Mount Qingcheng is considered the home of Taoism (Daoism) and is one of the most important Taoist sites in China. Qingcheng means "green city" and the area really lives up to its name, with peaks covered with thick forests of trees and bamboo, and numerous caves and scenic spots.
Qingcheng (Front) Mountain and Qingcheng Back Mountain are two neighboring hills located about 80 km west of Chengdu. Qingcheng Mountain features many Taoist temples and architecture and involves a relatively shorter hike, while Qingcheng Back Mountain boasts scenic nature that is ideal for more avid hikers. Most visitors choose Qingcheng Mountain because of its Taoist relics, making it more touristy than Qingcheng Back Mountain.
Whichever mountain you choose, be prepared for a lot of walking and climbing. The steps are uneven and narrow in spots, and they can get slippery when wet. Even though the walk may be challenging, the scenery is beautiful and the path to the top is surrounded by green plants and trees. Once you reach the top, the panoramic views of the surrounding area are very nice.
Both mountains are large and we recommend using the cable car if you only have a half day to visit. Having a guide will also help you to better navigate the immense area. Be sure to dress comfortably and wear good walking shoes. We also recommend going early to avoid the crowds and bringing some snacks and water with you. You can buy refreshments on the path up the mountain, but prices are quite high. Take care if you are visiting in summer, as the hot and humid weather could make the climb even more difficult.
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm (March to November) / 8:30 am to 5:00 pm (December to March)
Entrance fee: 80 RMB (Qingcheng Mountain) / 20 RMB (Qingcheng Back Mountain)
Cable car: Front Mountain: 35 RMB (one-way) / 60 RMB (round trip), Back Mountain (Jinli): 30 RMB (one-way) / 55 RMB (round trip), Back Mountain (White Cloud): 45 RMB (one-way) / 80 RMB (round trip)
Average time for this activity: 1/2 to 1 day
You can take subway line 2 to Xipu train station where you can take the high-speed train to Mount Qingcheng. The high-speed train ride takes about 30 minutes and costs 10 RMB. It is advisable to purchase a ticket a day in advance, regardless of the time of the year, since tickets may sell out. When you arrive at Dujiangyan Station, you can walk to the shuttle buses which will take you to the front or back mountain.
If you drive or take a taxi, the trip from downtown Chengdu to Qingcheng Mountain takes about 1.5 hours.