Kangding Weather and Best Time to Visit
Kangding is a county-level city located in Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture on the famous National Road 318. Kangding covers a large area of land and sits at 2,560 meters above sea level. There are two different climates, continental plateau climate and subtropical monsoon from west to east. Continental plateau climate controls the west part of Kangding, the temperature is lower than areas in the same altitude even in summer and Kangding weather in the west is dryer than east. The weather in east part of Kangding is dominated by subtropical monsoon, influenced by warm streams of air rising from the south, keep the climate warmer in the deep canyon valleys, giving rise to more vegetation and higher rainfall. Both west and east are influenced by monsoon, so average annual temperatures are pretty much the same, around 12 °C. Rainy season in Kangding would start at mid-May and end in late-September, with an average monthly precipitation about 160mm.
Best Time to Visit Kangding
There are many places around Kangding worth to go, each attractions has their own characteristic therefore the ideal time to visit each attractions is different. So the best time to visit Kangding depends on your own travel schedule. Check the best time to visit each famous attractions in Kangding below and compose your own Kangding love song based on your preference.
Best Time to Visit Xinduqiao
October - November: the most beautiful autumn view and “paradise for photographer”
Xinduqiao sets on the Tibetan Plateau to the west of Kangding. It is known as the “photographer’s paradise” for the amazing scenery in the autumn. The best time to travel to Xinduqiao is October to November. As the weather gets colder, the leaves turn golden color, and change constantly as the season progresses, as well as the lush grasslands, rolling hills, and golden cypress trees in full spread.
Best Time to Visit Tagong Grassland
May - August: appreciate the emerald grassland
September - November: gallory on the shinning grassland and join Horse Racing Festival
Summer and autumn are the best seasons to visit Tagong Grassland. The summer scenery in Tagong Grassland is extraordinary picturesque, under the green meadow, on the lane to the hill, all kinds of wild flowers bloom in red, purple and lemon. They are either like flame or horns-how beautiful. Look out into a distance are continuous and eminent snow peaks. The amount of precipitation in autumn tends to be less which means there are more sunny days, the ground is covered with bright green grass and the beaded dewdrops stood on their tips and reflected the sunshine, together with the Tibetan architectures which are depicting Tibetan history and folk custom draws a gorgeous scroll painting.
Best Time to Visit Hailuogou Glacier Park
November - April: visit glaciers and enjoy hot springs
October - November: hike through primitive forest and reach to red rock shoal
Hailuogou Glacier Park is suitable to visit all year round for holiday, expedition, appreciation of the ice glacier, etc. And the best time to visit is during November to April of the next year, when there are more sunny days after snowing, air is fresher and the pure snow white ice glacier far away can be admired clearly! Besides, Autumn during October to middle November is also very popular to see the colorful primitive forest full of wonderful autumn leaves in red, orange and golden, when is also great to enjoy clear blue sky with comfortable temperature! Apart from that, you can also visit during middle April to middle June to admire the lovely azalea blossoms. June to September is favored to spend a cool summer, but July to August is the rainy season not suggested due to some dangerous landslide.
Best Time to Visit Mugecuo Scenic Area
March - April: full bloom of azalea trees
May - June: lush green meadow dotted with wild flowers
October - November: chromatic tree leaves
Mugecuo Scenic Area is located on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, has a cool summer and autumn, cold winter and spring. The best time to visit Mugecuo is during spring, summer and autumn. Visit Mugecuo before the rainy season coming from late April to the end of June, it’s the time when azalea trees turn multiple shades of pink and lilac and in its’ full bloom. At the end of June, the increased precipitation moistens the land also feeds wild flowers on the meadow, turns the grasses a lush green and the meadow blossoms start to come out, dotting the prairies with patches of color. From July to August, the blossom comes out in full force, the whole area becomes a chromatic fancy land. From October to November, as the leaves on the many deciduous trees in the park start to change color, the mountainsides turn into a plethora of reds, golds, browns, and yellows.
Best Time to Visit Mount Gongga
March - May: sea of azalea
October - November: reddest colors of leaves
Spring (March - May) and autumn (October - November) are best seasons to visit Mount Gongga. You can immerse in the early spring blooms sea of azalea around the area Minya Konka. Precipitation is low during spring which means more sunny days and creates a great chance for you to get a good view of the “King” Mount Gongga being wrapped by candy-like pure clouds and with the azure sky as the background. Autumn is the most beautiful season to visit Mount Gongga, the hills and valleys of the whole region are covered in golden yellows, sunburnt oranges and deep red, as the leaves of the forest tress change color ready to fall. If you want to see the scenery of the reddest colors of leaves carpet along the hiking trails, you can visit there during mid-October and November. Trekking through the valley, you will get a visual feast with colorful vegetation. For shutterbugs, it’s also the best season to take some picturesque photos and conserve treasures of nature in your album.
Average Kangding Temperature by Month
|Month||Recommended Rate||Max Temp.||Min Temp.|
Kangding Seasons to Go
- Spring (April to May) - feel the vibrant spring in Kangding Area
- Spring is the best time to immerse in the blossom fairyland in Kangding Area. Visit Mount Gongga to see azalea blooms in the early spring around the area Minya Konka, or you can explore the vitality and beauty in Mugecuo to feel the appealing scene of spring returning back to earth. Spring is also a good season to visit Hailuogou Glacier Park for the temperature is warmer than winter, but you still have a chance to appreciate the magnificent of massive glacier in N0.1 Camp. In eighth day of fourth month in Chinese lunar calender, people will hold a competition of horse racing on Paoma Grassland (跑马坪) in Kangding.
- Spring temperatures are normally between 0°C to 16°C throughout the season. Rains start falling more in May, monthly perception is about 132mm, about 4 times as much as in April.
- Recommended Places to Visit: Mount Gongga, Mugecuo Scenic Area, Hailuogou Glacier Park
- What to Wear
- The climate in plateau mountain area is quite diverse, temperature shows great difference between day and night. So You will need to wear sweaters and thick coats to keep out the cold. Sunblocks, sunglasses and hats are also necessary for UV protection.
Kangding in Spring
- Autumn (October - early November) - Collect colorful fancy Xinduqiao world deep into your heart
- The cool breeze, crisp air, golden autumn sky and the wonderful sunshine is what makes autumn the perfect time for taking a hike and photographing outdoors, enjoying every inch of nature changing its color. So people, old and young, love to go sightseeing during these months. Take picturesque photos of fall scenery at “the paradise for photographer” - Xinduqiao. Visit Mugecuo and Seven-colored Sea in Mugecuo Scenic Area, watch white fluffy clouds, red, orange, golden leaves, lofty snow mountains reflect on the surface of clam water. Gallop on the endless Tagong Grassland. Feel the extreme romance to ride on the Paoma Mountain, melody of Kangding Love song reverberates in your head. Hike through the primitive forest to feel the endless glamour of deep autumn in Hailuogou.
- Autumn temperatures are normally between 0°C to 12°C. Precipitation would be much lower than summer with about 50mm in October.
- Recommended Places to Visit: Xinduqiao, Mugecuo Scenic Area, Tagong Grassland, Paoma Mountain, Hailuogou Glacier Park, Mount Gongga
- What to Wear
- Sweaters, trousers, thick coats and down jackets are recommended to keep out the cold. Sunblocks, sunglasses and hats are also necessary for UV protection.
Kangding Tagong in Autumn
- Winter (mid-November - late March) - immerse in the ice kingdom and admire the masterpiece of nature in Hailuogou Glacier Park
- Even winter is considerably cold in Kangding. But it is still considered as the best season to appreciate the snow scenery in this west Sichuan ice kingdom. You can head to Hailuogou Glacier Park to worship the massive glaciers. Feeling tired after a long full trip, have a rest at hot springs in Kangding or in Hailuogou to feel the nice distinct experience of “warm and cold”. Then spend some time to visit famous monasteries and temples in or near Kangding City, such as Nanwu Temple, Jingang Temple, Tagong Monastery etc. Strolling through the temple allows one to appreciate the Buddhism and gain a better understanding of the religion’s culture and deeper insights into life.
- Winter in Kangding is cold and dry. The lowest temperature in winter night could be down to -9.4°C and the highest temperature during daytime is only about 10°C. There is almost no rainfall or snowfall in December, January and February. The amount of precipitation starts to grow, about 51mm in March.
- (Notice: Winter is a snowy time of year in Kangding and temperature is pretty low, there are many twisty and snow covered path, steep slopes with frequent fog and cat ice on the way to Kangding from Chengdu by car, which is challenging and needs some snow driving experience.)
- Recommended Places to Visit: Hailuogou Glacier Park, Nanwu Temple, Kangding City
- What to Wear
- Snug yourself up with Thermal underwears, sweaters, down jackets, gloves and scarves. For those who love hiking, alpenstocks and skid proof shoes are necessary. In addition, wear a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sunshine reflected by the snow.
Kangding Hailuogou Winter
Kangding Mugecuo Winter
- Summer (June - September) - leave behind the scorching sun in metropolises and gallop across the vast Tagong Grassland
- Summer is the monsoon season in Kangding area, temperature reaches to its’ highest in a year. Rainy days increase a lot. Even though, if you are planning to go to Kangding Area in summer, there are also a lot of things to do. A major three-day Buddha Event is held at the end of June every year at the Tagong Monastery, travelers can participate in temple activities, including meditation and daily circumambulation. The vast grassland in Tagong was covered with tender grasses and chromatic wild flowers, set on the soft and comfortable grassland, look in a distance or close your eyes for a while to feel the breeze gently across your check, left all worries behind.
- Temperature reaches to the highest in July around 18°C during daytime. Precipitation increase a lot in summer, reach the peak in June with around 210mm monthly rainfall. Average monthly rainfall during summer is around 170mm.
- (Notice: There are many twisty path, steep slopes with frequent fog on the road from Chengdu to Kangding which needs very careful driving. There would be a risk of landslide and mud-rock flow on the mountain road during rainy season.)
- Recommended Places to Visit: Tagong Grassland, Mugecuo Scenic Area, Xinduqiao
- What to Wear
- Short sleeves and pants are recommended, dresses for girls during daytime are also good choice for taking pictures. You can also bring a thin coat with you to prevent sudden change of the weather. The chance of rain increase a lot during summer so don’t forget to bring waterproof hiking shoes, raincoats and umbrella with you. In sunny days, sunblocks, sunglasses and hats are highly suggested for UV protection.
Kangding Xinduqiao in Summer
Altitude of Kangding City and Surrounding Area
|Mugecuo Scenic Area||2600m-2780m|
|Hailuogou Glacier Park||1600m-3600m|
How to Plan your Hailuogou Tour
The most popular way to explore Kangding is driving from Chengdu and visit sites along the way and then drive back. As you know, Kangding is composed of several destinations including Xinduqiao, Tagong Grassland and Mount Gongga. Travelers would like spend 2 to 3 days exploring Kangding and its surrounding. Usually, tracing the scenery of “Horses run on the mountain and there is a cloud” in Kangding Love Song, visiting the paradise for photographer - Xinduqiao, galloping on the vast stretching grassland and worship the monastery which is favored by Buddha in Tagong. Hiking through the primitive forest and admire the ancient glaciers in Hailuogou Glacier Park.
Besides, some tourists just take Kangding as one of their destinations in West Sichuan Tour, they will extend their trip to more destinations in the Western Sichuan Small Loop, like Danba, Bamei, Xiaojin, Jinchuan, Mount Siguniang, Dujiangyan and more places. The whole visiting would last for about 6 to 8 days. If you want to cover Daocheng Yading, the Last Shangri-La into your trip, you can also do so. It would need another 2 or 3 days.
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Average Temperature & Rainfall of Kangding
Keep Reading on Kangding
- Kangding Attractions
- Tagong Grassland
- Mount Gongga
- Chengdu to Kangding
- Kangding Maps
- Kangding Accommodation
- Kangding Travel Guide
- Kangding Travel Tips
- Kangding Tours
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