Tianmen Mountain

Coordinates: 29°2′59.57″N 110°28′44.00″E / 29.0498806°N 110.4788889°E / 29.0498806; 110.4788889
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Tianmen Mountain
Highest point
Elevation1,518.6 m (4,982 ft)
Prominence1,518.6 m (4,982 ft)
Coordinates29°2′59.57″N 110°28′44.00″E / 29.0498806°N 110.4788889°E / 29.0498806; 110.4788889
Tianmen Mountain is located in Hunan
Tianmen Mountain
Tianmen Mountain
Location in Hunan

Tianmen Mountain (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: 天門山; pinyin: Tiānmén Shān; lit. 'Heaven's Gate Mountain') is a mountain located within Tianmen Mountain National Park, Zhangjiajie, in the northwestern part of Hunan Province, China.


A cablecar was constructed in 2005[1] by the French company Poma from nearby Zhangjiajie railway station to the top of the mountain. Tianmen Mountain Cableway is claimed in tourist publications as the "longest passenger cableway of high mountains in the world", with 98 cars and a total length of 7,455 m (24,459 ft) and ascent of 1,279 m (4,196 ft). The highest gradient is 37 degrees. Tourists can walk on kilometres of paths built along the cliff face at the top of the mountain, including sections with glass floors. An 11 km (7 mi) road - Tongtian Avenue - with 99 bends also reaches the top of the mountain and takes visitors to Tianmen cave natural arch in the mountain of a height of 131.5 m (431.4 ft).[2] As with the mountain, the cave translates as Heaven's Door/天门 and has a 999 step entrance known as "the Stairway to Heaven."[3]

The Tianmenshan Temple is located on the summit, with chairlift or footpath access. The original temple there was built during the Tang dynasty and destroyed during the first part of the 20th century. In 1949, as the Chinese Communist Revolution neared its end, construction of a new temple, with Tang dynasty architecture, began; the temple now sits on landscaped grounds covering 2 hectares (4.9 acres).

In 2007, Alain Robert scaled the cliff below the arch, bare-handed and without protection; a plaque commemorates his feat.

The World Wingsuit League held the first and second World Wingsuit Championships in Tianmen. On October 8, 2013, during a training jump for the second world championships, Viktor Kováts plunged to his death when he was unable to open his parachute.[4][5]

In August 2016, a glass skywalk overlooking Tongtian Avenue, called the "Coiling Dragon Cliff",[6] opened to the public.[7]

In September 2016, the Italian driver Fabio Barone set the first speed world record with his Ferrari 458 Italia, covering the nearly 11 km (6.8-mile) route in 10 minutes and 31 seconds.[8]

In April 2023, four people died in a group suicide on one of the skywalks at Tianmen Mountain. Three men jumped to their deaths from the west line skywalk at a height of roughly 1,430 m (4,691.6 ft). The fourth person, a woman, was stopped from jumping but had already swallowed poison, causing her death.[9]


  1. ^ "The Sky Gate Escalators". Lift Magazine. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  2. ^ Tianmen Mountain, Hunan Zhangjiajie Tianmenshan Tourism Co. Ltd.
  3. ^ Rizzo, Cailey. "There's an Actual Stairway to Heaven — With 999 Steps — in China". Travel + Leisure. Travel+Leisure. Retrieved April 18, 2023.
  4. ^ Armstrong, Paul (October 12, 2013). "Wingsuit flier Viktor Kováts dies after cliff crash horror". Hong Kong. CNN. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  5. ^ Cadenbach, Christoph (November 25, 2013). "Sprung ins Ungewisse" (in German). Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  6. ^ "Glass cliff walk in China: Scary Coiling Dragon Cliff walk opens". News.com.au. August 3, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  7. ^ Yu, Elaine (August 2, 2016). "China's cliff-clinging glass skywalk opens to public". CNN. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  8. ^ BBC, NEWS (September 23, 2016). "Italian races up China daredevil road". BBC News. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  9. ^ "4 people die in group suicide at China's famous glass skywalk". BNO News. Retrieved April 8, 2023.