Image: Huangshan, or Yellow Mountain
Catherine Tsai  /  AP
A sunset is seen over Huangshan — or Yellow Mountain, in southeast China. Huangshan in Anhui province, with its distinctive pines and rolling clouds, has some of the most beautiful scenery in the area.
updated 8/13/2007 8:19:09 PM ET 2007-08-14T00:19:09

Chinese tourism authorities have closed one of the peaks on popular tourist attraction Huangshan mountain for three years to allow vegetation to recover from the hordes of tourists who visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The barring of visitors to Danxia Feng, or "Purple Cloud Peak," is part of a revolving series of closures of sites on the mountain, located in Anhui province, about 745 miles south of the Chinese capital, Beijing.

Another of the mountain's scenic spots, Shixin Peak, reopened to tourists on July 1 after authorities restored trees and shrubs. The official China Daily newspaper called the closure the "latest move to protect one of China's World Heritage Sites."

Famed for stunning scenery that has inspired countless landscape paintings, Huangshan, or "Yellow Mountain," attracts millions of visitors each year who clamber up thousands of steps. The area boasts 72 named peaks within a 59-square-mile area, with the three highest rising above 5,905 feet.

China has among UNESCO's largest number of listed sites, although their management has sometimes come under criticism. UNESCO this year expressed concern over development at Tibet's Potala palace and five other Chinese sites.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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