2 Days Dali Cangshan Mountain Summit Hiking and Camping Tour

A challenging but very rewarding high altitude hike that begins at the base of Cangshan Mountain at just over 2000 metres above sea level and takes you far up the mountain to a group of pristine alpine ponds located at 3750 metres (12,300 feet)! We camp right next to the ponds and enjoy an epic sunset before continuing up the mountain the next morning to the summit at an elevation of nearly 4100 metres (13,450 feet)! This is a 20 km hike with a total elevation gain of approximately 1700 metres on the first day and 300 metres on the second day, so you need to be in strong physical condition. Serious hikers willing to challenge themselves will be rewarded with spectacular scenery, stunning views and a real sense of accomplishment!


  • Panoramic view of Erhai Lake.
  • Experience ancient tea garden, Terrace and pool.
  • Feel the mountain view.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Hike to black drangon and Camping
  • Day 2: Hike to Summit 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Hike to black dragon and Camping

We will meet at the front of  West Gate of Dali Old Town (大理古城西门)  and it will take us 9 km north to a small farming village at the foot of Cang Mountain (苍山)called Heyang Village河阳村 (literally “Sun Crane Village”). The hike begins at the top of Heyang Village at an elevation altitude about 2050 metres. From start, it’s a short walk past scenic terraced fields and then up into the foothills of Cang Mountain(苍山). Once into the hills,  we will cross through a tea plantation and have an  overlooking view of Heyang Village and  Erhai Lake(洱海).

After hiking along the donkey trail about 2 hours, we emerge into a small plateau at an altitude of approximately 3100 meters (10,170 feet), which offers spectacular panoramic views of the entire Dali region. We rest here for a while , having lunch and taking views.

Erhai Lake in Dali

After lunch we continue hiking up the mountain and well reach a large plateau at approximately altitude 3750 meters about 2 hours.  After a short walk through the forest we arrive at a pond located at the base of a huge cliff face. This high altitude pond is truly a place of serene natural beauty which surrounded by wind-swept pine trees and massive rhododendron bushes.

Our campsite in the right of the ponds and in a beautiful, well-sheltered spot surrounded by pine trees. We pitch our tents,  prepare dinner and start a fire as the sun goes down. Don’t forget to bring a bottle of wine or spirits with you too; there’s no better place in Dali to relax with a drink and watch the sunset! 

Day 2 Hike to the Summit

After breakfast, we pack up camp and get ready to head for the summit. Cang mountain(苍山) actually has 19 summits and one of them is directly behind our campsite. At the altitude about 4050 meters ,the summit is about 300 vertical meters above our campsite and need take us about 1.5 hours to reach.

There has a large pond in the middle of the plateau, under the summit with altitude 3900 meters. Start from the pond, we hike to the top of the mountain along the slopes of grass (or snow).

Depending on the conditions on the mountain (for example, snow or no snow), it takes about 3-4 hours to  back down the foot of  mountain in Heyang village. Our driver will be waiting for us in the village and drive us back to Dali Ancient Town.

Important Notice:

Please wear the warm clothes and dress accordingly  because it will snow at the altitude over 3000 meters during November to May. I recommended you to choose suitable climbing boots, warm jackets, warm socks and walking sticks when you hiking.