Stone Forest, Yunnan, China

Vista over the Stone Forest in Yunnan, China

The Stone Forest in Yunnan, China is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The stone formations were created as the limestone eroded.

Red berries on a bush with stone pillars in the background

The Stone Forest (South China Karst) area was a shallow sea some 270 million years ago (the Permian period) when the sandstone and limestone deposits were formed. The entire Shilin National Scenic Area (昆明市石林风景区) covers an area of 400 square km.

Pavillon crowded with tourists

As with many tourist attractions in China many areas were packed with tourists. A 10 minute walk was enough to find much less populated areas. This is often the case in USA National Parks also – walk a bit on trails and you escape many of the hordes of tourists found at scenic overlooks.

Lawn with stone pillars in the background

The area of the forest I visited is known by several names the: Greater Stone Forest or Lizijing Stone Forest.

photo of stone forest trails and signpost with my guide a couple tourists

My guide is on the left of the photo.

stone stairway between stone pillars

The paths among the stone karsts were paved and in several places stairs wound between stone pillars.

crowd of tourists at the Stone Forest, China

The Stone Forest is approximately 90 km from Kunming, the provincial capital of Yunnan.

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