Mt. Gexian Hiking
Mt Gexian is called Gexian Shan in Chinese. It is a less-popular Taoist shrine and a Karst landform place near Chhengdu. Mt. Gexian is located 70km north to the city of Chengdu. Mt. Gexian has one of the best wild hiking near Chengdu without the touristy issue. It is not considered to be a touristy place but rather a weekend place. The hiking is on wild low mountain ridge and most of the trails are in the wild or in the countryside. It is a medium paced hiking that anyone can do. The views are very beautiful and quite different from the many other places such as Mt. Qingcheng or Mt. Emei.
Gexian Ridge line Hiking
Mt. Gexian Hiking Bamboo Forest
Mt. Gexian Hiking at Countryside Chengdu
Gexian Ridge line Hiking
Mt. Gexian is located 80km north to the city of Chengdu and it is not on a tourist route so public transport is not very convenient. To use public transfer it usually takes over 4 hours and involve several transit in between before you arrive there and use local taxi to get to the actual hiking start point. It makes more sense to hire a car for the day and get there within 2 hours. The usual drive takes about 1.5 hours to get the base of the hiking. To start your day by 8 am from Chengdu one will usually finish by around 5pm back in Chengdu.
About the Hiking Trail
Mt. Gexian itself is a Taoist temple that is well-paved and requires an entrance fee of 20CNY per person. The walking starts at this temple, although usually the Taoist temple inside is closed for visiting but the money they charge is rather for the many flowers they planted inside. The trail inside the temple is going up all the way for about 1km only where you will exit this enclosed place and enter onto the wild part. The trail gets rugged and wild from the north exit of Gexian Taoist Shrine, where you will actually walk for most of the time on the very top of mountain for rest of the hiking. The trail is recognizable but not marked. The walking starts at the elevation of 950m and onto 1200m and back the same way. You will encounter hill ridge, jungles, farmlands, orchards and village. The end of hiking is at a village next to Wulong Cave where you will have lunch and return the same way.
The total walking distance is one way 5km and another 5km going back. It usually takes about 4 hours in total for the hiking. Mt. Gexian is not a touristy place although during certain time of the year you may see many trail-runners here especially during spring time in March.
Spring is warm and sometimes wet. Summer is hot but cool and sometimes misty and rainy. Fall is dry and warm. Winter is dry but can be misty, bit cold. Temperature at daytime is around 10C to 15C in winter and drops below 5C or sometimes below 0C at night. At summer it reaches over 25C during daytime and at night around 20C.
Planning Ideas/Time Required
You are recommended to hire a guide to do this hiking as it is one of the less-known places around Chengdu and the public transport may be too much to handle if you don’t speak local language. Normally it only requires one day’s time to do this hiking starting/ending in the city of Chengdu. Normally you start by around 8am from Chengdu and drive for about 1.5 hours to get there and start walking until about 3pm and start to drive back to Chengdu.
There is a 20 yuan per person too enter the temple of Gexian. It is obligatory. There is also an entrance charge to Wulong Cave for 15 yuan per person. But this is optional.
About Accommodations/Food of Hiking Mt. Gexian
There is no place to eat except at the village of Tangba on the very top near Wulong Cave, where you will usually have lunch at the local restaurant where you can have chicken, pork, vegetable, etc. There are no accommodations available at Mt. Gexian since it is only a couple of drive’s distance from Chengdu and only a half-hour drive from Pengzhou, if one wishes to stay there, Pengzhou is your first choice of place to stay overnight, where there are plenty of options on accommodations.
Names of locations/places of Mt. Gexian in Chinese and English
Mt. Gexian 葛仙山
Tangba Village 塘坝村