Summer Shorts


Dali to Laping/Eryuan West Lake

Three-day Cangshan Hiking Trip

Provisional cost: RMB2,900 pp (minimum 4-person group)


Jici Ba



  • Magnificent highland scenery, the best in China outside the Tibetan regions
  • Testing yet accessible three-day hike with full mule-team support
  • Witness traditional herding and other mountain-based lifestyles

This is an accessible, yet still relatively challenging trek across the Cangshan mountain range, which runs for 60 kilometers along the west side of the Dali plain. It’s suitable for anyone in relatively good physical condition; it’s also very flexible – the highest points are 3,200 meters above sea level, but if anyone feels uncomfortable we can descend immediately to the lower pasture and complete the hike over the range along one of two alternative paths.


Beginning in either Dali Old Town or the picturesque town of Xizhou, it’s only a short drive (20 mins) to the trailhead, where we begin the hike up Cangshan, following the once-secret trail used by Kublai Khan’s army when it descended on the Kingdom of Dali in the mid-13th century. That takes us to camp on the first of several broad pastures in the heart of the range. Our mule team will meet us at camp and travel with us for the next two days. On day 2 we trek up to the highest pastures and camp at the north end of the loveliest of all, Jici Ba, and the next day we descend the west side of the range, passing through rhododendron forests to where outstanding views open up over the Fengyu Valley, finishing at the mules’ home in Laping, a remote village isolated within the range itself. From Laping we drive back to base in Dali/Xizhou, less than two hours away; alternatively, we can stay overnight by the lovely “Small West Lake” close to Laping.


This itinerary covers only the trekking section and transfers to and from the trailheads from Dali/Xizhou: Dali/Xizhou accommodation and other transfers within Yunnan can be arranged as needed – and budgeted to clients’ desires.


Please write to for more details and a complete dossier.



Weishan to Midu Caravan Trail

Two-day South Silk Road Hiking Trip

Provisional cost: RMB1,600 pp (minimum 4-person group)

Weibaoshan 1-night Extension + RMB750 pp


South Silk Road



  • Relaxed hike along beautifully preserved but little-known section of the South Silk Road
  • Supported by local mule team
  • Ming architecture of Old Weishan, a major stop on both the South Silk Road and Tea Horse Trail
  • Extension available to Weibaoshan, which features some of Yunnan’s loveliest temples. Overnight in Taoist temple.

This is an easy hike that takes in the best-preserved section of ancient caravan trail in the Dali region. Beginning in Midu County about two hours’ drive from Dali, we hike half a day up to camp close to a pass called Niaodao Xiongguan, so named because this pass is also used by migrating birds (ornithologists come here every year to study the migration patterns). Hiking close to a traditional Yi village en route, we reach the old paved trail about an hour below the pass, right next to the attractive space where we camp. The following morning we hike about an hour to the pass and then down through pine forest for another hour, after which we are picked up and driven to the old town of Weishan for lunch. Weishan is probably the best-preserved example of urban Ming architecture in Yunnan, a little-visited but very attractive town. From here we could extend the trip for another day by driving 20 minutes to the sacred Taoist mountain of Weibaoshan, where we can hike around several of the most beautiful temples and have the possibility of staying in a Taoist temple overnight. We return to Dali, little more than an hour away.


Please write to info@redrocktrek for more details and a complete dossier.