Top Bike Tour Routes around Kunming City

Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province, is known for its pleasant climate, scenic landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. The city’s surrounding areas offer numerous cycling routes that cater to both leisure cyclists and those looking for more challenging rides.

1. Around the Dian Chi Lake

If you cycle around the lake anticlockwise, you can follow the route via Dian Chi Road, Sheng Wei Dang Xiao, Jin Bao Mountain, Bai Yu Kou, Hai Kou, Jin Ning, Ma Jin Pu, Cheng Gong, Guang Fu Road to Dian Chi Road. You can also choose the clockwise direction, the total distance is about 145 km,  it will take about 8 hours for yo u to complete the cycling. HThis route is a little far but quite flat without steep climbing. The landscape of Gao hai Road is quite beautiful, but you have to pay attention to the trucks and pedestrians after Hai Kou. By the way, You need to protect yourself from Ultraviolet rays and dust.

2. From Fu Min via Qing Long Canyon to An Ning

You can follow the route via the Worker’s Hospital, Pu Ji, Fu Min, Lv Ze, Qing Long Canyon, the Hot Spring, An Ning to Ming Bo. After Lv Ze, you can also turn left, then you can cycle via Gu Lv, Wo Yun Mountian, Tuan Jie, Qiong Zhu Temple, Hei Lin Pu and back to the city.The route is about 130km totally, which will take you about 7 hours. This route is steeper than that of around Dian Chi, the Fu An Road  upstream the Tang Lang Chuan is very beautiful. Please pay attention to the trucks on the 320 National Road after An Ning, and protect yourself from Ultraviolet rays and dust.

3. From A Zi Ying via Bai Yi to Song Hua Ba

You will start from the University of Nationalities, via Hei Long Tan, Long Feng Cemetery,  A Zi Ying,Bai Yi, the Junction of Xiao He, Song Hua Ba, the 7th Waterworks to the Northern area of the city. The distance is about 130 km totally, which will take you about 8 hours. The route is quite difficult, steep and far. For example, there is 12 km climbing from Bai Yi to the 7th Waterworks. It is very beautiful from Long Feng Cemetery to Bai Yi, where the mountain is green and the river is gorgeous, almost be similar with the route of the Tour of the France. You can see a lot of egrets flying in the fields besides the road from Bai Yi to the Juction of Xiaohe, so amazing! Please take enough food and water with you during the trip.

4. From the Western Mountain via Mao Mao Qing, the Navigation Station, the Small Stone Forest to Jin Bao Shan.

You will start from the gate of the Teenage Palace on the Dian Chi road, via Hai Geng, the Western Mountain Park, Mao Mao Qing, the Navigation Station, the Small Stone Forest, Jin Bao Mountain, the Gao Hai Road to the Dian Chi Road. It’s hard to tell the exact distance because you have to going down the cliff on your foot from the Small Stone Forest to Jin Bao Mountain, carrying your bicycle. The route is very fantastic with a lot of fun.

You can see the seagulls in the beautiful Cao Hai alongside the Hai Geng Dam, then you will cycle in the forest after the gate of Western Mountain. The Mao Mao Qing is so steep that you should be careful, otherwise you will drop down from the bicycle or the front wheel will be hung in the air. You have to climb the steep slope with the lightest gear, and pay attention to the passing cars at the same time. You can enjoy the sight of the Dian Chi Lake beside the Navigation Station, then you can turn left to cross the Small Stone Forest on your foot,  and watch the other side of Dian Chi from the Cliff of the Jin Bao back Mountain, after that you have to walk down to the Gao Hai Road along the small road. As you can see, this route is combined with cycling and trekking.

5. From Jin Dian, via Shuang Long, Xiao He to Song Hua Ba

This route is quite similar with the Route 3, the most important part is from Jin Dian Reservoir to Shuang Long, where the slope is steep and long, and full of sudden turns with a lot of traffic. The new road is fantastic from Shuang Long to Xiao He, where is surrounded with Secondary forest of pines.

We just listed some of the nice routes you can cycle around Kunming, there are other fantastic routes you can choose, such as from Sha Lang via the Eastern Village of Fu Min to the Hot Spring, From the Qiong Zhu Temple via the Checkerboard Mountain to Ming Lang Reservoir, From Kunming via An Ning to Lu Feng, From Kunming via Cheng Gong to Yi Liang, From Kunming to Cheng Jiang and so on.

Detailed Cycling Routes around Kunming

1. Highland Waterway Line – Embraced by Water, Beloved Scenic Beauty

Recommended Route: Gao Hai Highway

Flowing upstream, facing the mountains, if you want to experience the beauty of mountains and waters, this cycling route along the highland waterway is a must.
Gao Hai Highway sees minimal traffic on ordinary days and has almost no slopes. With the distant precipices of the Western Mountains and the vast Dianchi Lake in view, it’s not only the choice for novice cyclists but also a paradise for road cycling enthusiasts who love speed. This route seems naturally made for those who love discovering beauty.

Because the cycling difficulty is moderate and the scenery is beautiful, I always love riding this route on weekends. Starting from Dianchi Road or Xihua Road to the riverside of Chuanfang River, along the narrow path with few pedestrians, willow branches flutter in the wind, and green trees provide shade. Occasionally, willow fluff lightly brushes against the body. Along the way, you can often see romantic couples and children playing in the water, all enjoying the naturally created beautiful scenery. Although there are one or two places where you need to dismount and push the bike, it doesn’t affect the overall continuity of the route.

Enjoy being immersed in the calm river surface scenery on both sides of the road. Suddenly, one or two dilapidated fishing boats with a sense of historical mottling appear in front of you, signaling the arrival of Riverwei Village, not far from the Dianchi Grass Sea Dam. At this moment, the most romantic thing is to park the bike by the riverbank, take out the prepared picnic, and start enjoying the soft afternoon under the sea breeze. Have something to eat on the dam, take a rest, and feed the seagulls preparing to migrate north. After resting, ride along the Grass Sea Dam to the Great Dam, then turn left along Gao Hai Highway and continue forward, enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Western Mountains and Dianchi Lake along the way. Here, you often encounter the spectacular “one-meter sunlight,” where the sunlight pierces through the clouds and warms your face exceptionally.

Recommended Activities: In addition to cycling, this route also has many highlights for leisure activities. Fushan Village is Kunming’s largest strawberry planting base, where you can enjoy the joy of picking and eating strawberries straight from the ground every winter. Next on the journey is the well-established Xihua Wetland Park, known for its simple and natural style, allowing direct interaction with Dianchi Lake. If you have average physical fitness, you can choose to return at Xihua Wetland Park, unless you want to experience the sensation of being surrounded by hot springs. Yes, there are very nice hot springs here, located within the Traffic Rehabilitation Hospital in Baiyukou. The outdoor hot springs here are affordable, clear, and clean, with a very nice swimming pool as well. Additionally, Baiyukou is also the area with the largest waves and deepest water in the entire Dianchi Lake, offering a unique perspective of the lake. After soaking in the hot springs, slowly begin the return journey. At the foot of the Western Mountains, there are plenty of farmhouse restaurants where you can eat and rest.

Cycling Notes: When cycling on Gao Hai Highway, be sure to watch out for vehicles and pedestrians. Avoid cycling too fast and refrain from using headphones while riding. If you’re not visiting the hot springs, the round trip can be completed in just half a day.

2. Overlooking Kunming from High Above

Recommended Route: Western Hills (Xi Shan)

Cycling uphill might be a bit tiring, but the scenery along the way is exceptional, with the wind rustling through the trees and offering a panoramic view of the entire city of Kunming.

This route offers cool shade under the trees and minimal traffic from trucks, coupled with excellent road conditions and highly recommended farmhouse restaurants, making Western Hills a timeless cycling route. Unlike Gao Hai Highway, cycling on Western Hills is quite challenging and requires a certain level of physical fitness and mental preparation. It’s advisable for cyclists to go in groups to avoid any unforeseen circumstances.

It’s said that this cycling route is beloved by many experienced riders in Kunming. Only they know about the hidden, breathtaking cycling trails deep within the green forests of Western Hills. Here’s a little secret: the small dirt road between Western Hills facing Dianchi Lake and Taiping Town on the opposite side offers stunning scenery, often frequented by avid cycling enthusiasts seeking adventure. Of course, if it’s your first time, stick to the three main routes. The first route takes you to the Longmen Ticket Office, where you can enjoy magnificent views of Dianchi Lake before descending, with attractions such as Huating Temple, Taihua Temple, and Nie Er’s Tomb along the way. The second route goes from the junction road to the radar station, known among Kunming cyclists as the challenging “muscle section.” Despite its steep slope, reaching the radar station and overlooking Dianchi Lake, feeling the wind and breathing fresh air deeply, letting your shout carry far away, is a glorious experience for every cyclist who conquers it.

Recommended Activities: A particularly exciting route is the one leading to Maomaojing in Western Hills. Besides its natural beauty, Maomaojing is also well-known for its numerous farmhouse restaurants. Almost every weekend, you’ll find cyclists wearing sunglasses eagerly awaiting their meals here. During breaks from cycling, you can relax and enjoy activities like playing mahjong or card games, adding to the fun and relaxation. Among the various farmhouse restaurants, the most popular dish after a sweaty ride is chicken.

Cycling Notes: Although Western Hills is nearby, a trip there usually takes up most of the day, so plan your time wisely. Mountain bikes are recommended for cycling on Western Hills, and it’s best to go in groups for mutual support in case of emergencies. Beginners should avoid venturing too far from the main roads, and single women are advised against cycling up the mountain alone.

3. Countryside Charm Route: Greenery and Blooming Flowers in March

Recommended Routes: Qinglong Gorge, Baozi Jing

Canola flowers, peach blossoms, pear blossoms… this is the perfect cycling route for enjoying flowers.

There was once someone who cycled like this. Before dawn, he set out, climbing halfway up Baozhu Temple, where he witnessed the first rays of sunlight bursting from the eastern sky. The city below was waking up, but he had already left it behind. Upon reaching the mountaintop, he crossed over to Wangqiong Road behind Baozhu Temple and arrived at Tuanshan Town, bathed in abundant sunlight and renowned for its apples, by 9 a.m. Here, he had breakfast and enjoyed the pastoral scenery along the way, soon reaching Lelv Road, lush and comparable to Xishuangbanna.

Few tourists visit this cycling route, and vehicle tracks are rare. A small stream named Yongsheng River flows along the bottom of the valley, with a small ecological park in Baozi Jing where you can hike. Yet, the truly beautiful scenery is always on the cycling path. There are many warblers here, and the trees on the mountains eagerly greet the sunlight, accompanied by the gurgling sound of the creek. Apart from that, everything is tranquil. Find a place to stop, sit by the creek, take out the beer bought in Tuanshan Town, soak in the creek, close your eyes for a while, and wake up to chilled beer. It’s hard to imagine such natural beauty, just about 40 kilometers from the center of Kunming.

After finishing the beer, continue along the road to the quiet Lüzhe Village, where you can enjoy a sweet bitter vegetable soup cooked by a warm farmhouse, and have a pleasant meal before moving on. A 180-degree hairpin turn leads you to Anning to Fumin Road, heading towards Anning. Along the way, you’ll encounter the relentless Tángláng Chuān after about an hour, arriving at Qinglong Gorge. In this season, follow Qinglong Gorge and admire the golden canola flowers and the snow-white pear blossoms glistening in the sunlight. It can be said that this is the most suitable season for cycling because the scenery along the way is endless.

Recommended Activities: By April, along Anfu Road, there are many fruits for sale such as Kirin melons and lotus seeds, making it the most enjoyable season, a dual delight for the eyes and mouth. Afterwards, if interested, take a bath in the hot spring town and then return to Kunming via the old Kun’an Road, concluding the journey.

Cycling Notes: The scenery from Lüzhe Village to Fumin is also very good, and it would be a shame to miss it. However, when going to Fumin, it’s best to return by car because the road from Fumin to Kunming is an old road with steep slopes and the famous Dapuji Tunnel, making it difficult and not very scenic. Additionally, this section of the route is nearly 90 kilometers long, with 100 kilometers considered the maximum distance for newcomers to cycle in a day, as going beyond this distance can be physically taxing. Due to the long distance and steep slopes, cyclists should plan to depart early and return early to avoid cycling at night.

4. Forest Mountain Path Route: Shaded by Green Trees, Springs in the Deep

Recommended Route: Baozhu Temple

Baozhu Temple is currently very popular among cycling enthusiasts in Kunming and has become as renowned as Jinhun Road for cycling.

Baozhu Temple actually refers to Bao Hua Road, a road very close to the main urban area of Kunming, highly recommended for friends living in the west and north districts. What’s most delightful is that due to strict restrictions on heavy vehicles, the entire cycling route has no large trucks, only the fragrance of flowers, shady green trees, and suburban beauty along the way. The only regret is that the slope difficulty here is too great, so it’s not recommended for novice cyclists seeking a challenge.

A word of caution: Baozhu Temple is not suitable for inexperienced cycling enthusiasts yearning for a breath of fresh air. This is because Baozhu Temple ascends nearly 500 meters in a short distance, comparable to a Category 1 climb in the Tour de France or even the highest level. Nevertheless, the unique charm of Baozhu Temple attracts more and more cycling enthusiasts to take on the challenge. Baozhu Temple has comprehensive tourist facilities and almost no passing vehicles. Occasionally, private cars passing by are mostly here for fresh air or to fetch spring water. An ecological park has been established here, and trash left by tourists is regularly cleaned up, providing excellent conditions for cycling enthusiasts. However, cyclists and tourists should still pay attention to environmental protection and avoid behaviors that could pollute the environment.

Baozhu Temple is rich in vegetation, making every ride here feel like being in a natural oxygen bar. Close your eyes, smell the forest air, and suddenly feel secluded from the world. It’s worth mentioning that near the top at the height limit pole intersection, natural spring water attracts many citizens, and private cars often stop here in groups of three or four. It’s said that the free mountain spring water here is excellent for tea, and many cyclists bring empty bottles to fill up with spring water to drink. Turning left at the intersection of the three-way fork near the mountaintop for 3-4 kilometers leads to Sanjia Village Reservoir, where lush green grass and clear water form a picturesque scene. It’s said that migratory birds use this place as a resting place during migration. Here, it’s easy to completely escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a moment of tranquility. On weekends, Sanjia Village Reservoir is surrounded by Kunming citizens who come for leisure activities, and the popularity is increasing. Activities such as barbecuing, fishing, camping, swimming, and even off-road motorcycles are conducted around the reservoir, creating considerable environmental pressure, thereby strengthening the environmental awareness of cycling enthusiasts.

Recommended Activities: Due to Baozhu Temple’s unique geographical location, it has become the first choice for friends who enjoy cycling at night. Turning right at the three-way fork at the top of Baozhu Temple, you can also visit popular places like Qipanshan Forest Park, Suburban Park, and Qiongzhu Temple. Suburban Park is undoubtedly the best choice for camping and picnicking. In addition, there is also a popular route from Wangqiong Road to Tuanshan Town.

Cycling Notes: When cycling to Baozhu Temple, travel light, and avoid eating acidic foods like yogurt or pickled radishes before cycling, as intense exercise could cause vomiting. This advice applies to other routes as well. It’s recommended to plan for a half-day trip when cycling alone to Baozhu Temple.

5. Fragrant Peach and Plum Blossoms, Seeking Serenity Away from the City

Recommended Route: Jinhun Road

Some say that Jinhun Road is the backyard of Kunming residents, and for cyclists, Jindian Back Mountain is an everlasting highlight of cycling. Nowadays, tourism development around Jindian Back Mountain has become increasingly perfect. Along Jinhun Road, there are numerous dining options such as rainbow trout sashimi, Dai-style barbecue, whole lamb roast, Sichuan pepper chicken, and more, making it a truly renowned gourmet avenue.

Many friends used to drive to Jindian Back Mountain after work to witness Kunming draped in golden hues at sunset. As darkness falls, they would find a romantic restaurant halfway up the mountain to enjoy an extremely romantic dinner. For cycling enthusiasts, the cycling experience around Jindian Back Mountain is equally romantic.

Of course, cycling itself is a joy. The dirt roads in Dongda Village provide the best opportunity to connect with nature. If you venture a bit further, cycling from Shuanglong Township up to 101 Township Road in Xiahe Township, there are almost no passing vehicles. The air is filled with the fragrance of herbs, and along the roadside are large-scale bayberry plantations and scattered peach, plum, and apricot trees. With just a few steps, you can pick fresh fruit with the help of villagers. Xiahe Township is located upstream of Songhuaba Reservoir, a place with clear water and lush greenery. Cycling here allows you to enjoy the spaciousness, feeling far removed from the hustle and bustle of Kunming city.

Recommended Activities: In addition to the lure of food, there are also many recreational activities along this route. Many places are suitable for field battles and expansion training. Shuanglong Township’s Wild Duck Lake offers boating and go-karting. Currently, Jindian Back Mountain has also opened several “private” farms where office workers can rent plots of land for a few hundred yuan a year to experience the joy of being a farmer. It’s also a good choice to cycle with your family every week to tend to your vegetable plot.

Cycling Notes: The straight line from Jindian to Shuanglong, Xiahe, Songhua, and Longtou Street is about 80 kilometers long with moderate difficulty. It takes most people half a day to complete. It’s recommended to seek food in Shuanglong or Dongda Village around noon.

6. Personalized Entertainment Route

1. Wanxi Chong, Pear Blossoms in Full Bloom are Delightful

As a resident of Kunming, if you haven’t visited Chenggong New City, you’re out of touch, and if you haven’t tasted Baozhu pears, you’re even more behind. Starting from the main city of Kunming, take Guangfu Road and turn onto Caiyun Road to reach Chenggong New City. Cycling around the new city hall can make you break a sweat. If interested, you can also visit the university campus. Afterwards, at the intersection of Caiyun South Road, follow the well-marked signs to find the route to Wanxi Chong and enter the village. This season is the perfect time for Wanxi Chong’s pear blossoms to bloom. Bring your camera and discover the beauty there.

Cycling Notes: The slope along the route is gentle, suitable for cycling. Wanxi Chong is most beautiful in the early morning and at dusk. Cycling round trip to Chenggong takes a day, and if you want to see the pear blossoms at dusk, it will take two days. This route is also suitable for driving.

2. Fuxian Lake, Fresh Air and Serene Mood

Yunnan has been blessed by heaven with Fuxian Lake. Over the years, with the annual cycling event around the lake, Fuxian Lake has accumulated many cycling fans. Circling Fuxian Lake is about 100 kilometers, with champions completing it within three hours, while the average person typically needs a full day. Except for the mountains at the junction of Jianshan, Chengjiang, and Huaning counties, the terrain is relatively flat elsewhere. Cycling along the lake provides fresh air and a tranquil mood. However, the road to Fuxian Lake is not easy to traverse. Currently, it’s popular to travel from Majinpu. This route has many vehicles, and the road can be dusty. If possible, it’s advisable to transport bicycles to Fuxian Lake by car first and then start cycling.

Cycling Notes: Due to the poor cycling conditions at Majinpu, cyclists should prepare multifunctional headscarves or masks to protect against dust, which is essential when heading towards sandy areas. The entire route takes a minimum of three days, or you can opt for a one-day round trip by transporting bicycles by car.
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