I set out by bicycle from Huayin, the village at the foot of Huashan, at 9:00 AM on September 18 - which in 2005 also happened to be the Moon Festival. I rode due west skirting the Qinlin mountains for about 10 km to get to the turnoff north to the bridge over the river Wei. The road is flat and good but the local maps of this region are particularly bad so I had to ask directions several times (i.e. at each road to the right ask if it was the right one or not). The map also indicates a 'Taibaimiao' (Big White Temple) scenic spot near this turnoff but nobody at the actual place has heard of it. At 11:00 AM I reached the Wei, having seen mostly corn fields. From the Wei onwards there are also orchards and cotton fields. The harvest was ongoing and even though it was a Sunday and a holiday people were working in the fields and cleaning cotton in the villages all over. At about 13:00 PM I reached Dali, where I had lunch and dropped my bag at a hotel, riding on to the confluence. Six km from the confluence I took a dirt road that seemed to go straight to it but that soon proved to be a mistake as the road went nowhere and I got a punctured tire. Continuing on foot and pushing the bike I discovered a good secondary asphalt road that runs east-west 2 km south of the confluence, from which there is a good dirt road that runs straight at it.
I reached the confluence at 17:00 PM, after crossing a village 500 south of it where just then there was a public performance of Chinese opera in the main street / dirt road. It is in a depression on the top a low hill in the loess plateau from which there are nice views in all directions, especially to the south. Apparantly it can only be reached from the dirt road about 200 m to the west because of the steep slopes on all sides. I forgot to note the elevation :-( but it's probably between 400 and 500 m. Just when I started taking pictures the handset died on me but luckily I had spare batteries at the bike (which I had left on the road) :-)
From the confluence I walked due north to find the main road Dali-Hancheng, which proved to be 2800 m from the confluence. I easily stopped one of the buses to Xi'an which dropped me and my bike off at my hotel in Dali. The next morning I had it repaired and rode on to Xi'an.
Scenic value, on a scale from 0 (square in front of the railway station of an industrial town) to 5 (fiercely protected temple on a volcano mountain top in Borneo): 2,5 for Westerners, 1 for Chinese. It is in the middle of gently undulating fertile countryside on loess soil, with typical Chinese peasants' villages between cotton, corn and orchards. The local speciality seems to be cactuses (Opuntias) growing on the dirt walls surrounding the courtyard houses.
Difficulty of access, on a scale from 0 (square in front of the railway station of an industrial town) to 5 (fiercely protected temple on a volcano mountain top in Borneo): 1. Plenty of buses pass quite near to it, on a road that is part of the main trajectory Xi'an-Weinan-Hancheng-Taiyuan.
The way to do this: take any of the many buses on the main Dali-Hancheng road. Get off 3 km to the north of the confluence, or where you see an asphalt road going south about 4 km nortwest of it. Walk the rest of the way over dirt roads through peasant villages. You might be able to find a motorcycle 'taxi' but don't count on it.