Mountains & hikes near Shanghai

I have no ambitions to become a travel advisor or anything, but here I’m sharing some of my experiences of mountains (or mere hills) around Shanghai. Also the ones I heard about but did not go to yet. I’ve also added some 古道’s: Ancient (Merchant) Roads. These seem to become more & more popular in recent years (or it’s me who’s more looking for them). They’re nice for the summer, as usually a transportation road seeks the path of the least resistance; through a valley alongside a river, or around a lake. So there’s no peak for you to get a sunstroke.

Mountains in Shanghai

Sheshan 佘山

2 hours by metro + 15 minutes taxi from the city center

Not really a mountain (what do you expect, in Shanghai), but if you’re in the area it’s nice. The cathedral was closed on our visit but it’s still a quick and nice climb.

Tianma Mountain 天马山

1-hour drive, or 2 hours by subway + bus from the city center

I’ve never been here, and I also doubt it’s a real mountain. And probably very busy as well. But it’s there!


Mountains in Jiangsu

Suzhou: Lingyan Mountain 灵岩山 & Tianping Mountain 天平山

Train, 30 minutes + 40-50 minutes metro from Shanghai

They’re ok, decent, and maybe to combine with a weekend trip to Suzhou. Lots of people, but further on the route(s) it becomes less. They’re similar mountains (part of the same mountain range), also in the sense that they’re near the city and therefore very crowded.


Mountains in Zhejiang

Yiwu: Songpu Mountain 松瀑山

Train 2h17m + 37 minutes taxi from Shanghai

It’s not a long climb and there’s no real summit, but the real hero is the waterfall with a tiny pond. You can’t really swim but it’s great to cool down.

Full report.


Nanbei Lake 南北湖

Not easy to reach by train but I’m sure there’s a bus to here. 2 hour drive from Shanghai

Not really a mountain although there is a lake. The area is very touristic, but it also brings ease and comfort.

Full report

Hangzhou: Beigaofeng 北高峰

1 hour by train, 1 hour taxi from Shanghai

This mountain isn’t super high, it’s more of a hill, and it’s also very crowded. But it’s nice if you’re going to West Lake, the western part of West Lake is beautiful and the area around this hill is fantastic (albeit very touristic).


Hangzhou: Tiger Cave Mountain 老虎洞

1 hour by train, 30 minutes taxi from Shanghai

It’s not a real mountain, more a hill. It’s not worth the trip there, but OK if you’re in the neighborhood. Make sure you get to see the stone tiger.

Full report


Moganshan 莫干山

2-3 hours drive from Shanghai (Not sure if this place is easy to reach by train, I’m sure you can get a bus somewhere or pay for a taxi a fortune)

I think the place is overpriced and overrated. Too many people! But they have some great family options with hostels and hotels with a swimming pool, English-speaking staff, bike rental, etcetera. I think there’s not one peak but rather lots of different areas you can go to.


Huangshan 黄山

3 hours by train from Shanghai

I’ve never been here, I must admit. I’m worried about the crowds, especially during the holidays, but I will go one weekend here. A lot of people say it’s amazing.


Jixi: HuiHang Ancient Merchant Road 徽杭古道

2h17m train + 37-minute taxi from Shanghai

Super nice walk, maybe 15 kilometers. It’s only that if you do the full walk to the other side of the mountain, the taxi will be super expensive. Or do you need to go the same 15 kilometers back.

Full report

Huzhou: Luyu Ancient Road 陆羽古道

2h by car from Shanghai or 2h train + 30m taxi

Another ancient road. It’s only 6 kilometers but pretty tough with an overgrown path, slippery descent, and steep climb. Fantastic scenery. Bring mosquito spray!

Full report

Shengzhou: Anshan Ancient Merchant Road 安山古道

2h12m by train + 1h taxi from Shanghai

A magical walk in a valley, almost without any people. Doesn’t take too long but I’m sure you can make it longer by bringing a picnic. It’s not hard. The path will disappear in a few years because a dam will be built. You can go to 安山村 to start, but we found it easier to find (and start) the route in 小泉溪村. Also, it’s useful to use the app 两步路户外 to search for 安山古道, several lengths or loops you can choose.

Full report

Anshan (安山) in Zhejiang, last month.


Ningbo: Nine Peak Mountain 九峰山

1 hour by train + 1 hour taxi from Shanghai

I’ve never been here but will, photos look great though. Because it’s close to the city, it does get crowded on weekends, but usually this is no problems on mountains as it spreads out, especially on the climb.


Ninghai: A road from Miaoxiang Temple to Xu Jia Shan 妙相禅寺到许家山

2h30m by train from Shanghai

Not really a mountain but a great walk. I took a path that Miaoxiang Temple (妙相禅寺) and ends in the stone village of Xu Jia Shan (许家山). Also Burbex Brin has a video about this path. If you do go here, it’s good to check the walk on the app 两步路户外.

Full report


Quzhou/Jiangshan: Mount Jianglang江郎山

2h24m train + 1 hour taxi from Shanghai

A true off-the-beaten-path location, the climb is fantastic, and almost no other people. The steep isn’t suitable for small kids or seniors. Also, the city Jiangshan is fantastic to visit, just don’t expect to see any Starbucks or McDonald’s, or people to speak English.

Full report



Sanqing Mountain 三清山

3 hours by train + 1h12m taxi from Shanghai

Ok, maybe with this travel time, it’s outside of Shanghai, but still acceptable for a weekend trip. I’ve never been here, but I want to go here. A lot of people said it’s amazing. Long climb that will take up a good part of the day.


Shandong: Mount Tai 泰山 in Tai’an 泰安

Almost 4 hours by train + 20 minutes by taxi from Shanghai

Ok, now we’re really too far away from Shanghai. If however, you’re going in this direction (Confucius’ grave is on the way in Qufu 曲阜), then it’s worth climbing this one. It’s a popular climb yet not a super easy one. We did it in the pouring rain.

Full report


Mountains in Hunan

Zhangjiajie 张家界

2h30m flight + 30m taxi from Shanghai

Again, this mountain range is really far from Shanghai, but Zhangjiajie (just Google it) offers picturesque pictures. And doable with a long weekend.