How to use this website
Here is a brief list of some of the functions we have added to this website that may make it easier for you get outside:
For both the “hiking” and “camping” categories, we have included a navigable map that you can use to easily find hikes that are close to you, or near an area to which you will be traveling. Simply click on one of the location icons, and the hike/campsite will appear in the sidebar. Or click on one of the hikes/camps in the sidebar, and it will highlight the location on the map. Clicking on the name of the hike/campsite in the sidebar will open a new tab with the detailed description of that particular site.
Each of the hikes has a list of “stats” that gives you the difficulty level of the hike, distance, trail type, etc. to help you quickly determine if it is right for you. In order to be as objective as possible in describing the difficulty, we’ve used a method devised by the U.S. National Park Service to calculate the difficulty of a given trail (quoted at the bottom of the page with kilometer and meter conversions).
Getting to the Trailhead
In addition to the specific location and GPS coordinates of each trailhead/campsite, we have given brief directions on how to get to each location, and any logistical difficulties we think you may encounter in getting there.
Each trail/campsite has a description of the site itself. Where to begin, things to look out for, specific campsites, bathrooms, wrong turns to avoid, etc. Some descriptions are more detailed than others, and we can't possibly list everything you should look out for with any specific trail or campsite, so don't rely entirely on the details here.
For every hike or campsite, we have provided the .gpx file for you to download and use on your own GPS device (or on a GPS app on your phone). We HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you download this file and use it with an app on your phone, as this is by far the best way to stay on track and avoid getting lost. Here are some recommended free apps that you can use on your phone, most of which allow you to download map sections so you can use them offline.
In order to download the .gpx file, you will need to create an account on the website first (sorry we can't find a way around this yet), then go to the "File Share" page. The "download GPX" button on each page will lead you there.
Topo Maps +: The best overall hiking app in our opinion, but only available in the App Store.
All Trails: Good overall app (the best for finding trails outside of China). Location skews slightly at times, and some of the better functions require a paid subscription.
GAIA GPS: Haven't personally used this one, but it is often recommended on other outdoor websites.
两步户外助手 (Two Steps Outdoor Assistant): Easily the most useful app for finding trails in China (and how we have found some of our hikes). Only in Chinese.
Due to technological limitations, we are unable to provide a navigable map with the entirety of each trail on it (only the location of the trailhead). However, we have provided a downloadable PDF of the topographic map, and the google earth image for each trail. We encourage you to use this only as reference, and rely more so on the GPX file (above).
After you complete a hike or visit a camping location, PLEASE post trail/campsite updates on the comments section of their specific page! We obviously cannot visit every location frequently (or even more than once in many cases), and closures/conditions/restrictions are subject to change VERY quickly in China. Updated information is HUGELY appreciated.
In order to post comments, you will also need to create an account on the website, which we highly encourage!
Add Your Own
If you feel up to it, help out by adding hikes or camping locations of your own! This feature of the website isn’t finely tuned yet, but in the meantime, if you know of more hikes/campsites, and have any GPS information or detailed description of them, please let us know and we can add it to the database. We will obviously give you credit for any contributions you make. Please include the following when you send us information about a location:
The exact location of the trail-head or campsite (GPS coordinates preferred).
GPS Track (in a .gpx or .kml file).
Description of the trail (the more detail the better).
How Hiking Difficulty is Determined:
“Hiking Difficulty is determined by a numerical rating using the following formula:
Elevation Gain x 2 x distance (in miles and km). The product's square root is the numerical rating.
For example, a 10-mile (16 km) hike that gains 2,200 feet (670 meters) in elevation:
2,200 x 2=4,400
4,400 x 10 = 44,000
Square root of 44,000=209.8
The hike's numerical rating is then tied to one of five descriptors: Easiest, Moderate, Moderately Strenuous, Strenuous, Very Strenuous.
The example hike above would be rated Very Strenuous.
This formula approximates difficulty and is imperfect. Dark Hollow Falls has a numeric rating of 36.3. Under the formula this would be in the "Easiest" range, however the steepness of the trail over such a short distance warrants a "Moderate." When choosing a hike, always consider the specific elevation and distance in addition the the given difficulty rating.
Numerical Rating: less than 50
A hike that is generally suitable for anyone who enjoys walking. Mostly level or with a slight incline. Generally less than 3 miles (around 5 km).
Numerical Rating: 50-100
A moderate hike is generally suitable for novice hikers who want a bit of a challenge. The terrain will involve a moderate incline and may have some steeper sections. Generally 3 to 5 miles (5 to 8 km)
Numerical Rating: 100 –150
Moderately Strenuous hikes will generally be challenging for an unconditioned person. The terrain will involve a steady and often steep incline. Generally 5 to 8 miles (8 to 13 km).
Numerical Rating: 150-200
Strenuous hikes will challenge most hikers. The hike will generally be longer and steeper, but may be deemed "Strenuous" because of the elevation gain. Generally 7 to 10 miles (11 to 16 km).
Numerical Rating : greater than 200
Only well-conditioned and well-prepared hikers should attempt very strenuous hikes. The hike will generally be long and steep, and may include rock scrambling, stream crossings, and other challenging terrain. Generally 8 miles (13 km) and over.
Average Pace is:
1.5 miles per hour (2.4 kph) for easiest trails.
1.4 mph (2.25 kph) for moderate trails.
1.3 mph (2.1 kph) for moderately strenuous trails.
1.2 mph (1.9 kph) for strenuous and very strenuous trails.
This is hiking time and does not take into consideration fitness, exploration, rest, contemplation, etc.”