Cang Shan Geopark
Cangshan Geopark, Dali
The Cangshan mountain range rises directly behind, or more precisely west of the old town of Dali up to over 4000m. The highest of the 19 peaks is Malong Peak with a height of 4'122 meters. 517 square kilometers of the Cang Mountains were recently declared a National Park (Geopark) by the government. A beautiful, easy hiking trail, the "Jade Belt Path" leads over 11 kilometers along the eastern flank of the Cang Mountains and offers a magnificent view of the Dali Valley and Lake Erhai. Both ends of the Jade Belt Path are easily accessible by chairlift or cable car respectively.
The newest achievement is the Ximatan cable car, which leads from Dali to almost the top of Cang Shan at 4000m. From the cable car station on top you can walk to the Ximatan mountain lake. Ximatan means literally translated "horse wash pond". According to legend, Kublai Khan washed his horse here in the 13th century before his attack on Dali.
Only about 12km as the crow flies west of Dali, on the other side of Cang Mountain, is the Shimenguan Gorge. The impressive Shimenguan Gorge is also part of the Cang Shan Geopark in Yunnan Province.
Shimenguan literally means "stone gate pass". An approx. 800m long, well-developed path leads into the gorge at dizzying heights along the northern rock face. If you like, you can prove your courage on a footbridge with a glass bottom, which a vertical drop over 100m right below your feet.