I was spending the day exploring Tianmen mountain in Zhangjiajie with my three friends from University. We were exploring the summit when it dawned on us that there was an entirely different part of the mountain to see, and we only had a few hours to do it. With that, we took our enormously long cable car back to the halfway point, and jumped on an eco-bus to see the famous Stairway to Heaven.

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This natural arch formed out of a mountain is a sight to be seen. With 500+ stairs leading up to the entrance, the climb isn’t for the faint of heart. The Stairway to Heaven is brilliantly named, because after I got to the top, I was almost certain I was going to drop dead from exhaustion.

Our group set out from the bottom, and slowly started making our way up the steps. What started out as a gradual incline, gradually became a dizzying climb up steeper and steeper stairs. I gave myself the goal of climbing all the way without stopping, and am proud to say I stuck to my goal quite well, despite protests from almost every part of my body.


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Reaching the entrance of the arch was absolutely beautiful. While impressive from the bottom, the view out of both sides holds nothing on it. The arch itself towers over you, as drops of water lightly fall from above. We waited a few minutes for our last friends to complete the climb, and together admired the beauty of this natural wonder.

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When we’d had our fill of spectacular sights, together we made the climb down, and took the bus and cable car back into the city, spending the night eating at street vendors, and convincing ourselves that the pollution in the city wasn’t that bad for our health.


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