Yading Nature Reserve is a stunningly beautiful, little-visited area in China’s Sichuan province. Accessible from Daocheng, the average elevation of the whole area is more than 4000 metres! The reserve contains the three Tibetan holy mountains of Chenresig at 6032 metres, and Chana Dorje and Jampelyang, which are both 5958 metres high.
Come to Yading Nature Reserve to hike amongst stunning alpine scenery and glacier-fed lakes. Stroll next to clear cold rivers and through beautiful forests. If you’re lucky you’ll see some of the plentiful wildlife.
The Yading area was possibly the inspiration for James Hilton’s paradise of ‘Shangri-La’ in his book Lost Horizon, and if you’ve read the novel you can see why. A deep river valley between the mountains leads up to a grassy pasture surrounded by peaks on three sides, creating an amphitheatre-like area. Prayer flags flap in the wind, and the sound of horses neighing and the creek gurgling are all around you.
Hike from here up higher to Milk lake and Five-Colours Lake, hidden in between the mountains and breathtakingly beautiful. If you want more, you can join the pilgrims in doing one of the kora paths around any (or all) of the holy mountains.
For my complete travel guide to Yading Nature Reserve, click here.
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