We studied frog biodiversity along an elevational gradient in the Hengduan Mountains, China. Endemic and non-endemic elevational diversity patterns were examined individually. Competing hypotheses were also tested for these patterns. Species richness of total frogs, endemics and non-endemics peaked at mid-elevations. The peak in endemic species richness was at higher elevations than the maxima of total species richness. Endemic species richness followed the mid-domain model predictions, and showed a nonlinear relationship with temperature. Water and energy were the most important variables in explaining elevational patterns of non-endemic species richness. A suite of interacting climatic and geometric factors best explained total species richness patterns along the elevational gradient. We suggest that the mid-domain effect was an important factor to explain elevational richness patterns, especially in regions with high endemism.