Trailhead for Central Route (Hongmen – Red Gate)

Walking in Tai Shan

The Central Route has been the main route up the mountain since the 3rd century BC, and over the past two millennia a bewildering number of bridges, trees, rivers, gullies, inscriptions, caves, pavilions and temples have become famous sites in their own right. If you're fit, you can easily get up in four hours and down in three, but most people take more like six and four.

Although the central route is well paved so you won't need sherpas, climbing ropes, crampons or oxygen, don’t underestimate the challenge of its 7000 knee-wrenching steps.