Yuntai Mountain is located at the south foot of the Taihang Mountain in Xiuwu County of Jiaozuo, which is 70 kilometers away from Zhengzhou in Henan Province. Yuntai Mountain is notable for its peculiar peaks and its numerous rivers, lakes, pools and springs. Yuntai Waterfall, with a fall of 314 meters (1,030 ft), looks especially magnificent and is acclaimed as the highest waterfall in China. In August 2007, Yuntai Mountain became a sister park of the Grand Canyon National Park in the United States.
Covering an area of 190 square kilometers, the Yuntai Mountain Geological Park boasts 11 scenic spots, including Qinglong Gorge, Red Stone Gorge, Tanpu Gorge (Xiaozhai Valley), Quanpu Gorge, Cornel Peak (Zhuyu Peak), Wanshan Temple, Baijia Crag, Zifang Lake, Rehesus Monkey Valley, Fenglin Gorge, and Diecai Cave. Each has its own unique features and beauty.
The Qinglong Gorge, renowned as “First Gorge in Yuntai Mountain”, is composed of more than 100 scenic spots. At the bottom of this 7.5-kilometer-long valley, there are springs, pools, streams, and waterfalls everywhere. With cool and fresh air, this beautiful gorge is a good place to avoid summer heat.
Red Stone Gorge
The Red Stone Gorge is highly praised as a valley of potted landscape, with waterfalls, lakes, pools and gullies. The most splendid waterfall in the gorge is the Bailong Waterfall, divided into three falls, measuring 30 meters in height. A good place to enjoy the waterfall is the Black Dragon Cave, which is as long as 30 meters with absolute darkness inside. Standing in the cave, you can not only see the marvelous falls dashing down into the deep pools but also the perilous high stiffs, narrowly separated from each other by fast-flowing gullies so that the sky is scarcely visible. The spring water flowing down the cliffs splashes into water drops that dazzle in the sunlight like colorful diamonds, looking like a unique picture hanging on the wall.
Tanpu Gorge (Xiaozhai Valley)
The Tanpu Gorge is 1,270 meters long extending from the north to the south. To its east stand high rock mountains, and to the west stand lines of fancy peaks rising upright to the sky. Through the winding gorge, a small stream named Xiaolong Creek flows melodiously because its riverbed is formed by winding stone steps, which are different in level, size, color and shape. One sight in the canyon is the Lovers’ Waterfalls, each dashing downward high above from the mountains. Located at three different levels, two falls in each level flow into each other and join together into a deep pool just like two intimate lovers murmuring closely. This is how the waterfall gets its name.
Cornel Peak (Zhuyu Peak)
A 1,000-step stair path leads you to the main peak, Cornel Peak, which is 1,308 meters above sea level. On the top rest the Temple of Zhenwu Emperor, bridges and scaling ladders. Mounting to the mountain top and looking far into the distance, you can see the Yellow River winding like a silver belt. Having a bird view of the foot of the mountain, you can see chains of peaks like sea waves. The weather on the top is often unpredictable. All at once clouds gather and wind blows, with mist rising among the mountains. The mountains looming in the mist and clouds look so vague that you feel as if you were in a fairy world. In the middle of one of the mountains, there is a mysterious cave of 30 meters long and 10 meters wide in diameter. Striking enough, there is a rare huge tree of one thousand years old at the entrance to the cave. It is about 20 meters high with luxuriant foliage and strong trunks, which can only be held in a circle by three people. Moreover, there is also a famous spring like a well here, from which water flows from underground unceasingly throughout the year.
The Baijia Crag, once named as “Crag of Cypresses”, is overgrown with green pines and cypresses between the crevices. There are two conspicuous sights here: one is the Baijia Temple Pagoda and the other is the Tianmen Waterfall, which is nicknamed as “Silver Dragon in North China”. In the place also stand inscriptions and tablets of various kinds. The Baijia Crag is also a good place for mountain-climbing sports.
Rhesus Monkey Valley
The Rhesus Monkey Valley is regarded as another attractive sight in the Yuntai Mountain. The Taihang Mountain Rhesus Monkeys are a kind of second-class protected animals belonging to the primate family in evolution system. Usually, they live between high cliffs among thick bushes and shrubs in a large group of about one hundred monkeys, who are often governed by a monkey king accompanied with guarding monkeys. They are largely distributed in the whole mountain area, adding much pleasure to the monotonous plant sights with their excellent imitative ability.