Baicaopan is a spectacular mountaintop view, and definitely worth checking out – but only in the summer season, and when highway 108 is finished in late 2009. Otherwise, do not go now! It took us over 4 tortuous hours to get there; once the road is done, it should be about 3 hours.
So, here’s the scoop — the place is due west of Beijing deep in the mountains, on the same road as Silver Fox Cave. It’s all very dramatic scenery, but the highway is shared with many coal trucks, so the drive itself is so unbearable I do not recommend it now.
The peak itself is magnificent. There is also a famous alpine meadow which blooms with lovely wildflowers; but we went too early in the season (early April) and it was bitingly cold with no growth yet; but the air was so crisp and healthy, our quick hike was well worth it. There are few amenities (a hotel at the base) but it’s wonderfully quiet, absolutely no one. Certainly the summer is the best time. Especially during a super-hot Beijing weekend, you should consider a trip here for instant relief. And since the drive is so far, you should consider spending the night.
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