Mount Hua is located in the Shaanxi Province, about 100 kilometres east of the city of Xi'an, near the city Huayin in China. The mountain is one of China's Five Sacred Daoist Mountains, and has a long history of religious significance. The mountain has five main peaks, of which the tallest is the South Peak at 2160 m.
Mount Hua has a variety of temples and other religious structures on its slopes and peaks. At the foot of the mountain is the Cloister of the Jade Spring, which is dedicated to Chen Tuan.
There are three ways up to Mount Hua's North Peak (1613 m), the lowest of the mountain's major peaks. The most popular is the also the original route, which winds for 6 km from Mount Hua village to the north peak. There is also the cable-car, as well as a path that follows the cable car to the North Peak. From the North Peak, a series of paths rise up to the four other peaks, the West Peak (2038 m), the Center Peak (2042 m), the East Peak (2100 m) and the South Peak (2160 m).
The trail that leads to the South Peak from North Peak is on a cliff face, and it is known as being extremely dangerous. The infamy of this route seems to have arisen from a story put on the web page of a person called Rick Archer with the title "The Deadly Mount Hua Hiking Trail". The author claims it was written by an American couple who visited the trail in 2003.
The origin of the story is not known and is assumed by many Mount Hua visitors to be purely fictional. The spread and popularity of the story was aided by many videos showing the most dangerous parts of the trail.