Explore Hangzhou- Mountain Hiking in Xishan National Forest Park

Xishan Mountain, also a forest park, is the mountain range that peaks high above Hangzhou downtown in the west. Hidden amongst these verdant mountains are many hiking paths with the following being the three most popular.

Shi Li Long Ji (十里龙脊)

Distance: 15 km
Time: 5-6 hours

The winding tourist path, resembling a dragon’s backbone, is initially 5 km/10 li in length (li is a Chinese length unit) which explains its given name: Shi Li Long Ji (Shi refers to ten in English and Long Ji refers to a dragon’s backbone).

This tourist path is the most visited in Xishan National Forest Park. Originally 5 km, the tourist path was later lengthened to 15 km and hiking here takes about five to six hours to finish - which is a feet even for the most experienced walkers. However, at any one time, you can descend the mountain at its many downhill paths which are positioned along the way. These downhill paths lead to many renowned attractions such as Lingyin Temple, Huafa Temple, Daqing Valley and Meijiawu Tea Culture Village. If you are tired or thirsty or simply want to reward yourself then there is always a place at the foot of the mountain where you can savor Hangzhou dishes and sip a cup of fresh Longjing green tea.

NB: The path winds its way at the top of the mountain with little shade so protection from the sun is necessary especially in summer. Please stick to the main path as you can easily lose your way here and in some of the wild paths there may be boar traps.

Longwu (龙坞)

Unlike most other mountainous hiking paths, in the West Lake area, which are characterized by man-made steps and tourist paths, those in Longwu are highlighted for their primitiveness which enable you to be more at one with nature.

If you are lucky enough you may be greeted by a variety of creatures, great and small, such as squirrels, eagles, peacocks and pangolin. Currently it is the season of tea picking and Longwu area is one of the major production areas of Longjing green tea. Whilst hiking here people can witness, at first hand, the luscious green tea leaves and even participate in their own unique pickings.

Around Longwu Area there are plenty of inns and farmers run restaurants serving farm-flavored dishes and the perfect way to end an adventurous day.

NB: Mountains around Longwu Area are relatively easy to hike but beware there may also be snakes slithering around.

Lingshan Area (灵山)

Distance: 13 Km
Time: 5 hours

The essence of this hiking route lies in two pavilions, Ruyi Pavilion (如意亭) and You Feng Lai Yi Pavilion (有凤来仪亭). Ruyi Peak is the highest point of Xishan Mountain and has an altitude of over 500 meters. Before reaching the peak you will see Ruyi Pavilion which is a 360 degree sightseeing platform from which, during sunny days, the entire West Lake scenic area and Qiantang River can be viewed.

Compared to the other surrounding mountains which are characterized by tall and bushy trees the trees in Xishan are relatively short, therefore providing you with spectacular views.

NB: Please don’t leave litter in the mountains.