Hiking in Yunnan and Southwest China

With the diverse array of relatively unspoiled natural places in Yunnan Province, the opportunities for hiking abound. There are short and pleasant day hikes in Kunming proper, multi-day wilderness backpacking excursions in the northern reaches of the province, and a handful of spectacular tea-house treks that draw tourists from all over China and the world. Below you can find all three.

If you are coming from abroad and are used to well-maintained trails with signposted directions and distances, please note that this will not be the case when hiking in Yunnan (and, most likely, other parts of China). Most of the trails posted on this website are unmarked and relatively unmaintained, so please make sure you do proper research beforehand, use a GPS (and download the GPX files on this website), and always be prepared for an emergency. 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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Day Hikes

These hikes will take you anywhere from a couple hours to a full day, but they shouldn’t require you to stay overnight on the trail (not including the time it takes to get to and from the trail-head.

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Backpacking Trips

 

These are trails that will take 2 days to 6 days to complete, and require full camping gear in order to sleep along the trail. Some of this information will overlap with the "Back-country Camping" section. 

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Tea-House Treks

These hikes are fewer in number, but are spectacular and normally a bit more well-trodden. They will take you more than one day to complete, but you will be able to spend the night in guesthouses along the trail.