Emei Shan (tel. 028/8737-1405; www.ems517.com; Admission ¥150 [¥100 Dec 15-Jan 14], student discount ¥80; monasteries ¥6-¥10) has two main hiking routes to the Jin Ding summit, and two involving bus and/or cable car. Both hiking routes follow the same path from Baoguo Si (at the entrance) to Niuxin Ting. At Niuxin Ting, they split into a higher and a lower trail, which meet up again at Xi Xiang Chi, where they merge into a single path that leads to Jin Ding Peak. Since there are 80km (50 miles) of trails to the peak, a combination of hiking, buses, and cable car is recommended.
You can take a bus from Baoguo Si to Leidong Ping; from there, take a cable car to the top. Buses travel between Baoguo Si and Leidong Ping all day (golden weeks 5am-5pm; Nov-Apr 7am-4pm; and May-Oct 6:30am-5pm). The trip each way takes 2 hours and costs ¥70. The cable car runs the 500m (1,666-ft.) leg between the last parking lot, at Jieyin Dian (next to Leidong Ping), and Jin Ding (Golden Peak); ¥40 for the ascent, ¥30 descent, and round-trip fare is ¥70; 5:30am-6pm.
Another option is to take the bus as far as Wannian Cable Car Station (Wannian Chechang). Begin your trek there or take the 8-minute cable car ride to Wannian Si and start climbing from there. The cable car ride costs ¥40 for the ascent, ¥30 for the descent, and ¥60 round-trip, from 6:40am to 6pm.
All roads lead to Jin Ding, but the highest peaks are Qianfo Ding and Wanfo Ding. These can be reached by a monorail that runs between Jin Ding and Wanfo Ding. The round-trip takes 20 minutes and costs ¥60; 8am-6pm.
Note: If you get caught without enough warm clothing, rent a Chinese army jacket for ¥10 at several spots on the mountain, including the Leidong Ping (Leidong parking lot).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.