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Mount Gongga Trekking Tour - 13 Days

Destination: Mount Gongga
Duration: Thirteen Day
Tour Code:
Transportation: Treking
Best Travel Time:May - Oct
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Mount Gongga, also known as Minya Konka, is the highest mountain in Sichuan province, China. It is also known to locals as "The King of Sichuan Mountains". Situated in the Daxue Shan mountain range, between Dadu River and Yalong River, part of the Hengduan mountainous region, Mount Gongga is 7556 meters.The peak has large vertical relief over the deep nearby gorges.

Rising to a height of 7,556 meters, Mt. Gongga towers above all the other mountains of Sichuan Province, thus earning it the moniker, "King of Sichuan Mountains." This high-altitude trek not only provides breathtaking views, but also allows us time to explore the traditional Tibetan lifestyle of this area. Towering to a height of 7,556 meters, Mt. Gongga in western Sichuan Province offers stunning scenery, an abundance of beautiful plants and wildflowers, rich Tibetan culture, and of course spectacular trekking routes. Known as the "King of Sichuan Mountains", Mt. Gongga is situated in the rugged, seldom visited western part of Sichuan Province, within the Tibetan cultural sphere. Over the course of this tour, Tibetan guides lead us across three passes over 4,420 meters, and through a variety of alpine terrains with lakes and meadows. We stop in Tibetan homes and share butter tea and tsampa with our hosts. The climax of the trip will be our visit to Gongga Temple, which in times past produced many famous lamas. The preferred months for this trek are May, August, September, and October, when there is little rain and the mountain views are clearest. In May you have the added bonus of rhododendrons in bloom. You may also visit during the rainy season in July, when you can see wildflowers spreading over grasslands everywhere, but clouds may obscure your views of the high mountains, and you should be prepared to be wet.

Full price of this tour (per person in US$):
Price Price Instruction
US$1950/persons 1950USD/Person

Day 1: Chengdu-Kangding (2,765 m)
In the morning, we spend 6-7 hours driving into the Hengduan Mountains to Kangding, one of Sichuan's 'Wild West' cities. On the way we visit the famous Luding Bridge, a unique structure built in 1706, with nine iron chains spanning the roaring Dadu River. We can still see calligraphy by Emperor Kangxi at the east end of the bridge. In 1935 the Red Army successfully captured this bridge and broke through defending troops of the Nationalist Government. The battle was considered one of the turning points of the Long March.
As we near Kangding, we find ourselves among grasslands, alpine lakes, virgin forest, glaciers and snow-capped mountains. The rushing Zheduo River flows through the center of Kangding. As the capital of the Ganzi Tibetan Ethnic Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan, Kangding is a culturally rich area, home to several lamaseries in and around the city.

Day 2: Da Caoba (King Gesar's grassland) (3,720 m)
After breakfast, we drive half an hour outside of Kangding. At Yu Lin Village, we meet our packhorses and set off on foot. We hike up steadily along rushing Gyazi Chu. The extraordinary diversity of plants and trees is immediately evident. Today's trekking takes us about 4 hours; we take our time, resting frequently, as it is our first day of trekking. Most of the walk is gentle and easy. We camp in a meadow surrounded by the Da Caoba mountains.

Day 3: Shuangcha River (4,000 m)
Our route continues steadily up along the Shuangcha River. The vegetation changes as we gain altitude, with the dense forest thinning to open meadows and scattered scrub trees. In the afternoon we arrive at our campground in a small meadow by the edge of a clear, cold stream. Similar to yesterday, today's hike is gentle with only two or three brief sections of steep terrain.

Day 4: Shuangcha River (4,000 m)
Today, we rest in order to acclimatize to the high altitude in preparation for the next few day's of hiking. Depending on how energetic we feel, we relax, do some reading, or take a day hike.

Day 5: Shangriwuqie (4,200 m)
We continue our trek up the valley for 3-4 hours before reaching our campsite. Weather permitting, we see Mount Jiazifeng (Gyazi Gangkhar), glaciers, and mountain lakes in the distance. We may be able to get closer to the glaciers and alpine lakes if the weather conditions and our energy levels permit it. This is our highest campsite of the trek.

Day 6: Muxinazha (4,175 m)
Today we cross over our first mountain pass, called Rixina Pass (4,800 meters). On the top of the mountain, we see majestic scenery including glaciers, lakes and snow-capped mountain peaks. We descend the other side and camp at the foot of the mountain.

Day 7: Grasslands (3,700 m)
After breakfast, we hike down to Gongga Temple (Minya Konka Gompa). Having crossed the high pass, we now walk down into an area that receives a high amount of rainfall and has felt minimal human impact. As we re-cross the tree line, we enter a primeval alpine rainforest of exceptional beauty and cross several streams. After 5-6 hours of trekking, we reach our campground.

Day 8: Gongga Temple (3,700 m)
After 5-7 hours of trekking, we reach the revered Gongga temple (Minya Konka Gompa), which has 500 years of history and is considered holy by the Minya Tibetans who inhabit this area of Sichuan. The temple is small and simple, and seems to grow out of the landscape, with majestic Mount Gongga towering above it. We see murals in this temple portraying ancient people, wild birds and landscapes. We have a choice of camping inside the temple or staying in one of the simple guest rooms made available for pilgrims in the monastery.

Day 9: Gongga Temple (3,700 m)
We rest for one day around Gongga Temple. Accompanied by our local guide, we can also explore the surrounding area, with spectacular views of the peak from every angle.

Day 10: Yak Ranch (4,000 m)
Well rested, we hike 5-6 hours through the valley towards Yak Ranch at the foot of Mount Yulong. The trail retraces some areas we have traveled previously. In the late afternoon, we reach our campsite in the Yak Ranch area. We spend the night there and prepare to cross Yulongxi Pass tomorrow.

Day 11: Yulongxi Ranch (4,093 m)
Today, we trek about 2-3 hours over our second mountain pass, Yulongxi Pass (4,602 meters), where we have our last panoramic view of Mount Gongga. After 1-2 more hours of walking downhill, we camp at the foot of Mount Yulongxi near a small Tibetan village. En route, we see herders looking after their yaks. We may stop by the homes of some nomads for some yak butter tea and Zanba. This gives us a glimpse of what typical Tibetan life is like.

Day 12: Kangding (2,765 m)
This morning, our 4WD vehicles pick up us, and we drive back Kangding via Liuba and Xinduqiao. We drive about 8 hours through the countryside, dotted with picturesque Tibetan villages. We arrive in Kangding in the late afternoon and check into our hotel. After cleaning up, we have a sumptuous Sichuan meal-our first dinner in ten days not cooked over a camp stove.

Day 13: Kangding-Chengdu
We set out for Chengdu in the morning, a bus journey which takes us 6-7 hours. We enjoy a farewell banquet in Chengdu.


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