“Longmenjian” literally means “dragon gate canyon”. Longmenjian Canyon is officially named Longmenjian Canyon Scenic Area. This is a well developled scenic area with an area of 20 square kilometers, about 90 km away from the Beijing city proper.
Longmenjian Canyon is 15km in length, the longest canyon in Beijing. Longmenjian Canyon is famous for its rugged rock formations, towering cliffs. There is a spectrum of unique and natural paintings of Jianpi Peak, General’s Stone, The Cave in the air, Narrow Sky Cave, Black Dragon Pool, Sisters’s Peak, Goddess’ Peak and Sky Ladder Warerfall. From Longmenjian Canyon, you can feel the surreal melody at Three Gorges Yangtze and the atmosphere at Yangshuo in Guilin. Longmenjian Canyon is referred as Geological Museum in Northern China by some scholars.
The air in the canyon is fresh, cool, sweet and moist. The drop of the canyon is between 300 – 600 meters with the high peaks on both sides with the narrowest gorge less than 4 meters. This geological formation causes the short sunshine time and low evaporation, hence lush vegetation, the high Negative oxygen ions, 400 – 500 times than urban area, a truly “natural oxygen bar”. The characteristics of the landscape makes the temperature here lower than the urban areas by 7 ℃ ~ 8 ℃.
Longmenjian Canyon is characteristic of karst landscape. Because of the semi-arid monsoon climate, the dissolution of rock is slower than that of the ice rocks. hence the formation of a unique karst peaks, known as: “the flower of the North Karst”
Through the Grand Canyon, you can reach west to Lingshan Mountain; to the east you can climb over a ridge and reach the Ming Great Wall watch tower on the top of Huangcaoliang. Longmenjian Canyong sits on the center of this accessible, resourceful and picturesque area.
Follow us to explore Longmenjian Canyon.
On the afternoon March 15, 2011, after visiting Shuangshitou Village, Cuandixia VillageandBaiyu Village, we continue to drive along the newly built asphalt road to Longmenjian Canyong, which is only 10km from Baiyu Village. Go north from the Baiyu Village and turn left at the first fork to the direction of Yanjiatai (燕家台）where the entrance to Longmenjian Canyon is located.
The newly renovated county-level highway is of high quality.
At the fork of Yanjiatai Nankou, we turn right for Longmenjian Canyon.
We continue to drive for about half kilometer, we see a big placard pointing to the entrance to Longmenjian Canyon.
This is the entrance to Longmenjian Canyon. We are only visitors today and enjoy free tickets.
The Longmenjian Canon is huge and composed of three major gorges – Ghost Gorge, Grand Canyon and Hanging Temple. Each Gorge is a circular trail. One circuit hike trail for each gorge takes about 3-4 hours.
A well paved road snakes through the narrow bottom of the valley.
The Sword Cutting Peak.
The General’s Stone carved with the words telling a legend.
Still in the middle of March, inside the canyon, the temperature is much lower than outside, even lower than the city center of Beijing.
Towering cliffs and rugged rock formations
Rugged rock formations
Tip: Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for Beijing guided tours: