April to
17h 46m
FKT (Standard)

About the Route


The Aotai Crossing is a strange beast of a trail, one that’s not recommended without serious preparation and review of local laws. It’s one of the most famous hiking routes in China, yet it’s all but unknown internationally and there are reports of people routinely going missing and dying along it. It seems making the crossing has even been banned as a result, but sources of current information are few and far between (not to mention, only available in Chinese).

“When you’re safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you’re having an adventure you wish you were safe at home.”

- Thornton Wilder

The Aotai Crossing is on the ridgeline of Mt. Taibai, in the heart of China near Xi’an. The distance of the trail is debated, but the average elevation is 10,000 feet and the cumulative elevation gain is 14,275 feet – so it’s both high altitude and extremely hilly. The route includes summiting the tallest mountain in the Qinling Range, Mt. Taibai (12,300 ft), and then crossing the ridgeline over to the second tallest mountain, Aoshan (11,400 ft). Reports of the distance vary from 33 miles to 105 miles, most likely due to different routes being taken.

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