Located at the intersection of Yu County and Zhuolu County, Xiaowutai Mountain is the main peak and the highest mountain of Taihang Mountains. The highest peak reaches 2882 meters. Xiaowutai Mountain Nature Reserve is 125 kilometers west of Beijing.
The name is interesting. “Wutai” simply means “five peaks” because the mountain has five main peaks. “Small” is added before “Wutai” to distinguish it from the Wutai Mountain in Shanxi Province. It was listed as a provincial nature reserve in November, 1983, and a national nature reserve in July, 2002. There are two scenic areas in Xiaowutai Mountain Nature Reserve: Yangjiaping Scenic Area and Jinhekou Scenic Area, where 31 major attractions distributed in them, including the Cool Valley, the Immortal Sleeping Stone, the Black Dragon Lake, the Pearl Spring, the Colorful Pebbles, the Buddha Watching Terrace, the Dongpo Site, and the Thin Strip of Sky. It is also famous for Buddhism. A great number of Buddhist buildings which were constructed by eminent monks still remain today, along with ancient temples, traditional grottoes, time-honored pagodas, and old tablets.
Xiaowutai Mountain is abundant with wild life resources, including over 670 kinds of plants, 41 Provincial Protected Animals, and 20 National Protected Animals. The most rare animal in the reserve is Brown Eared-pheasant. Sharing the same level of reputation with panda internationally, it is put on the emblem of World Pheasant Association, and is rated “Vulnerable Species” in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Xiaowutai Mountain is also a paradise for hiking and camping lovers. This is the most difficult hiking routes near Beijing that you can possibly find. Routes include the Shanjiankou Route, the Chiyabao Route, the West Jinhekou Route, and the Xiahuichuan Route. The reserve also prepares lots of camps along the routes for hikers to stop and have a rest or a snack.