Cangshan Mountain

Cangshan Mountain lies west of Dali Ancient City and Erhai Lake and includes 19 peaks and 18 streams. The highest peak is Malong Peak with the height of 4,122 meters (13,524 feet). May and June are the perfect months to visit Cangshan Mountain since at that time it’s carpeted with many kinds of flowers.  The azaleas  are the most eye-catching.

Cangshan Mountain Snow

Map of Cangshan Mountain
Map of Cangshan Mountain
The snow on the mountain is the best of the Four Famous Scenes (wind, flowers, snow and moon) in Dali. The snow is dazzling and resplendent when the sun rises, especially in March. On a moonlit night, the snow reflecting off the mountain makes one feel as if they are in a crystal world.

Gantong Temple

About 5km (3 miles) from Dali ancient city, at the southern foot of Shengying Peak, lies Gantong Temple. Gantong Tea is a must-try if you are visiting the temple. It’s also one of the most famous teas of Dali city.

Zhonghe Temple

Zhonghe Temple on Zhonghe Peak, built during the Nanzhao Kingdom period (738-902), is one of the most famous Taoist temples in the city. The Songhuo Temple Fair held on the 9th day of the first lunar month is the biggest fair of the temple and can last many days. During this period, pilgrims from all over visit the temple.

Water Scenery of Cangshan Mountain

Eighteen Streams

The eighteen streams flowing down and around the nineteen peaks here are also famous. Qingbi Stream between Malong Peak and Shengying Peak is the most enjoyable of them all.

Besides the eighteen streams, there are many lakes over the altitude of 3,800 meters (12,467 feet). The shores of the lakes are densely covered with forests, which contain valuable medical herbs, rare species of trees and many kinds of flowers. Two of the most famous lakes are Xima Pool and Qilongnv Pool.
Mt. Cangshan along the Erhai Lake
Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake
in the Morning Sunshine

Xima Pool

Located at the junction of Yuju Peak and Longquan Peak, Xima Pool is about 3,920m (12,860 feet) above sea level, only around 20m (66ft) from the top of Cangshan Mountain. It’s actually an artificial lake built in the Nanzhao Kingdom period. Xima means “cleaning horse” in Chinese, and the name of the pool derives from a story that troops once cleaned their horses here while climbing Cangshan Mountain.

Qilongnv Pool

As an important scenic spot along Jade Belt Road, Qilongnv Pool is made up of seven ponds. The pool is in the middle section of Heilong Stream, about 4.5km (2.8 miles) from Qingbi Stream.
 At the foot of Yunnong Peak of Cangshan Mountain lies Butterfly Spring. Visitors can enjoy not only the crystal clear water but also the various species of butterfly that frequent the area.

Hiking Cangshan Mountain

Cangshan Mountain, Dali
Mt. Cangshan 
on the West Bank of Erhai Lake
Hiking is a popular way to enjoy the mountain scenery. Near Tianlong Babu Studio City at the foot of Cangshan Mountain is a hiking route, and many locals take their morning exercise along this route. Visitors can hike this route, too. It takes about one hour to reach Yudai Rd (Jade Belt Rd), a 18km (11 miles) walking trail on the mountainside. Walking along Jade Belt Rd, you can not only get a bird’s eye view of Erhai Lake but also enjoy many attractions like Longyan Cave, Zhonghe Temple and Qilongnv Pool. Nearly all the attractions along Jade Belt Rd have stores selling water and food, so there is no need to take much along with you. Also, the vegetarian food offered by Zhonghe Temple is worth a try.

Cangshan Mountain Cable Car

Instead of hiking, visitors can take a cable car to enjoy Cangshan Mountain. There are three cableways in the Cangshan Mountain Scenic Area: Xima Pool Cableway, Gantong Cableway, and Zhonghe Cableway.

Xima Pool Cableway takes visitors from Tianlong Babu Studio City to Xima Pool on Cangshan Mountain. The route is about 5,580 meters (6,100 yards) long. From the cable car you can see Dali Ancient City and enjoy the natural scenery on Cangshan Mountain. The whole journey takes about 40 minutes.

Gantong Cableway is about 2,630m (2,876 yards) long and takes you to Gantong Temple.

Zhonghe Cableway is about 1,668m (1,824 yards) long, and ends at Zhonghe Temple near Jade Belt Rd.

Cangshan Mountain Cable Car Fare

Apr. - Oct. Nov. - Mar.
Gantong Cableway CNY 80 round-trip; CNY 50 one way.
Zhonghe Cableway CNY 60 round-trip; CNY 30 one way.
Xima Pool Cableway (round-trip) Upper - Lower Station CNY 300 CNY 240
Middle - Lower Station CNY 160 CNY 128
Upper - Middle Station CNY 140
 Note: Half-price ticket for children between 1.2 and 1.4m (3.9 - 4.6 feet);
Free for children under 1.2m.

How to get to Cangshan Mountain

1. Take a local car from the West Gate or South Gate of Dali Ancient City. Many visitors like to share the fare, which is about CNY 10 for each.
2. Take a taxi and the fare is around CNY 15.
Entrance Fee CNY 40;
Free for children under 1.2m.
Opening Hours Apr. - Oct.: 8:30 - 16:10
Nov. - Mar.:8:30 - 15:40
Recommended Time for a Visit 2h
- Last modified on Mar. 18, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Cangshan Mountain
Asked by jaja from MALAYSIA | Mar. 11, 2019 03:40Reply
Which better, go to three pagoda first then cangshan mountain or vise versa?
Answers (1)
Answered by David from FINLAND | Mar. 18, 2019 01:18

Hi, Jaja, you are suggested to go to Three Pagoda and then Cangshan Mountain.
Asked by Liza from MALAYSIA | Jan. 27, 2019 23:50Reply
Based on the map of Cangshan Mountain, if we take zhonghe or gantong cable way
Can we walk into Jade belt road? how the condition the road? is it suitable for kids?
Answers (1)
Answered by Hudson from FRANCE | Jan. 29, 2019 23:13

If you take Gantong Cable car, you can reach Jade Belt Road. Don't worry. The road condition is good.
Asked by Edward from MALAYSIA | Dec. 28, 2018 03:57Reply
Hi. Is there any snow at Cangshan peak in December? Thanks.
Answers (1)
Answered by Crystal from FINLAND | Jan. 02, 2019 17:58

Yes, as I know, you can still see the snow at the peak of Cangshan Mountain.
Asked by Tmm from THAILAND | Dec. 06, 2018 21:23Reply
Dali Three pagoda to Mountain Cangshan
I will visit the three pagoda first Then I will go to Mountain Cangshan to catch cable car...How can I go to Cangshan cable car and How to go to dalu ancient city from Cangshan . THANKS
Answers (1)
Answered by Uuli from USA | Dec. 09, 2018 19:47

From Three Pagoda to the mountain, you can take the bus Santa Special Line at Chongsheng Temple Three Pagoda bus stop and get off at Shuiduicun. Then walk about 1000 meters to the Cable way of the mountain.

From the mountain to Dali Ancient City, you can take the bus at Shuiduicun bus stop to take the bus Santa Special Line or c7/ 4, and get off at Yitalukou. Then walk about 550-600 meters to the ancient city.
Asked by Tony Ooi from MALAYSIA | Nov. 19, 2018 19:37Reply
Do senior citizen enjoy Special fare for Cangshan Mountain cable car?
Answers (1)
Answered by Qahira from CANADA | Nov. 21, 2018 19:28

People who are over 70 years old can take free cable cars. But I am not sure whether this policy apply for foreigners or not. Anyway, you need to bring your passport.
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