Gui Mountain, located in Shilin County, was first named as Old Turtle Mountain because of its special shape like a turtle's back and then renamed as "Laogui Mountain" for the same pronunciation. It is called Gouboma in Yi language, meaning "mountain of wild geese". The mountain has altitude of 2,601 meters, 14 kilometers long from north to south, and 10 kilometers wide, covering a total area of 3,206 hectares. It is a remaining part of Yunling Mountain Range, being the highest peak in the county with a relative height of 981 meters from the foot. Gui Mountain belongs to the subtropical low latitude plateau mountain climate with annual rainfall of 970 mm, annual average temperature of 14°C, and annual average frost-free period of 210 days. The monthly average temperature does not change much and the weather is warm in winter and cool in summer, making it an ideal place for trip and leisure for vacation. In addition, Gui Mountain is adjacent to the famous Stone Forest Scenic Area and only 10 kilometers away from the Azhuodi “Yi House” Ecological Village, forming a beautiful natural landscape with high value for tourism development.
Gui Mountain area is widely distributed with typical karst landforms formed by ancient soluble carbonate sedimentary rocks and limestone, having unique landscapes including wondrous peaks, caves, and dolines as well as various rocks standing tall showing different colors among stones.
Forest cover of Gui Mountain is 80% with diversified forest vegetation. Most species are semi-humid evergreen broad-leaved forests formed by plateau subtropical monsoon, mainly including vegetation communities composed of Cyclobalanopsis glaucoides Schottky, Pistacia weinmannifolia J. Poisson ex Franch, Cyclobalanopsis delavayi, and Rhododendron simsii, etc. With the ups and downs of Gui Mountain, lawn is also divided into several layers, which is quite interesting. Ferns like clover, Plectranthus scutellarioides, Onosma paniculatum, Dendrobium nobile, Gentiana scabra and other wildflowers come out every spring and midsummer, presenting a splendid picture of freshness and fragrance for you when strolling on the grass soft as a green carpet. Precious plants and herbs can be found everywhere in this area with over 460 commonly seen varieties. The national protected plants (Grade II) include: Toona ciliata, Cinnamomum glanduliferum, Cephalotaxus, beech, Magnolia officinalis, eucommia, and Neocheiropteris palmatopedata, etc.; provincial protected plants (Grade II) include: Lyonia ovalifolia var.elliptica, and Toxicodendron griffithii; provincial protected plants (Grade III) include: Thymelaeaceae, Delavaya toxocarpa, top Mahonia, and Berberis wilsonae, etc. There are also three major famous flowers - camellia, Rhododendron simsii, and Primula malacoides that Yunnan locals are proud of as well as over a hundred herbs including Radix Aconiti, Helwingia himalaica, Gastrodia elata, Berberis soulieana Schneid, Pinellia ternata, lily, Prunus mume Sieb.etZucc, Gentiana scabra Bunge, and platycodon. These rare and valuable plants are precious natural resources for all human beings, having high value for protection of biodiversity, genetics, ecology, and social and economic development.
Gui Mountain has high peaks and forest and has good ecological environment. It is a natural habitat for wild animals, mainly including: Manis, Paguma larvata, Muntiacus, eagle, myna, Phasianus colchicus, Garrulax canorus, woodpecker, Chrysolophus amherstiae, Pica pica, hare, Viverra zibetha, squirrel, and toad as well as Trimeresurus stejnegeri, green snake, and lizard, etc.
Gui Mountain is flat in northeast while steep in west and south. High cliffs and forests merge, showing different views from various perspectives.
Gui Mountain is high with diversified scenes. On the top of the mountain, you can see the red sunrise and the morning glow as well as golden sunset; and on sunny days, you can appreciate the overview of the plains, mountains, and lakes in surrounding four counties. The most unforgettable scene is in winter - a white and clear world. Staying inside, you will feel purified by such clearness. Cloud sea is also a major scenery in Gui Mountain. It is like light smoke and white mist - rising, floating, and staying. When rising, peaks reveal and flowers come out; when floating, shadows and forests appear from time to time, and when staying, there seems to be a sea blending sky and earth, showing mysterious landscape and helping you feel the wonders of nature.
Gui Mountain is also a glorious memorial to revolution as it was the revolutionary base for Yunnan people to fire the first shot against KMT reactionaries during the Liberation War. General Zhu Jiabi led a people's troop to fight against the enemy for more than 10 times, conquered Shizong and Qiubei, liberated Guangnan, and established a revolutionary base in Gui Mountain, making important contributions to Yunnan's liberation cause. General Zhu Jiabi Monument is located in a forest surrounded by peaks of Gui Mountain, having positive influence on the traditional education of revolutionary history for future generations.
There is a temple on Gui Mountain, named Guishan Temple, alias Guijing Temple. Located on the northeast slope of Gui Mountain, it was first built in Ming Dynasty, being the most worshipped Buddhist mountain resort in the four surrounding counties (Luxi, Mile, Shizong, and Luliang). According to historical records, “Gui Mountain is located in Dongzhou, having dense forest. there is lake on mountain top that never dries out even in drought. Temple under the lake has broad overview; this is the residential place for ancient Qin hereditary headmen”. In recent years, surrounding residents have voluntarily donated funds to repair the Great Buddha's Hal, Caoan Temple, and Xuantian Pavilion, etc. Every year around March 3 of lunatic calendar, thousands of devout Buddhism believers come to the temple from local and neighboring counties for pilgrimage.
Gui Mountain is also a place with ethnic diversity, having Miao, Han and Yi branches including Sani, Heiyi, Baiyi, and Yiqing. Each ethnic group has their own profound and colorful custom and culture, jointly forming beautiful and long-lasting culture in Gui Mountain.
With broad and magnificent forests, Gui Mountain became a national forest park upon the approval of National Forestry Administration on December 28, 2000.
Gui Mountain National Forest Park has not only diversified forest vegetation and wild animals but also unique ethnic culture and custom as well as religious culture. It is also a memorial to revolution history. In addition, karst landform adds a special landscape to it, making it an ideal place for modern leisure and eco-tourism.