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 115 round-trip; CNY 85 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 direct tourist bus at the tourist center of South Gate, Dali Ancient Town.
2. Take a taxi and the fare is around CNY 15.
Entrance Fee CNY 35;
Free for children under 1.2m.
Opening Hours Cangshan Mountain: 08:30 - 15:00
Gantong Cableway: 08:30 - 16:00
Zhonghe Cableway: 08:30 - 16:00
Xima Pool Cableway: 08:30 - 16:00
Recommended Time for a Visit 2h

 You may like: Top 10 Things to Do in Dali
- Last updated on Apr. 26, 2024 by Gabby Li -
Questions & Answers on Cangshan Mountain
Asked by Rowan from UNITED KINGDOM | May. 01, 2021 03:34Reply
Cangshan Mountain Open?
Is Cangshan Mountain open to foreigners in May 2021?
Answers (1)
Answered by Arianna | May. 09, 2021 20:36

Don't worry. It is open to foreigners.
Asked by ita from MALAYSIA | Jan. 11, 2020 16:34Reply
hi, where Wuliang Mountain Sakura Valley?
How to go there from Dali town? worth to visit on early December.
Answers (2)
Answered by Gloria from USA | Jan. 13, 2020 16:52

The best time to visit this valley is from late November to mid December, especially in early December. You can take bus from Dali Coach Station to Nanjian first, then take bus to Shale and get off at Sakura Valley.
Answered by Ita from MALAYSIA | Jan. 15, 2020 08:22

Oh..ok ok..
Thanks Gloria 😊
Asked by Janet from MALAYSIA | Dec. 17, 2019 00:04Reply
Do i need to buy Xima Pool Cableway (round-trip) Upper - Lower Station one day earlier?
Answers (1)
Answered by Kate from UNITED KINGDOM | Dec. 19, 2019 18:22

It is suggested to buy the ticket in advance in peak season.
Asked by Ram from ISRAEL | Sep. 21, 2019 02:15Reply
How long is the walk from Zhonghe cable car to the 7 pools?
If more than an hour - how is the first hour of walking from Zhonghe cable car along the jade cloud road?
Answers (1)
Answered by Elise from AUSTRALIA | Sep. 23, 2019 02:52

According to the Internet information, it is difficult to walk along Zhonghe cable route to 7 pools. Most people will take Gantong cable car, and walk around 4.5km along jade cloud road and to 7 pools station.
Asked by Ursula from USA | Sep. 05, 2019 10:54Reply
I like to take a taxi from Dali ancient town to Changshan mountain.
I like to take cable car up to Xima
Pool . Can I walk there and how would I get to Jade belt road For the walking trail? Do I have to walk all the 18 km or is there a way to get down and where would I end up? How would I get back to Dali old town where I stay! I have no phone!thank you Ursula
Answers (1)
Answered by Adeline from CANADA | Sep. 05, 2019 18:43

Yes, you can walk there. As I know, there is a way to get down. I cannot find the exact place. You can consult the staff when you arriving there. After touring around, you can find several private cars that can take you to Dali. Don't worry.
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