Camping in Yunnan and Southwest China

For those who want to get out for longer than a day and experience nature in all its rhythms, there are plenty of spectacular camping locations in Yunnan Province. If you are living in Kunming, most of these are a little bit further afield—at least 1-2 hours’ drive away—but they are worth the trip if you are willing to make it. Below we have described both front-country and back-country options.

Similar to the hiking descriptions, if you are expecting campgrounds and infrastructure like you would find in U.S. National Parks, you will be disappointed. In all of the locations detailed on this website, there are no “designated” campsites (though there are recommended locations), no metal fire-pits, few picnic tables, and little to no management, which makes it extra important to practice Leave No Trace. Like hiking, this can add to the adventure, but it also requires a bit more preparation. We have included all information that we feel is necessary for you to enjoy yourself, but never rely solely on this website for your preparation. Refer to the hiking/camping tips and ten essentials pages for additional information on how to stay safe outdoors.

Disclaimer: the creators of this website and its contributors are not responsible for the health and safety of individuals who use the information provided for outdoor recreation.

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Front-Country (Drive-to camping)

These are all campsites that you can drive directly to the campsite, or very close to it, meaning you don't have to use backpacking gear and fit everything into one bag. 

Back-Country (Hike-to camping)

These are camping areas that require hiking to access, normally a short distance, but long enough where backpacking gear is recommended. There will be some overlap with the backpacking section, but this will focus more on the campsites themselves and less on the trail that connects them.