CangShan Summit Trek
There are two main paths up to the summit of CangShan Mountain from Dali Old Town. Do not attempt to scale the mountain without proper planning. This is a dangerous mountain and lives have been lost. Make sure you have all the proper equipment and that you notify people of your route. It is best not to attempt this on your own. If you do not have a trekking partner, you should speak to guests at your hotel and try to find one. It is highly recommended that you try to arrange a guide in town.
From the old town it takes about 8 hours to the top, and about 6 hours to come back down. As the peak is 4,099 meters high, altitude sickness is obviously a concern, as is the cold temperatures. Be aware that the weather coming over the mountain can change quickly, and if you encounter bad weather you should turn back immediately. If you require a guide you can enquire with ClimbDali who operate out of Goodfellas Pizza, near the top of Renmin Lu.
The map above shows the two most popular routes. The first follows the route beneath the chairlift up to ZhongHe temple. From there, keep going up to the Cloud Path and head up past the former Higherland Inn.
The second route follows a road up behind the Three Pagodas complex and goes past the north end of the Cloud Path. If you do not want to do the whole walk, you can get a taxi to take you up this road to the half way point, from where you will have a four-hour walk to the top. Arranging a taxi back down is all but impossible unless you have booked it in advance.