Top Ten China Classic Adventures

Climb the Stone Forest
  |  Gorp.com

With 64,000 acres speckled with towering karst limestone formations, the Stone Forest is one of China's most dramatic outdoor destinations. The area, just 74 miles southeast of Yunnan's provincial capital, was the bottom of a lake until some 200 million years ago, when the area was geologically uplifted. When the water drained away, karst limestone pinnacles remained. The resulting "trees" in this 64,000-acre site form bizarre images.

A paved path less than a mile in length winds through the developed portion of the forest, through narrow crevices and past formations that resemble elephants, pagodas, and swords thrust up from a sea of flames. Though climbing is prohibited in the 200-acre general tourist area, it's easy to wander off the beaten path to scale formations in the distance.


Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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