China Adventures

Cangshan Mountain: Acclimatization Hike

An enjoyable, moderately challenging one day hike on Cangshan Mountain in Dali, Yunnan province from an elevation of 2000 metres to 3000 metres. It's a fun trip on its own but also a mandatory one if you are joining one of our Cangshang summit camping trips if you have spend less than 3 nights at 2000 meter high location before the summit trip.

  • Key Info
  • Discounts & Inclusions
  • Hiking Distance: 8 km
  • Departure Time: 9 am
  • Hiking Duration: 5-6 hours
  • Back in Dali: 4 pm
  • Hike Level: 3 medium-strong
  • Price: 650¥/100$

Meeting/drop-off point: Hotel pick-up and drop-off in Dali Old Town

Acclimatization Hike to 3150 m

Hiking distance: 8 km/5-7 hrs

Elevation gain: 1100 m

Incl. meals: snacks, lunch


Hike to 3150 metres!

Experience a pristine alpine environment!

Enjoy sweeping views of the Dali region and Erhai Lake!


Upcoming trip:

Detailed Itinerary

For those interested in hiking all the way to the summit of Cangshan Mountain it is recommended to first do a one day acclimatization hike on the mountain to 3000 metres. The elevation of Dali Old Town is roughly 2000 metres above sea level and the summit of Cangshan Mountain is just over 4000 metres, so it is essential to properly acclimatize before hiking to the summit! A hike on Cangshan Mountain from roughly 2000 metres to 3000 metres and back in one day is a good way to prepare for safely getting to the summit. If you have already spent at least 3 nights in Dali Old Town then it is not strictly necessary to do a one day acclimatization hike beforehand but we recommend it. Of course, for those not interested in going all the way to the summit, the one day acclimatization hike is still an enjoyable hike in its own right!

Altitude sickness is a risk with all high altitude hikes, especially those that involve large elevation gains in a short period of time. Fortunately, altitude sickness can be prevented with proper acclimatization measures, such as spending several nights at a minimum of 2000 metres, taking altitude sickness prevention and treatment medications such as acetazolamide (Diamox) and/or doing acclimatization hikes, but acclimatization hikes are arguably better than medication because they lack side effects. Acclimatization hikes also have the added benefit of being really fun!

The hike begins from the back of a charming little farming village located about 5 kilometres north of Dali Old Town. We start the hike by walking from the village along a small foot path that weaves its way through a network of cultivated fields to the foot of the mountain. Once on the mountain, it is a pleasant 30 minute walk through grassy foothills up into the forest. Just before reaching the forest we are afforded expansive views of the villages below as well as beautiful Erhai Lake.

Once in the forest, the landscape changes completely but the scenery is equally gorgeous. We continue hiking steadily up the mountain through the forest for about 2 hours before reaching a plateau at about 2700 metres that offers stunning views of Erhai lake. We take a nice rest here and enjoy the view for a while before continuing upwards.

The rest of the hike is steeper than previous sections but not overly strenuous. After another hour or so, we reach a look-out point at about 3100 meters that offers stellar views both up the mountain and down to the lake.  We take a nice rest here and enjoy a picnic lunch before heading back down the mountain the way we came to our waiting car.





Level 3: Medium-Strong

Planning a trip ahead or want a private tour?