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Bailong Elevator

Coordinates: 29°21′05″N 110°27′41″E / 29.3515°N 110.4615°E / 29.3515; 110.4615
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The Bailong Elevator, 2009

The Bailong Elevator (Chinese: 百龙电梯; literally Hundred Dragons Elevator) is a glass double-deck elevator built onto the side of a cliff in the Wulingyuan area of Zhangjiajie, People's Republic of China, an area noted for more than 3,000 quartzite sandstone pillars and peaks across most of the site, many over 200 metres (660 ft) in height.

In order to ascend to the top of one such pillar, and to avoid a two-hour hike, the elevator ascends its height of 326 m (1,070 ft) in just one minute and 32 seconds, after a 2015 upgrade.[1][2][3][4] It was recognised by Guinness World Records as the world's tallest outdoor elevator on 16 July 2015[5] and is purported to be the fastest passenger elevator with the largest loading capacity.[3]

Construction of the elevator began in October 1999, and it was opened to the public by 2002.[3] The elevator was built into the quartz sandstone cliff face, with the lower 505 feet embedded inside the mountain wall, and the upper 565 feet consisting of exposed steel derrick.[4]

The environmental effects of the elevator have been a subject of debate and controversy, as the Wulingyuan area was designated a World Heritage Site in 2002.[3][6] Operations were stopped for 10 months in 2002–2003, reportedly due to safety concerns, not environmental ones, because of its location in an earthquake-prone area.[7][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (17 October 2007). Peak attractions, China Daily
  2. ^ Frommer's China, p. 753 (2010)
  3. ^ a b c d (17 October 2002). Construction in Scenic Spots: Protection or Destruction?, Beijing Review
  4. ^ a b c Dunnell, Tony (10 January 2019). "Bailong Elevator, Zhangjiajie, China: The world's tallest outdoor lift stretches along the stone pillars that inspired the floating mountains in the movie "Avatar"". Atlas Obscura: Places. Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 4 October 2023.
  5. ^ "Breathtaking cliff face elevator in China recognised as world's tallest outdoor elevator". 16 July 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  6. ^ Han, Feng. Cross cultural confusion: Application of World Heritage Concepts in Scenic and Historic Interest Areas in China, in The wilderness debate rages on: continuing the great new wilderness debate (Michael P. Nelson & J. Baird Callicott, eds.), at p.261 (2008)
  7. ^ (6 September 2003). Sightseeing elevators restart at world heritage site, China Daily

29°21′05″N 110°27′41″E / 29.3515°N 110.4615°E / 29.3515; 110.4615