8-Day Yading Nature Reserve Hiking Tour

This adventure will take you on relatively remote roads through Sichuan’s wild west to Yading Nature Reserve, one of China’s most awe-inspiring National Parks. From here you will embark on a three day trek to Kasi Village enjoying spectacular vistas of Yading’s three sacred peaks, turqoise alpine lakes and green meadows. The adventure continues as you return to Zhongdian on the backroads, with an overnight stay at a Cheese Factory run by local Tibetan yak herders.

Tour starts/finishes: Zhongdian
Fitness level required: High
Time of year available: April-October
Time of year recommended: May-June, October

Detailed itinerary

Day 1:  Zhongdian (L, D)
Meet up with your guide and spend the day resting and acclimatizing at the Shangbala Ranch Hotel on the shores of Napa Lake. In the afternoon, take a bikeride around the lake visiting some Tibetan villages such as Hamagu.

Day 2: Zhongdian-Xiangcheng (255km) (L, D)
Travel from Zhongdian to Xiangcheng, a small town at the base of the range that connects the Yading mountains with the rest of the eastern Himalayas. On the way you will stop for a 10km return hike through Birang Gorge. On arrival in Xiangcheng (Altitude: 3200m) visit the Sangpi Monastery. Overnight in a 2 star hotel.

Day 3:  Xiangcheng-Riwa (190 km) (B, L, D)
Spend a full day driving from Xiangcheng to Riwa (Elevation: 3000m). Along the way, you will enjoy wonderful panoramas of barley fields, rushing rivers, expansive grasslands and snow-covered peaks. Overnight in Riwa in a 3 star hotel.

Day 4: Yading-Pearl Lake-Longlongba (B, L, D)
Today we take the green bus to Longlongba, then hike for 2.5 hours to Pearl Lake enjoying grand views of snow-covered mountains, glaciers and rivers. Pearl Lake is nestled in the beautiful upper valley of Chenresig’s north face and lies at about 4000m above sea level. Return to Longtongba for overnight in a simple guesthouse.

Day 5: Longtongba-Chonggu Temple-Milk Lake-Five Color Lake-Kasi Pasture (B, L, D)
Hike 2 hours (4km) from Longtongba to Chonggu Temple, then take a 30 minute ride in an electric buggy to arrive at Luorong Pasture (4180m). Trek 3 hours from Luorong Pasture to Milk Lake (Elevation: 4600m), a glacier fed lake which is a striking green colour.  Continue for 30 minutes up a steep slope to reach Five Color Lake (Elevation: 4800m) which lies beneath the cliff of Chenresig’s stunning south face.  Keep descending for 2 hours towards the Kasi Pastures (Elevation: approx. 4000m). setting up camp by the third lake you pass. Enjoy an amazing sunset over the pastures.

Day 6: Kasi Pastures-Kasi Village (B, L, D)
Descend through the Kasi Valley for approx. 6 hours to Kasi village (Elevation: 2800m) passing waterfalls, alpine forests and clear rivers. At the end of the valley, you will cross a narrow wood bridge leading into Kasi Village. Camp overnight in Kasi Village.

Day 7: Kasi Village- Dongyi-Langdu Milk Factory (B, L, D)
Get up in the early morning. Drive along the picturesque Dongyi River Valley. Then keep driving along one hour of rough road to Langdu, a community of ethnic Tibetan yak herders on the border of Yunnan and Sichuan. From here you will ascend on a zigzagging road lined with fir trees to the Mei Xiang Milk Factory where local yak milk is turned into a Haloumi-like cheese as part of a NGO-sponsored microenterprise project.  Stay overnight in the Mei Xiang Milk Factory and Mountain Retreat.

Day 8: Milk Factory- Gezang-Zhongdian (B, L)
In the morning visit Dinghu Lake. Then set off for the bumpy 4 hour journey to Zhongdian. The road winds its way down heavily forested Hongdang Mountain to meet up with the main Sichuan-Yunnan Road, crossing two 4000m+ passes on the way. Arrive in Zhongdian in the early afternoon. Tour concludes.

Tour prices

The following table shows the price per person for groups of varying sizes. Please note that this trip is only offered at a comfortable level with private 4WD transportation for the duration of the tour and accommodation in 3 star hotels or the best available in the villages we stay. If you would like to reduce costs by staying in guesthouses or by using public transportation for some parts of the journey please contact us for a revised itinerary and quote.

2 people 3-4 people 5-6 people 7-8 people 8+ people
Single supplement
Comfortable 8500 CNY 7000 CNY 6450CNY 5950 CNY 5700 CNY 1100 CNY

Price inclusions

  1. Accommodation: 3 nights accommodation in 2-3 star hotels, 2 nights in guesthouses and 2 nights camping.
  2. Entrance tickets: Napa Lake (40 CNY), Birang Gorge (20 CNY), Sangpi Monastery (10 CNY), Yading Nature Reserve (150 CNY)
  3. The following activities: Bike riding in Shangrila
  4. All transportation:  Transportation is by private 4WD for the duration of the tour. Also  included are the Yading Nature Reserve green bus (120 CNY) and the electric buggy from Chonggu Monastery to Luorong Pasture (80 CNY)
  5. Meals : 7 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 7 dinners. Breakfasts will be Chinese breakfast foods (noodles, steamed buns, eggs). Lunches and dinners in town/village areas will be a range of meat and vegetable dishes with rice. While camping, meals will be simple consisting of rice/noodles, vegetables, boiled eggs and snacks such as bread, biscuits, chocolate etc.
  6. Guide: An experienced English speaking tour guide
  7. Horse fees: Horses will be provided for the trek from Luorong Pasture to Kasi Village (Days 5-6). One horse will carry camping/cooking equipment and one horse for every three travellers will carry personal luggage (one horse per three travellers).
  8. Camping equipment: Tents, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, camp stove, gas bottles, saucepans.

Price exclusions

  1. Snacks, drinks and western food
  2. Travel insurance
  3. Horses for riding in Yading Nature Reserve


  1. Surcharges will be charged for peak travelling times such as Chinese New Year, May Day (May 1st-7th) and National Day (October 1st-7th). For tours at these times please contact us for a customized quote.
  2. The prices quoted are to be used as a guide only. A final tour quote will be provided to you at the time of enquiry which may be higher or lower than the price listed above.


Below are some images from previous tours in this area. Click to view larger images.


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