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Yading Trekking: Ultimate Guide for Yading Nature Reserve Trekking

Yading Hiking is a timeless trope. From the year 1928 that famous explorer Joseph Rock did a Yading trekking tour to now, thousands of hikers have created their tracks in Yading. How about you? Are you also dreaming of a Yading Trekking tour?

Follow this Yading Trekking Guide to know how to do hiking in Yading, with useful introduction of trekking routes, best time to trek, packing list and tips included.

Yading Trekking Routes - Top 4 Trekking Routes in Yading

Yading is a hiking paradise. There are many trekking routes for you to choose. And here, we will introduce you the Top 4 Most Popular Yading Trekking Routes for you, including the classic short trekking route, in-depth long trekking route, Yading Small Kora and Yading Big Kora.

Yading Nature Reserve Map with Trekking Routes

Yading Nature Reserve Map with Trekking Routes

Classic Short Trekking Route in Yading Nature Reserve

  • Highlights: Chonggu Temple and Meadow, Pearl Lake, Mount Xiannairi (Mt. Chenrezig), etc.
  • Trekking Route Details: Tourist Center (Entrance) - Sightseeing Bus Ride (1-1.5 hrs) - Zhaguanbeng (扎灌崩) - Hiking (20 mins) - Chonggu Temple (冲古寺) - Hiking (1 hour) - Pearl Lake & Mount Xiannairi - return the same way or extend your journey to Luorong Pasture first and then go back
  • Time needed: 5~7 hours
  • Recommended for: Everyone

It takes you less than 1 day to have a classic hiking tour inside Yading Nature Reserve. By following this classic trekking route, you can explore sacred Chonggu Temple (Chonggu Monastery), crystal-like Pearl Lake and the holy Mount Xiannairi.

Hop on a sightseeing bus at Yading Nature Reserve Tourist Center (the entrance of the scenic area) and then drop off at Zhaguanbeng (扎灌崩) after about 1-1.5 hours driving. Your classic Yading trekking journey starts here. Walk about 300-500m (about 20 minutes) up the road, you could reach to your first stop - Chonggu Temple (冲古寺), where famous Joseph Rock stayed for 3 days on his exploration journey of the southeast Tibetan Plateau in 1928. After a short stay at the temple, keep heading up for about 1.5km (1 hour around), and then you will be rewarded with stunning views of Peal Lake, with amazing reflection of Mount Xiannairi on its surface. Mount Xiannairi and Pearl Lake are two of the most beautiful highlights in Yading Nature Reserve, so don’t be hurry, let yourself indulge in the splendid lake, mountains and highland forest there before making a return. After a sightseeing tour there, follow the same way to go out from the Yading Nature Reserve. If you have more time and energy at that day, you are also high recommended to ride a battery car to Luorong Cattle Ranch (洛绒牛场) first before ending your hiking tour, where you can have a glimpse of all the three holy mountains.

Yading Nature Reserve Yading Nature Reserve Trekking Yading Nature Reserve Yading Nature Reserve Trekking

Top Daocheng Yading Trekking Tour:

>> 4 Days Daocheng Yading Classic Hiking Tour from Chengdu (by Flight)

In-depth Long Trekking Route in Yading Nature Reserve

  • Highlights: Chonggu Temple and Meadow, Pearl Lake, Mount Xiannairi (Mt. Chenrezig), Luorong Pasture, Milk Lake, Five Colors Lake, Mount Yangmaiyong (Jambeyang), Mount Xianuoduoji (Mt. Chanadorje), etc.
  • Trekking Route Details: Tourist Center (Entrance) - Sightseeing Bus Ride (1-1.5 hrs) - Zhaguanbeng (扎灌崩) - Hiking (20 mins) - Chonggu Temple (冲古寺) - Battery Car Ride (20 mins) or Hiking (1.5 hrs) - Luorong Cattle Ranch / Luorong Pasture (洛绒牛场) - Hiking (2.5-3 hrs) - Milk Lake (牛奶海) - Hiking (0.5 hrs) - Five Colors Lake (五色海) - return the same way
  • Time needed: 10~12 hours
  • Recommended for: Hiking loves who can overcome the pressure of long-time trekking in high altitude areas over 4,000m above sea level

The in-depth trekking route inside Yading Nature Reserve starts from Luorong Cattle Ranch (洛绒牛场), or called Luorong Pasture. Therefore, you should get to the pasture from the entrance first. Ride a sightseeing bus from the entrance, you can reach to Zhaguanbeng (扎灌崩). After this, walk for about 300-500m to the battery station at Chonggu Meadow and hop on a battery car to Luorong Cattle Ranch. The sightseeing bus ride needs about 1-1.5 hours and the battery car trip takes about 20 minutes to half an hour.

Hiking from Luorong Cattle Ranch (洛绒牛场) to Milk Lake (牛奶海) needs 3 hours around. The time varies according to your physic condition. If you feel it is a tough work for you to hike all the way, you can experience a horse riding for about 2~3 kilometers first and then trek about 2km to Milk Lake (牛奶海) and Five Color Lake (五色海). The horse riding charges about CNY 300~500 per person.

The pathway from Luorong Cattle Ranch (洛绒牛场) to the end of horse riding stop Sheshen Cliff (舍身崖) is relatively flat and easy to follow, with a stable altitude for about 4,200m. However, the last 2-kilometers’ hiking trail is much steeper, taking you from 4,200m to 4,700m. Sometimes, it may take half an hour for only several steps. You are suggested to walk calmly and slowly.

Cattle Grazing at Luorong Pasture Cattle Grazing at Luorong Pasture Horse Riding in Yading Nature Reserv Horse Riding in Yading Nature Reserve

Best In-depth Daocheng Yading Trekking Tour:

>> 4 Days Daocheng Yading In-depth Photography Tour

>> 4 Days Daocheng Yading In-depth Hiking Tour

Wild Yading Small Kora & Yading Big Kora Trekking Routes

There are also wild and adventurous hiking routes in Yading, which are called Yading Small Kora and Yading Big Kora. The Small Kora is a hiking route around Mount Xiannairi for a circle, with a distance of about 30km. And the Big Kora is a long trekking route along the circle around three holy mountains, which needs as long as 7 days to finish.

The two Kora Trekking routes require extremely hard on hikers’ physical fitness and experience. Therefore, they are only recommended for experienced trekkers who are looking for unique and challenging hiking experience around the world.

Best Time to Trek in Yading

The best time to visit Yading is in spring from late March to late June and autumn from mid-September to mid-November. And for trekking in Yading, the best time is from later May to early June and from September to October. Summer days are not really good enough for trekking in Yading, because there will be a lot of rain, which may make the trails muddy and slimy. And during winter days, the road will be covered with ice and snow.

Know more about Daocheng Yading Weather, Best time to Visit & Clothing >>

Daocheng Sangdui Red Grass in Autumn Daocheng Sangdui Red Grass in Autumn

Where to Stay to Trek in Yading

Usually, you are suggested to stay at hotels in Shangri-La Town, especially for your first night! Shangri-La Town has the best hotels in this area and the closet hotels to the entrance of Yading Nature Reserve. If you arrive at Daocheng in the late afternoon, you can also find a hotel in Daocheng County for your first night. Daocheng County is closer to Daocheng Yading Airport and other attractions in Daocheng. For the tourists who are looking for a more time-saving place to try the In-depth Long Trekking Route on the next day, you can also find a hotel in Yading Village. Yading Village sits inside Yading Nature Reserve.

Check more detailed info of Daocheng Yading Accommodation & Best Hotels to Stay >>

Yading Village Yading Village

Yading Nature Reserve Trekking Packing List & Tips

Yading Trekking Packing List:

  • Your Valid Passport;
  • Cash for about CNY 200~500;
  • Tissues;
  • Phone with SIM Card of China;
  • Camera;
  • A light daypack;
  • At least one bottle of water;
  • Professional hiking shoes and mountaineering jackets;
  • Sun block;
  • Sunglasses;
  • Hats;
  • Lip balm.
  • Yading Trekking Tips:

  • Drink some Rhodiola rosea at least one week before visiting Daocheng Yading to avoid or relieve altitude sickness.
  • Sleep well;
  • Drink enough water and keep a calm mood to release your body

Check more about Western Sichuan Travel Tips >>

How to Plan Your Daocheng Yading Tour?

Usually, tourists spend about 2~3 days in Daocheng.

The first day and night in Daocheng is for your good rest to adapt the pressure of high altitude and have a better plan for the coming high altitude hiking tours there. Therefore, you are suggested to have leisure visits to Benbo Temple (奔波寺/蚌普寺), Sangdui Red Grass (桑堆红草地), Daocheng White Tower (尊胜白塔), and Bang River and Sela Scenic Resort (傍河和色拉) on the first day.

And after a good sleep, you can spend 1~2 days more to enjoy hiking and more nature exploring inside Yading Nature Reserve. Seldom tourist chooses Daocheng as their first stop of their China tour. Normally, tourists prefer visiting Daocheng from Chengdu or Shangri-La. Both Chengdu and Shangri-La are fantastic choices, selecting your way according to your tour plan and interest. If your prefer flights than driving, and then Chengdu is your best choice, because Shangri-La has no flight to Daocheng now.

>> 4 Days Daocheng Yading Classic Hiking Tour from Chengdu (by Flight)

>> 4 Days Daocheng Yading In-depth Photography Tour

For travelers who can bear long journey, see and explore along the way, it would be a nice idea to travel from Chengdu via Ya’an, Luding, Kangding, Xinduqiao, Batang to Daocheng Yading. For more ideas, you can contact us or go to select from all of our Daocheng Yading tours.

Daocheng White Tower Daocheng White Tower Pandas in Chengdu Pandas in Chengdu

Enjoy Yading Trekking with China Discovery

Trekking in Yading is somewhat a thrilling but also challenging experience for everyone! Hiking in such a high altitude area, you have to make careful plans about every small aspect like your physical condition, the operation hours of sightseeing bus and horse service stations, or you may get trouble there. Enjoy trekking with experienced local guide is really recommended, because you can get professional help while hiking. The guide can help selecting the most suitable hiking route and photography points for you. And once you feel any inconvenient on the way, he or she can give you a hand to avoid or release the altitude sickness!

We China Discovery also offer such warm Guide Service. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us for help! The tour can be tailor-made according to your group size, time, plan, budget and every special need!

Yading Nature Reserve Yading Nature Reserve

Recommended Daocheng Yading Tours

Top 3 Daocheng Yading tours chosen by most customers to explore Daocheng Yading in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

Yading Pearl Lake & Mount Chianrezig
4 Days Daocheng Yading Classic Hiking Tour from Chengdu (by Flight)

Chengdu / Daocheng / Yading

Yading Five Color Lake
4 Days Daocheng Yading In-depth Hiking Tour

Chengdu / Daocheng / Yading

Yading Nature Reserve
4 Days Daocheng Yading Photography Tour

Chengdu / Daocheng

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once enquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

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