Lugu Lake to Yading Trek

Lugu Lake to Yading Trek Route


An entirely singular experience, this trek combines an awe-inspiring beauty with an ancient mystique in a wilderness experience like no other. Rising from the warm cultivated landscape around Lugu to altitudes of 4-5000m, the trails takes in views of the three sacred peaks - Chenrezi (6032m), Jampayang (5958m) and Chenadorje (5958m), passing through virgin forests, along valley floors, and around sacred lakes.

Scattered throughout the region are the rough stupas, mani stone piles and temples that give testament to the reverence Tibetans hold for this area. In Tibetan Buddhism, mountains such as the 3 sacred ones have a religious significance higher that the Dalai Lama or any monastery, and it’s not difficult to see why.

Access: Lugu Lake to Wenquan Xiang via Yongning. Lugu Lake can be accessed either from Kunming by sleeper bus(Y135/18hrs) or from Lijiang(Y50/6hrs)/Panzhihua(Y52/7hrs) to Ninglang. Hosts of minbuses run between Ninglang and Lugulake daily for Y20.

Starting: Wenquan Xiang
Ending: Chong-gu Si(stage I), Kas Village(Stage II)

Route A: Wenquan> Xia Yiji> Kawa> Eyatong>Dongyi> Gewa> Kas> Riwa

Route B: Wenquan Xiang> Lijiazui> Wujiao village>  Gaofeng Village> Alabu Pass> Kaer Pasture> Womsu Pass> Guni Village > Mianbao Village> Shuiluo Village> Xiwa Village> Gold Mine> Galuo Village> Chenadorje Pass(4800m)> Chong-gu Temple> Luorong Pasture> Five-color Sea> Milk Lake> Jampayang Pass> Jiezhu Lake> Kas Hell Valley> Kas Village.

Route A is much easier, while the real charm and challenge is with Route B, which takes 8-10days as you can see below.

D1:Wenquan Xiang> Lijiazui Village> Wujiao village
Take a minibus to Wenquan Xiang from Lugu Lake via Yongning,where you can restock for the last time before starting the trek. A dirt road streches from Wenquan village to an  uphill horse path. Arrive Lijiazui at lunch time. A few hours walk in the afternoon takes you to Wujiao village, lodging at one of the villagers home for Y10-15/night.

D2: Wujiao village > Gaofeng Village> Alabu Pass> Kaer Pasture(3500m)
From Yangpeng(sheep shed) to Niupeng(cowshed) is the 10km terrible leech zone. Wrap your leg properly and walk a bit fast. Camping at the pasture, where you can buy some food and firewood.

D3: Kaer Pasture> Womsu Pass> Guni Village
It takes 2 hrs from the pasture uphill to the pass. At an elevation of over 4000m, the pass is where the local Tibetans worship the Mountain God, piles of mani stones can be seen around.

To arrive Guni Village before the dark, you need walk fast, unless you prefer camping outside. When crossing the riverside meadow, use a stick to verify what's below the tall grass, then walk get through quickly. More steps ontop may trap you in.

Guni village is inhabited by Naxi people, some of them provide accommodation to trekkers.

D4 Guni Village> Mianbao Village> Shuiluo Village
Moving on from Guni Village, it sees the Tongtian River. Mianbao, a Tibetan village is on the riverside. By getting to Shuiluo Village at around 4pm, the elevation descends for 2000m or more during the day. The long downhill road may cause tension to your thigh.

Shuiluo is a place for trekkers to replenish food and change mules, your current mule must be exhausted after a few days trudging. You can either camping in the corn field or lodging at a guesthouse in shuiluo village.

D5 Shuiluo Village> Xiwa Village> Gold Mine
A fairly easy day along flat path, with villages and rice terraces scattered on the way. Lodging available in the meeting room of the mine, usually free.

D6 Gold Mine> Galuo Village> Chenadorje Pass(4800m)> Chong-gu Temple.
Another long day with endless uphill path. From Galuo to Chong-gu Si, you need to cross over a 4800m high pass. An unexpected snow may make the trek more difficult.

Lodging at the temple, where most trekkers stay. Y30/night in connective beds.

D7 Chong-gu Temple> Luorong Pasture> Milk Lake> Jampayang Pass> Jiezhu Lake> Luorong Pasture
This is the inner route which most travelers will make. Lodging is officially not allowed any more in Luorong Pasture. You may need camp or go back to Chong-gu Si for overnight. 

D8  Luorong Pasture> Five-color Sea> Milk Lake> Jampayang Pass> Jiezhu Lake> Kas Hell Valley> Kas Village.
Definitely a tough day in a great hurry. Suggest your make it in 1.5~2 days if you are not so physically strong.

From Kas, you can hitchhike a truck to Riwa via Echu village, 70km/5hrs. The autumn scene between Kas and Echu village is stunning. But the truck ride on a bumpy road is absolutely a challenge.

Take a bus from Riwa to Daocheng and continue your journey either northwards to Litang or southwards to Deqin via Xiangcheng.


  • A Guide(Y100/day) and a mule(Y30-50/day, with a stableman) needed for the trek. The guide will bring cooking facilities and some rice,tea...They will take good care of you all the way.
  • Salt is quite useful when encounter leechs, and you can also sprinkle some salt along your tent to keep leech away when camping. Usually the guide will do it for you.
  • There is no fixed price of accommodations at villagers' home on route, usually Y10~20/night, Y10-15 for a regular meal,a  chicken dish costs Y40 or a bit more.
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