Mt. Emei Hiking
Mt. Emei is one of the main tourist attractions in China. It is located 150km south to the city of Chengdu with a drive of about 2.5 hours to get to. The popular and lazy way to visit Mt. Emei is by using their tourist bus to get to the top and visit around for a day. However the hiking to Mt. Emei Summit is a long walk and has become popular too. The hiking at Mt Emei will be on well-managed stairs/steps all the way through the forest and monasteries along the way. Mt. Emei is a popular tourist park with easy navigation and accessible maps to use. A hiking trip to Mt. Emei is a good way to see its nature and culture.
Mt Emei Hiking Golden Top
Mt Emei Hiking Above Cloud
Mt Emei Hiking
Mt Emei Hiking Golden Top
Mt Emei is located 150km south to the city of Chengdu and 45km west to Leshan Buddha Statue.
To get to Mt. Emei one can use the fast train that takes usually about 1.5 hours from Chengdu. Note that the train also goes to Leshan before it arrives in Mt. Emei. The fast train arrives in Mt. Emei at the Emeishan Fast Train Station that is another 2km from the usual base of Mt. Emei, where you start your entry/hiking at. A fast train ticket costs around 65 yuan and during busy seasons/weekend, you are recommended to book the fast train tickets in advance to avoid probable book-out.
There are also public buses that depart every hour (sometimes every half an hour) from Chengdu Xinnanmen Bus Station. A public bus ride takes about 3 hours and a bus ticket costs around 50 yuan. The bus will take you directly to the Baoguosi Bus Station where it’s the actual base of Mt. Emei, that usually where travelers stay overnight is within walking distance. The bus station you arrive is also where you buy entrance tickets/Emeishan Tourist Bus tickets to Mt. Emei.
You can always hire a private transfer to Mt. Emei. A private transfer costs more money but it gives you flexibility while transferring and saves you the troubles of arranging transfers on your own. The schedules of public buses are changing from time to time. And using fast train will usually end up taking more time as there will be time waiting. Buying fast train tickets can also be troublesome if you don’t speak Chinese language.
Map of Emeishan Hiking
Mt. Emei is a big place. To walk from the base to the summit there are 2 trails and they meet at Jiuling Ridge (Jiulinggang).
About the Hiking Trail
Mt Emei is a well-managed tourist park. The hiking trail is stairs and steps all the way without any part being wild trails. Most of the trails are well-shedded and are usually damp due to its humid weather.
The hiking at Mt. Emei is usually considered to be strenuous due to its long distance and altitude gain. The altitude from the base is below 800m while the altitude at the summit is at 3000 meters. The walking sometimes seems endless: ascent after ascent on the same stairs. The higher part of Mt. Emei is at over 2000 meters although one rarely suffers from any altitude sickness.
Distance between hiking locations given by the maps sold in Emei are sometimes strange, below are the given distance and (distance that seems more correct)
Baoguo Temple – Fuhu Temple: 1km (1km)
Fuhu Temple – Qingyin Pavilion: 10km (8km)
Qingyin Pavilion – Wuxianggang Car Park: 1.5km (2km)
Qingyin Pavilion – Xixiang Pond: 35km (14km)
Xixiang Pond – Leidongping Car Park: 7.5km (4.5km)
Leidongping Car Park – Jieyindian Cable Car: 1.5km (1km)
Jieyindian Cable Car – Golden Summit: 6km (3.5km)
Qingyin Pavilion – Wannian Temple: 2km (2km)
Wannian Temple – Xixiang Pond: 14km (8km)
Mt. Emei is a tourist park. You will see visitors all the time. You will see more crowded places like Golden Summit, Qingyin Pavilion and Leidongping. Walkings between Monkey Zone to Leidongping and between Wannian Temple to Leidongping are usually with less people but you will see other hikers along the way especially in the summer time.
This hiking is available all year round. In the winter time there is snow at higher part of mountain but it is still okay to walk. Remember that Mt. Emei is a very humid place even in winter time. The humidity level is really high hence very often it is foggy. The dry season comes in December and ends by February, by when you should have a higher chance of good weather but this is not definite. The mountains are green from April to November while in July and August it is hot but bearable. You are recommended to prepare extra base layer for the humid weather while hiking Mt. Emei. The temperature at the base and at the higher part of Mt. Emei differs a lot. There is sometimes a difference of 15C of temperature by the base and summit hence an extra layer is necessary for the higher part and for the morning.
Planning Ideas/Time Required
To do Mt. Emei Hiking it requires 1-2 days of time. If to do the simple walking/visiting, one day is good. If one wishes to walk from base to summit then it requires 2 days starting/ending in Chengdu. Although most people usually add Leshan Buddha on the Emei visit as well. So if one starts from Chengdu in the morning then visit Leshan Buddha, one will arrive at base of Mt Emei by afternoon time. Depending on which transfer method you use, you may arrive Emei by early or late afternoon. If you don’t wish to stay up in the mountain then make sure you have the night at the base and ready to walk the next morning. Below are the 3 usual ways of hiking Mt. Emei.
1.Lazy Pace. It’s actually a regular visit plus a 2-hour walking. This is for lazy people. You start from the entrance at Baoguosi and use the bus to get to Leidongping Car Park and walk to Jieyindian Cable Car Station and either use the cable car or to walk for 2 hours to the summit. After visits around the summit, use the cable car down to Leidongping Car Park to catch the bus back to Wannian Temple Car Park where you can start another 2-hour walking to Wannian Temple and then to Wuxiangang Car Park where you catch the bus again and go back to the entrance where you started. Note there is also cable car available from Wannian Temple Car Park to Wannian Temple. Please note there are 2 parts that you can walk:
A. from Jieyingdian Cable Car Station to Summit. This part is 5km going up all the way from 2400m to 3000m. You will usually see many other visitors at this part.
B. From Wannian Temple Car Park to Wannian Temple and then to Wuxianggang Car Park. (First part can be replaced by a cable car ride). This part is 6km gradual ups and downs from 800m to 1000m and then to 700m by altitude. This part you will usually see many other visitors too.
And then you’d usually finish this day by before 4pm by starting your day at 7.30am if you choose to do either one of them.
2.Medium Pace. Hiking from base to summit in one day from Wannian Temple to Golden Summit. Start by a bus ride from Baoguosi and go to Wannian Temple (万年寺), remember to tell the people from the bus station that you want to go to Wannian Temple and not Golden Summit (金顶). Bus will take you to Wannian Temple Car Park (at 825m) where you start to walk for around 12km to Leidongping (2430m) and another 4km to the summit (at 3060m). Note the last 4km can be replaced by a cable car ride. If you wish to watch the sunrise you are recommended to spend one night near the summit. Remember the last bus leave from Leidongping Car Park to the base of Mt. Emei is by 6pm.
3.Extreme Pace. Hiking from the base to summit in one day from Qingyin Pavilion to Golden Summit. Also starts by a bus ride at Baoguosi and go to Wuxianggang Car Park (五显岗停车场), remember to tell the people from the bus station that you want to go to Wuxiangang and not Golden Summit. Bus will take you to Wuxianggang Car Park (at 665m) and from there it is about 23km of walking to Golden Summit (3060m), remember the last 4km can be replaced by a cable car ride. If you wish to watch the sunrise by the summit, find accommodation near the summit for the night. Note the last bus going back to base of Mt. Emei is at 6pm every day.
You can do this hiking by yourself if you are an experienced hiker. The distance between each locations along the hiking trail given by the maps you can find from locals are usually exaggerated. But it doesn’t affect much as the trail is basically one way and it’s less likely you will be lost. There is phone reception all the way although internet connection is not reliable.
Please read details of Mt. Emei Ticket Information here.
About Accommodations/Food of Hiking Mt. Emei
There are food shops selling snacks along the hiking trails every 1-2km. By the monastery of Xianfeng and Xixiang Pond, Wannian Temple there are places you can have stir fries and fried rice, noodles, etc. Bottled water are sold at these food shops too. All the food menus are in both Chinese and English languages with prices. Please note that all the monasteries only serve vegetarian food only. And these vegetarian food are usually plain and not spicy.
The usual place to stay is by the base of Mt. Emei before the hiking. At the base of Mt. Emei (usually referred as Baoguosi) there are plenty of accommodations with different levels available and these are usually shown on the guide books. The other place to stay is the many hotels in the city of Emei, a modern place about 5km away from Baoguosi.
Along the hiking trail there are monasteries to stay overnight. Among the usual hikings there are accommodation guesthouses available at Baoguo Temple, Hongchunping Monastery, Xianfeng Monastery, Yuxian Monastery, Wannian Monastery, Zhanglaoping Monastery, Huayanding Monastery, Xixiang Pond, Taiziping Monastery. These monasteries don’t take bookings in advance they only sell it when you are there. Although one phone call in advance may be necessary as there are only limited numbers for some higher level rooms.
Baoguo Temple is located by the base of Mt. Emei. It has the fanciest temple of all. It has rooms cost up to 3600 yuan per night. Dorms are also available: 2-sharing to 5-sharing cost from 200 yuan per person to 15 yuan per person with public toilet. And basic vegetarian food costs extra. Phone line of Baoguo Temple: +86-833-5592822/+86 18081300833
2-sharing to multi-sharing rooms are available with price from 130 yuan per person to 50 yuan per person with public toilet. Phone number of Honhchunping Monastery is +86-833-5099043
Standard rooms are available at price of 300 yuan per night with private bathroom. 1-sharing to 6-sharing dorms are available at price from 200 yuan to 70 yuan per person with public toilet. Food is separate and only vegetarian food available. The nearby restaurant outside of temple has non-vegetarian food. Phone line of Xianfeng Temple: +86-833-5484101
Wannian Monastery is another fancy temple in Mt. Emei. A 2-bedded standard room costs 800 yuan with attached toilet. Dorms for Buddhists cost 10 to 20 yuan per person with public toilet. Vegetarian food available and costs extra. Phone number of Wannian Monastery: +86-833-5090059/+86-15883378881
Xixiang Pond Monastery:
This is probably the furthest monastery of all. 2-bedded rooms with toilet cost at 200 yuan to 480 yuan per night. 3-sharing without toilet cost 180 yuan. Multi-sharing dorm room costs 50 yuan per person. Phone number of Xixiang Pond Monastery: +86-833-5099928
Names of locations/places of Mt. Emei Hiking in Chinese and English
Baoguosi (Baoguo Temple): 报国寺
Baoguosi usually refers to: 1. One of the 4 entrances of Mt. Emei; 2. The Bus Station; 3. The Baoguo Temple; 4. The area with many hotels and restaurants near Baoguo Temple Bus Station.
Wuxianggang Car Park: 五显岗停车场
Wannian Temple Car Park: 万年寺停车场
Leidongping Car Park: 雷洞坪停车场
Jieyindian Cable Car Station: 接引殿
Fuhu Temple: 伏虎寺
Qingyin Pavilion: 清音阁
Hongchunping Monastery: 洪春坪
Xianfeng Monastery: 仙峰寺
Jiulao Cave: 九老洞
Xixiang Pond (Elephant Bathing Pool): 洗象池
Bailong Cave: 白龙洞
Wannian Temple: 万年寺
Xixin Attic: 息心阁
First Temple: 初殿
Huayan Top: 华严顶