As the hometown of panda, Sichuan is reputed as the kingdom which has an abundance of natural resources and various landforms of snow-mountains, grasslands and grand gorges. A trip to Mt. Yala is one of the most popular tours in Western Sichuan. Mt. Yala is located in a nature reserve on the border between Dartsedo (Ch. Kangding), Rongtrak (Ch. Danba) and Daofu counties of Sichuan province. It is the second highest peak of Sichuan’s Daxue range. The imposing Mt. Yala is snow capped all year round and one of the four holy mountains worshipped by the Tibetan people living in the area. The hike is a relatively even grade and will start from Danba area and gently ascend to Mt Yala’s High pass at 4216m before descending to Rongtrak. The gentle gradient allows the body to accustom to the high altitude, limiting the risk of altitude sickness.See more
The itinerary has been created by our local agency with one idea in mind: to inspire you. Every element can be adapted to your needs and interests, from duration to accommodation and activities.
Arrive in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province in Southwestern China, a transfer from Chengdu airport to the hotel will be provided. You can spend your first night in Chengdu at your own leisure. Walking along the old street, appreciate the historical and cultural atmosphere. You might want to experience the Sichuan Opera, Sichuan’s famous Hotpot dish.
Overnight in Chengdu.
In the morning after breakfast, drive to the Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre to explore the daily life of the cute pandas intimately. As one of the landmarks of Chengdu, it is a well laid out park which is designed to resemble the pandas' natural habitat. We will spend the whole morning visiting different panda rooms.
After lunch, make a 2 hours drive to visit the Leshan Giant Buddha, a Tang dynasty (618-907 AD) relic that is the largest carved stone Buddha in the world at 71 meters. Leshan is an exquisite UNESCO world heritage site that is not to be missed for its impressive size and beautiful surrounding area.
Overnight in Leshan.
Leaving Chengdu, today we will make a 5 hours driving head out of the Sichuan basin to penetrate deep into the mountains that guard the approach to the south-eastern part of the Tibet-Qinghai plateau. After driving through Erlangshan Tunnel, a sunshine day with blue sky will turn out, and then we reach to the Dadu River Grand Canyon which is the largest one in western Sichuan. Luding Bridge, a unique structure built in 1706 in Qing Dynasty, with nine iron chains spanning the roaring Dadu River.
Upon arrival in Kangding, explore the bustling streets to buy the necessary supplies for your hiking in the next few days. As the capital of the Ganzi Tibetan Prefecture in Sichuan, Kangding is a culturally rich area, home to several lamaseries in and around the city.
Overnight in Kangding.
From the hotel we have a short drive up to the highest part of Kangding which is the launching point for visits to the Paoma (Horse Racing)
Mountain, famous for being referenced to a popular love song and horse races in the past. Take the cable car, reaching the upper station.
Enjoy a fantastic view over Kangding and the gorge of the Dardu River. After that, move to Mugecuo Scenic Area, which is the largest alphine lake in regions of 2000m above sea level in Sichuan. There are nearly one hundred hot springs nearby which have different curative effects. After visit, drive back to Kangding.
Overnight in Kangding.
Today, we will first go to visit Namo Monastery which was built in the northern song dynasty, is one of the famous Tibetan area. Here is one of the three Sects in Tibetan area, alongside Kmbum monastery. But this is specifically for learning Buddhadharma, like a Tibetan school.
After visit, we will start our today’s warm up hike to Dacaoba (3-4hrs), an alpine meadow. After the hike, we will then drive north, reaching Zhonggu Village in the evening. Here we will stay in a local villager’s home. There are natural hot springs close by which you can relax in. After dinner we will have a briefing from the tour leader and will spend a part of the evening preparing our equipment for the following day’s trek.
Overnight at Zhonggu Village.
We will rise with the morning sun and glittering dew to begin our trekking adventure to the magnificent Yala Snow Mountain (Yala Kamiyama). The first day is easy walking and it generally takes four or five hours. We will start trekking from the village and progress through the sweeping Xindianzi grasslands, each step moves us away from the bustle of the city and further into the vast wilderness that inspires so much of Tibetan culture. Enjoy the immense skies, jagged peaks and clear mountain air of western Sichuan, before camping in the beautiful Xindianzi grassland for the night.
Camp at Xindianzi Grassland.
Today you will need most of your strength, as it is a long six hours walk, mostly uphill. Our route will take us over the highest Yala Pass of the trip at about 4,216m, where you will be able to enjoy the stunning views and soak up the incredible alpine atmosphere. Vertical ascend from our campsite is about 600 m. It is not very tough, as we have planned for more than enough time to rest and ascend slowly. Through the pass, hike another 4km, we will reach our campsite (3,900m) under the Yala Pass.
Camp at Yala Pass Campsite.
Hike about 5km in the morning, we arrive at Sisters Lakes also at 4,200m. Then, after another 5 km, we will see the jade-green Yala Yumtso Lake, and walk down on a gentle sloping path to the bank of the Lake for camping, and then have a sumptuous meal in front of a roaring fire.
Camp near Yala Yumtso Lake.
Make sure you have some power left in your camera for our last trekking day around Yala, as today we walk surrounded by mountains and snowy peaks. This lake is miraculously green, that is why the local Tibetans named it Lake of Jade. A small waterfall hangs above the lake, fed by glaciers on Yala Mountain. Alpine evergreen trees provide background.
After 3 to 4 hours of easy walking downhill, we arrive at the road head of Taizhan Gou. Take transport to Danba, where there was a village, there were watchtowers. That’s why Danba was renowned as the “ancient country of thousands of watchtowers”. Although many of them has lost their traces or integrated with the folk houses, some of them have been preserved. Next two days watchtowers exploration trip will be opened here. Stay overnight at a Tibetan guesthouse in Zhonglu.
Overnight at Zhonglu Village.
Today's exploration is by foot through quaint villages and visits to the ancient handmade watchtowers unique to this historic region of Tibet. Starting with Tibetan-style breakfast, we take a leisurely stroll around the villages on Zhonglu and Jiaju, without doubt one of the most beautiful mountain villages in China, famed for its traditional architecture, in particular its stone defensive towers. Zhonglu’s women are equally famous for their beauty. We will have a leisurely walk around the villages, climb the well-preserved watchtowers, as well as the main meals, we will visit to a local family to taste pure Tibetan butter salt tea. In the afternoon you'll have some personal space to wander the narrow streets of the tight-knit mountain town of Danba. Then drive back to the guesthouse in Zhonglu.
Overnight at Zhonglu Village
After breakfast, take a 1 hour drive to Suopo. Suopo till today is densely scattered with watchtowers. Here you’ll have a feast for your eyes. Built with clay and stone, the watchtowers are solid lofty columns with four, six, or even thirteen margins on the cross section. These towers, with a height ranging from 100 to 200 feet (30 to 60 meters), have been established for more than a thousand of years.
Initially, they were used for exorcising demons.
Later on, some were used to defend villagers from enemies while some maintained the original functions. In the afternoon, take a 3 hours drive to Dangling Village. At this village, we will not only explore the typical folk houses, but also learn the unique culture of Jiarong Tibetan Nationality. Prepare for the next part of our fantastic trekking tour.
Overnight at Dangling Village.
Start your Dangling trek today! In the morning, we hike into the charming mountains. After 3 hours trekking, we arrive at Feijiping. You may also ride a horse to Feijiping in order to save strengthen to hike to Hulu Hai. En route, there are many meadows with lots of cattle and horses eating leisurely on them and you will marvel at the wild monkeys jumping in front of you. The scenery around the Hulu Hai (Cucurbit Lake) is fantastic. The unique scenery of extinct volcano crater and a variety kind of ancient life-form fossil make you back to the Cretaceous period. After visiting, back to Dangling.
Overnight at Dangling Village.
Today is more relaxed, and it is better for us to prepare for the camping adventure tomorrow. In the morning, enjoy your leisure time around the village. Then walk in the Xiaqianglongba Valley (also called Daofugou) for about 4 km until we arrive at Dangling Hot Spring, which is the unspoiled natural hot spring. We camp near the spring. In the evening, it is wonderful to soak in a hot-spring bath after long time hiking.
Camp near Dangling Hot Spring.
Today may be the toughest day. Depart from the hot spring, we hike upwards along Xiaqianglongba and travel across Xiaqiangnie’a Mountain Pass to enter into Yuke Prairie in Daofu County. In the afternoon, we continue to trek downhill to get to Longpulongba River. End of the hike, then drive to Xindu Qiao town.
Overnight in Xinduqiao.
After breakfast, drive back to Chengdu.
Overnight in Chengdu
Drive to the airport for the flight back home. We will drop you off at Chengdu International Airport in good time to catch your flight.
The price reflects this specific tour itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.
|4 to 5 pax||6 to 7 pax||Single Supp|
|Price per person in double room||£2,750||£2,340||£300|