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Dali, Yunnan Province
Cangshan Mountain Alpine Meadow and Hidden Waterfalls Hike (1 Day):
A 10 km hike from a small, quiet farming village at the foot of Cangshan Mountain through terraced fields, tea plantations and along the edge of a dramatic river gorge to a beautiful alpine meadow with hidden waterfalls and stunning views of Erhai Lake at an elevation of 2600 metres above sea level.
From our meeting point in front of the West Gate of Dali Old Town (大理古城西门) our van takes us 9 km north to a small farming village at the foot of Cangshan Mountain called Heyang Cun (literally “Sun Crane Village”). The hike begins at the top of Heyang Village at an elevation of approximately 2000 metres. From our drop off point, it’s a short walk past scenic terraced fields, up into the foothills of Cangshan Mountain. Once in the hills we meander through a tea plantation overlooking Heyang Village and are afforded our first panoramic views of Erhai Lake.
Next we dip down into a little gully before arriving at the mouth of a narrow mountain gorge with a small but fast flowing river gushing out of it.
We cross the river, then start hiking straight uphill through a tranquil pine forest on the mountainside. After a short but vigorous hike, we emerge out of the forest at the edge of an overhanging cliff one hundred metres above the gorge where we are rewarded with spectacular views down to the river and up to the high reaches of the mountain.
From here the trail turns steeply upwards as it hugs the edge of the gorge. As we begin to gain in elevation rapidly, the terrain on this section of the hike is slightly demanding but we continue to be rewarded with breathtaking views deep into the gorge and back towards the lake. The trail eventually turns away from the edge of the gorge and back into the forest where we pass by the narrow opening to a deep cave. We continue to hike through dense, lush forest for another 30 minutes before arriving at a plateau at about 2,450 metres. Here we take a short rest before following a well worn donkey trail used by local villagers who hike into the hills to harvest various wild forest products, such as bamboo, mushrooms and medicinal herbs.
After a short hike uphill, the trail flattens out for a while, before dipping down into another densely forested river gorge. Deep in the gorge, the trail crosses a small stream before turning sharply upwards. After a few minutes of huffing and puffing, we get back onto flat ground and continue hiking through the forest until we suddenly arrive at a wide mountain meadow at an elevation of 2600 metres. After a steady 3 hour hike up the mountain, and roughly 600 metres of elevation gain, this is the perfect place to stop for lunch and take in the surrounding mountain scenery, which includes stunning views of Erhai Lake.
After lunch we continue along a small foot path to a nearby river gorge and hike alongside the river for a short distance until arriving at a series of spectacular, hidden waterfalls.
From here we retrace our steps back to the alpine meadow and continue down the mountain to Heyang Village, where our van will be waiting to take us back to Dali Old Town.
For those who want to enjoy the tranquility of the mountains even longer, this itinerary can also be done as an overnight camping trip. (insert link to: “Alpine Meadow Camping (2 Days)”)
coming soon….booking info of China adventures
Are you planning far ahead but your favorite trip is not on our schedule at the time you’re coming to China? Are you an indepentdant traveler that wants to keep the costs as low as possible? Just let us know your favorite trip and starting date at least 6 weeks in advance and we will add your trip to our hiking agenda. As soon as we have 6 people joining the trip we are good to go!
Are you planning far ahead but your favorite trip is not on our schedule at the time you’re coming to China?
Are you an independent traveler that wants to keep the costs as low as possible?
Just let us know your favorite trip and starting date at least 6 weeks in advance and we will add your trip to our hiking agenda.
As soon as we have 6 people joining the trip we are good to go!
Private tours are great ways to travel if you have a group of friends, family or colleagues ready to explore nature together.
Also for school trips or company team building activities, a private tour is the way to go.
We have experience guiding trips with up to 60 people from international schools and companies.
Price for private tours will vary depending on the number of people, the chosen transportation and accommodation.
Let us know your desires and we will customize a trip for you.