A small chain of mountains in the Shaanxi Province south of Xi'an, the Zhongnan Mountains are a place of serenity that has long been sought out by Daoist hermits for peace and reflection. Although it is rare to get significant interaction with said hermits without intimate knowledge of specific phrases and codes, a trek up Cui Hua Shan (at 2604 meters/8543 feet, the tallest in the range) is worth it in itself as a journey of misty ridge lines and narrow paths through a landscape of boulders. There is a town at its base that is within a short walk of a number of caves, as well as a lake for paddle boating and facilities for zip-lining. During the winter, there is also a resort on Cui Hua that is a big draw for skiers.
Note:If you plan on taking a trip from Xi'an, give yourself plenty of time to travel to and fro, because there are 4 bus change-overs that need to happen to get you to Cui Hua Shan and back.