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Need information about hiking Huangshan


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I will be in Shanghai for a couple weeks in August and I have 4 days available for a side trip to Huangshan.  My goal is take the train to Hangzhou, stay at a hotel one night, then bus from Hangzhou to Huangshan, start climbing at the "Eastern Steps", spend the night at Baihai hotel, then hike out through the "Western Steps" and take the bus back to the hotel in Hangzhou. However, despite hours spent searching online I do not have a clear picture of whether this is do-able.  That is can I actually hike the trail and catch the buses fast enough to get back to the hotel by the next evening.


My language skills are low-intermediate and I don't have much trouble communicating with drivers, hotel staff or Chinese friends.  But my vocabulary is weak, so some interactions can be be challenging.  I am hoping to leave my suitcase at the hotel, take an early morning taxi to the bus stop (wherever that might be).  And do the reverse on the way back.


Has anyone done this before?  Is there anything in particular I need to be aware of?  I read that the elevation gain is 1000 meters, which doesn't concern me.  I read that the hotels are expensive and not great, but I don't mind bunking up or being woken early. I am wondering if the trail is longer than I think, or if the number of other hikers would slow me down.  I have read that there is a line to take the tram.  Is there a line on the trail as well?




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Here are some of the references that I found useful:





By watching the Video and following the map, in the links below, I was able to get a better idea of the scale and distances involved.

Video: http://www.vidinfo.org/video/13777434/huangshan-mountain-step-by-step

Map: http://images.chinahighlights.com/allpicture/2015/01/1d464e23a059415cb972cce4.jpg


This web site says there is a 6AM bus from Hangzhou.  If that is true, and if the bus ride is 4 hours (as reported elsewhere, I should be able to get to the trail head by 10AM that should be early enough to find the hotel and do some exploring.

Transportation: http://www.topchinatravel.com/hangzhou/how-to-get-to-huangshan-from-hangzhou.htm


I don't know if any of these links are accurate, so I would love to hear from someone who has been there before.

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