Tour Highlights

  • Tibetan Holy Mountain
  • Remote 3 Day Trekking
  • Tibetan Architecture of Danba
  • Fantastic Mountain Scenery
  • Watchtowers
  • Duration: 9 days
  • Difficulty: 1
  • Group Size: 2-16 people
mt_yala-xindianzi_to_yala_yongcuo_lake-enjoying_the_sceneary_of_zimeihai_lake

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 is 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 Zhonggu Village (altitude 3200 meters)  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.

DAY 1 THE BROCADE CITY: ARRIVAL IN CHENGDU

Upon your arrival at Chengdu International Airport you will be met meet by a Dragon Expeditions’ employee and will be taken to a 4 star hotel where you will meet your climbing guide for your trip. Over dinner (typical Sichuan cuisine), you will be briefed about Sichuan culture, its food and your forthcoming trip. After dinner, there is the chance to study maps of the Mt.Yala area, the route you will take and to check your equipment with the guide to ensure everything is in good order.

Overnight: Chengdu, Accommodation: Hotel Meals: Dinner Altitude: 500m

DAY 2 DRIVE FROM CHENGDU TO ZHONGGU VILLAGE

After having an early breakfast, we will leave at 8am and head onto the Tibetan Plateau.  Once past the tea growing region of Ya’an, the road climbs steeply following old trade routes before taking a shortcut through the Erlang Tunnel, the modern gateway to the ancient Tibetan kingdom of Kham.  You will notice a great change in geography and plant life as we drive along the winding mountain roads down to the Dadu River valley. By the side of the road locals sell local produce such as cherries, walnuts, persimmons, loquat and peaches.

The noon meal will be taken at Chakzamka (Ch. Luding) on the historic Dadu River, where the Red Army crossed the Luding Bridge in possibly the most famous event of the Long March. From Chakzamka we will continue towards Dartsedo (Ch. Kangding). This lively market town is nestled in a mountain valley either side of a swiftly flowing river; it is very much a border town between Chinese and Tibetan culture, with many locals and visitors wearing traditional Tibetan clothing. Stroll down to a local market, try identify the local specialties such as caterpillar fungus, or just enjoy a cup of yak butter tea at a teahouse whilst you acclimatize.

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 spend a part of the evening preparing our equipment for the following day’s trek.

Overnight: Zhonggu Accommodation: Guesthouse Meals: Breakfast, Lunch  and  Dinner Altitude: 3,200m

DAY 3 TREK FROM ZHONGGU VILLAGE TO XINDIANZI GRASSLAND

After an evening of rest, we will rise with the morning sun and glittering dew to begin another day of adventure! Our 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.

Overnight: Xindianzi grassland Accommodation: Camping Meals: Breafast, Lunch and Dinner  Altitude: 3,600m

DAY 4 TREK FROM XINDIANZI TO YALA YUMTSO LAKE

Today you will need all your strength as it is a long six hours walk, mostly uphill. Our route will take us over the highest passes of the trip at about 4200m, but you will be able to soak up the incredible alpine atmosphere and stunning views as we explore the upper reaches of our trail.

As we traverse the mountain pass, you will see the jade-green Yala Yumtso Lake, and after another hour’s walk down a gentle sloping path, we arrive at the lake-side for a sumptuous meal at our campsite in front of a roaring fire.

Overnight: Yala Yumtso Lake Accommodation: Camping Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Altitude: 4,200m

DAY 5 TREK FROM YALA YUMTSO LAKE TO ZHONGLU

Make sure you have some power left in your camera for our last trekking day, 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 an hours’ easy walking downhill we arrive at the road head and take transport to Zhonglu village to a Tibetan guesthouse.

Overnight: Zhonglu, Accommodation: Guesthouse Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Altitude: 2,100m

DAY 6 A DAY TO EXPLORE ZHONGLU

Starting with Tibetan-style breakfast, we take a leisurely stroll around the village on Zhonglu, 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.

Overnight: Zhonglu, Accommodation: Guesthouse Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Altitude: 2,100m

DAY 7 RETURN TO CHENGDU

Today we will be going back to Chengdu. In the evening we will have a final group meal in Chengdu, eating Sichuan’s famous Hotpot dish in a traditional restaurant.

Overnight: Chengdu, Accommodation: Hotel Meals:  Breakfast, lunch andDinner Altitude: 500m

DAY 8 DROP OFF

We will drop you off at Chengdu International Airport in good time to catch your flight.

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