Tour Operators in Zhangjiajie - Part II
There are standard tours which make use of the natural links between places. Tianzishan, Yuangjiajie and Bailong on the eastern side of the park make a natural full day's excursion. You get up by the cable-car and descend later in the day by the world's weirdest elevator. If you want to avoid the cable-car (RMB53 one-way) it is possible to walk up for free, taking around 2 hours 30 minutes if you are moderately fit. Note that the temperature and the humidity make strenuous walking unpleasant in the summer months unless you are well-adapted to the climate and have good quality clothing. The section at Yuangjiajie, from the car park at Yuangjiajie to Baeilong and the infamous elevator is a walk along the side of the huge ravine, and there is a constantly changing panorama of largely the same section of valley. It's not peaceful although there are one or two side turns where additional steps down a dead-end are empty for long periods, especially towards the end when everyone is shagged out and heading for the bus and the way home.
To be quite blunt, don't expect to come to Zhangjiajie and see much nature, although the wooded walks are lovely. Some knowledge of sub-tropical trees and plants adds immeasurably to the experience. The place is entirely fixated on views and panoramas and "I followed a tour guide round Wulingyuan" T-shirts; it's not natural heritage as much as a series of panoramas.