- Experience the expansive beauty of Sichuan’s Tibetan region
- Hike and camp your way through the prairies and plateaus surrounding a Buddhist holy mountain
- Enjoy culturally immersive interactions with locals from the region
- Duration: 11 days
- Difficulty: 2
- Group Size: 2-16
Trekking in Genyen Massif
Towering 6,204 meters above the vast, grassy hinterlands of Western Sichuan, the summit of Mount Genie is the third highest peak in Sichuan and the tallest among the Shaluli mountain range. This natural pinnacle is surrounded by 30 other snow-capped peaks all roughly 500 meters tall. Since the local Tibetans interpret the shape of this mountain as resembling a Buddhist practitioner riding a horse, Genie is revered as a Holy Mountain housing the spirit of a Goddess. During this trek, participants will have the chance to experience the pristine beauty of this gorgeous natural region while challenging themselves with boots on the ground trekking through this hidden paradise!
Day one- Arrival in Chengdu
After arriving in the international airport in Sichuan’s capital of Chengdu, your expedition group will be lead to your hotel accommodation in the city and have a briefing to prepare for the start of this adventure.
Accommodation– Overnight hotel in Chengdu Meals– Sichuanese cuisine
Day two – Chengdu to Kangding
After an early breakfast, we will depart from Chengdu to set off into the Tibetan regions to the west. Along this scenic drive, you will watch as the environment and cultural landscape begins to shift from the verdant Sichuanese farmlands surrounding Chengdu to the craggy mountainous passes and river-carved gullies of the Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. We will pass through notable trading destinations that operated the historical exchange of goods and cultural knowledge between China and Tibet for hundreds of years. After reaching high mountain roads and driving through the mountain tunnel of Erlang, we will have left the culturally Chinese part of Sichuan behind and will have followed the foot-steps of ancient tea traders into the historically Tibetan region of Kham.
For our lunch, we will stop in Chakzamka (Chinese: Luding), a destination on the Dadu river. This town is historically significant as it was the sight of one of the most notable moments of the Communist army’s long march, the Luding Bridge. At this sight, you will have the chance to few the place where brave soldiers of the red army gave their lives and were immortalized for their sacrifice. Across the river we will visit the Buddhist temple of Thukje Chenpo Temple where we can view Luding and the river from a vantage.
After our visit to Luding, we will continue onwards to the capital of the Ganzi Tibetan region, Kangding (Tibetan: Dartsedo). This city has a rich history and is distinguished as having been the eastern-most trading hub on the Tea Horse Road, a famous trade route that connected Tibet and China through trade in antiquity. The contemporary Kangding harmoniously fuses the colorful culture of eastern Tibet with the contemporary urban sprawl of a Chinese city. All throughout the city, Tibetans are dressed in their traditional apparel, shops are full of interesting Tibet trinkets, and Tibetan Buddhist statues, art and temples populate the atmosphere. During this time, your group can begin to acclimate to the shift in culture and ascension into higher altitude in anticipation for the adventure to come. We will stay at a hotel in Kanding and prepare for the next day.
Accommodation– Overnight hotel in Kanding Meals– Sichuanese and Tibetan cuisine Altitude: 2560 meters
Day three – Kangding to Tagong
Today we will depart early and continue farther west into the Tibetan region. After boarding our transportation, we will depart from Kangding and continue our ascent higher into the rolling green plateaus of Ganzi. As we climb, you will see herds of yaks grazing the countryside, Tibetan script spelled in white stone on the sides of grassy hills and white nomad yurts dotting the prairie. After a short ride, we will arrive in the highland grasslands of Tagong. In this colorful little wild west town, you will have ample opportunities to see Tibetan nomads on horseback, monks and nuns and a multitude of colorful temples and stupas. In addition, this stop offers the ideal opportunity to continue a gradual acclimation to the high altitudes of the Tibetan region.
Accommodation– Overnight hotel in Tagong Meals– Sichuanese and Tibetan cuisine Altitude: 3700 meters
Day four – Tagong to Rerika
After spending a night in Tagong, we will depart early the following day to the community of Rerika. At this point, your group will be deep in the center of Ganzi and will have ventured farther than the average tourist; as a result, these areas are especially authentic due to the lack of exposure to tourism. After arriving in Rerika village, you will be shown to your homestay and will have the opportunity to relax and prepare for the next day.
Accommodation– Overnight hotel in Tagong Meals– Sichuanese and Tibetan cuisine Altitude: 3798 meters
Day five – Rerika to Bamei and Huahai Muchang
Once we are ready to leave in the morning, we will venture even further into Ganzi and arrive in the small township of Bamei. Bamei is most notable as being a hotspot of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism and the birthplace of the 11th Dalai Lama. This pristine environment provides the perfect opportunity to hike through the grassland to gaze at flowers and highland wildlife. Following this, we will prepare to camp for the night out on the prairie.
Accommodation– Camping on the prairie Meals– cooked meals Altitude: 4011 meters
Day six – Huahai Muchang to Xiaozha waterfall campsite
After packing our camping gear and preparing for the next destination, we will hike through a forested valley wilderness where vibrant wildflowers and exotic plant species are in abundance. Once we have arrived at the gorgeous Xiaozha waterfall, we will prepare to camp once again.
Accommodation– Camping on the prairie
Meals– Cooked meals
Altitude: 4060 meters
Day seven – Xiaozha campsite
After preparing our gear, our group will mount our bikes and continue on a 12 km ride to the scenic spot at Mugecuo. Once we have arrived, we will continue in a van to explore the pristine natural beauty of Mugecuo. In the afternoon, we will depart by bike to Kangding to meet at the intersection of Tibetan and Han Chinese culture, concluding the biking portion of the trip.
Accommodation– Hotel in Kangding Meals– Tibetan and Sichuanese cuisine altitude: 4060 meters
Day eight – Xiaozha campsite to the “Old Cold Valley Monastery”, Huipa and then Xiaozha campsite
In the morning, we will continue our exploration into the natural regions of Ganzi. We will arrive in the scenic “Old Cold Valley Monastery” to enjoy a traditionally prepared meal of noodles and admire the local culture and architecture. With luck, we will have the opportunity to take a dip in the hot springs before departing to return to the campsite in Xiaozha.
Accommodation– camping in Xiaozha Meals– self prepared breakfast and lunch, Tibetan noodles altitude: 4150 meters
Day nine – New cold valley monastery, Litang
After an early wake up, we will prepare our gear and our team will embark on the long journey to the spectacular township of Litang. This region is especially gorgeous and features sprawling grasslands set against the backdrop of towering mountain panoramas. This region is prized for it’s beautiful cultural aesthetic and authentic local lifestyle, it will be easy to gain a profound appreciation for the local way of life during your stay. Once we arrive in the afternoon, we will settle in and relax for the evening.
Accommodation– camping or hotel in Litang Meals– Tibetan Cuisine altitude: 4015 meters
Day ten – Litang and Xindu Qiao
Once we are ready, we will begin exploring the cultural landmarks in Litang, including monasteries and stupas that are famous all across Tibet. Once we have finished our tour of Litang, we will depart on a 6 hour ride returning east to the Tibetan township of Xindu Qiao. This community features a notable bridge from which it derives its name which we will visit during our stay. Afterwards, we will find our accommodation and get a well-deserved rest.
Accommodation– Hotel in Xindu Qiao Meals– Tibetan Cuisine altitude: 3310 meters
Day eleven – Xindu Qiao, Kangding and Chengdu
On the final day of the expedition, we will depart to Kangding before continuing onwards to return to our starting point in Chengdu in the evening for the conclusion of the trip.