Huashan is located in the Qinling mountain range, which lies in southern Shaanxi province.
As early as the second century BC, there was a Daoist temple known as the Shrine of the Western Peak located at its base. Daoists believed that in the mountain live a god of the underworld. The temple at the foot of the mountain was often used for spirits mediums to contact the god and his underlings. Unlike Taishan, which became a popular place of pilgrimage, Huashan only received local pilgrms, and was not well known in much of the rest of China. Huashan was also an important place for immortality seekers, as powerful drugs were reputed to be found there. Kou Qianzhi , the founder of the received revelations there, as did Chen Tuan , who lived on the mountain prior to receiving immortality. In the 1230s, all the temples on the mountain came under control of the Daoist Quanzhen School. In 1998, the management committee of Huashan agreed to turn over most of the mountain's temples to the China Daoist Association. This was done to help protect the environment, as the presence of monks and nuns deters poachers and loggers.
Huashan 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.
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 Huashan 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 Hua Shan 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.