Qingcheng Tea Mountain Hiking
Qingcheng Tea Mountain is generally referred as part of the Mt. Qingcheng Park but it is not connected with the park .When you visit Mt. Qingcheng you only go to the heritage site of Qingcheng Mountain. This Tea Mountain of Qingcheng is home to the hidden Taoist templs including Zhangren Temple, Yuqinggong Temple and Yuanminggong Temple. It is a hidden trail in the back country of Qingcheng and no people come here. You get the real ambiance of Taoism while hiking this mountain. The trails are not paved for most part of the hiking. It is a decent wild hiking trip near Chengdu.
Qingcheng Tea Mountain Hike
Qingcheng Tea Mountain is located 65km Northwest to the city of Chengdu. By driving it takes around 1.5 hours to get to the base. Start of the hiking is located 2.5km from Qingcheng Railway Station, from where you can only take a taxi to get to the base of the Tea Mountain because it’s not a popular and touristy place. Or you can always hire a car from Chengdu to get here directly to save the transiting time of using public transfers. To start a tour by private transfer from 8am in the morning you will finish by arriving to Chengdu by around 4-5pm. Qingcheng Tea Mountain is located 15km southwest to the city of Dujiangyan. The quickest way to get to Dujiangyan from this place is by car.
About the Hiking Trail
Qingcheng Tea Mountain is not a tourist park. This is a real off-beat hiking route to enjoy the country views that even the locals seldom know. The hiking is in tea gardens, forests and between Taoist temples. There is no entrance fees required. The hiking starts by the village by the road at the base. First by the tea garden the trails goes up. The trail is wild trail but decent trail. Some sections can be steep but basically safe. This trail is used by the few local people and local Taoist monks. While walking up, chances to have a wonderful bird view of Chengdu Plain. The villagers living on the hill still remain the traditional lifestyle. We may see them cutting branches in the orchards or fertilizing vegetable in the fields. It'll be fun to greet them and chat for a while. The higher we go, the better views we will have in clear days. Total hiking is around 12km for around 4-5 hours. It is a loop line circuit hiking. The hike starts by elevation at 700m and the highest point of the hike is around 1000m by elevation. The hike ends by the same place as the starting point.
Zhangrenguan Temple is an old and small temple of Taoist. It is the first temple we see on this hiking.
Yuqinggong Temple is the second and also the largest temple on this hiking. Yuqing is really a hidden Taoist temple in this mountain.
Yuanminggong Temple is the last temple on this trek. There is a simple road connects to this temple. There are also decent guestrooms in Yuanminggong.
This hike is available all year round. 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, a 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. It feels cool in summer. The mountain is green from April to October. The rest of the year some trees become dry.
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 are other optional stops you can make, for example to stop by the teahouse by the base to have a sip of tea before the hike. And to make an excursion trip to Dujiangyan to try the local tasty food if time allows.
About Accommodations/Food of Hiking Qingcheng Tea Mountain
There is no place to eat except at the village of Qingcheng by the base of mountain. You are recommended to bring simple lunch and some snacks and drinking water with you for the day. Yuanminggong is a very quiet place for retreating and meditating. Normally it is a one day hiking trip but Yuanminggong provides chance to stay a night there to feel the Taoism. You can get boiled water by the temples along the hiking way.
Names of locations/places of Mt. Qingcheng Tea Mountain in Chinese and English
Zhangrenguan Temple 丈人观
Yuqinggong Temple 玉清宫
Yuanminggong Temple 圆明宫
Qingchengshan Railway Station 青城山站