Shennongjia is one of the most important ecological function areas and ecologically vulnerable zones in the world. With the rapid development of social economies, especially tourism, the ecological environment of Shennongjia has experienced profound changes. Exploring the characteristics and changing trends of ecological environment in Shennongjia will help to analyze the causes of the damage to the ecological environment, and build a vulnerability analysis framework with multi-scale, multi-element, multi-flow, and multi-circulation characteristics, which provides an effective research paradigm and analysis tool for the study of regional ecological vulnerability. With the support of RS and GIS technology, this study uses spatial principal component analysis (SPCA) and the vulnerability scoring diagram (VSD) model to comprehensively and quantitatively analyze the spatial and temporal evolution characteristics and driving forces of ecological vulnerability in Shennongjia from 1996 to 2018. The VSD model was selected to decompose the vulnerability into three components of "exposure-sensitivity-adaptation", and 16 indicators were selected to construct an ecological vulnerability evaluation system in Shennongjia, and the evaluation data were organized in a progressive and detailed way. (1) During the study period, the overall ecological vulnerability of Shennongjia is in a mild vulnerability level, exhibiting differentiation characteristics of high in the northeast and low in the southwest. High vulnerability zones are mainly distributed in the main towns and roads. (2) The risk of ecological vulnerability of the entire region presents the characteristics of continuous decline. (3) Land-use types, population density, and vegetation coverage are the main factors driving the evolution of ecological vulnerability. (4) A high level of coupling coordination exists between ecological vulnerability and landscape patterns. Analyses of the ecological vulnerability of Shennongjia shows that the entire region is in a mild vulnerability level. The extreme vulnerability risk of the ecological environment shows polarization. The evolution of ecological environment in Shennongjia is the result of the interaction between human activities and natural environment. This study offers an effective way to assess ecological vulnerability and provides some strategies and guidance for improving ecological security.