xiang (龙头香) from where, on a fine day, you can see the eight peaks that gave the area its name. Another 10 minutes takes you back to the car park.