7 days Hailuogou Glacier & Yading Nature Reserve
Depart Chengdu in the early morning, drive to Hailuogou along the Chengdu - Ya'an highway and cross through the Mount Erlang tunnel, enjoy the scenery along Dadu River, arrive at Moxi town in the afternoon. If the time is allowed, make a short visit to Hongshitan, a large-scale red stone beach, all the deep red rocks and boulders scattered on the banks of a beautiful mountain stream, the color is very outstanding comparing to the surrounding area. Actually the stones are not red but are covered by a special red colored moss that can only survive at high altitudes. explore Moxi anicent town or enjoy the natural hot spring. Overnight at Moxi town or No. 1 Camp.
P.S.: If you want to enjoy the next day sunrise over the Gonggar mountain, then you may consider to sleep at No. 3 Camp. So far there is one wooden hotel, one room costs around 200USD per night.
Today you will spend the full morning sightseeing at Hailuogou Glacier Forest Park. Firstly you will take the local sightseeing bus to No.3 Camp (about 1 hour drive), from there you can choose to trek through the primeval forest to the viewing platform to see the beautiful glacier relics, or you can choose to pay 160RMB to take a cable car to No. 4 Camp to have the spectacular views of the Glacier icefall and Gongga Mountain. We suggest you make decision based on the weather condition. If the weather is good, then up to No. 4 Camp is a better choice, otherwise the glacier relics is also a good option. Afternoon get back to Moxi and continue the drive to Xinduqiao via Kangding. The area around Xinduqiao is called the 'paradise of photography'. Overnight at Xinduqiao.
Today drive from Xinduqiao to Daocheng (altitude 3,700m) via Litang (altitude 4,010m), it is a quite long journey taking roughly 6-8 hours just depending on the traffic.
Driving along the road above 4000 meters high and looking afar, the distant snow-capped mountains rolling into a white-line. Those are some stunning views worthy of your whole life's memory. Arrive at Daocheng in the late afternoon. Daocheng is a county that you will enjoy because of its rich soil & Tibetan culture, and a good place for recharging yourself before Yading. You may relax yourself by bathing at the hot spring or take a Tibetan local dancing show (optional, fee is on your own). Overnight at Daocheng.
After breakfast at the hotel, drive about 2 hours to Riwa town (Shangrila town), enjoy the beautiful landscapes on the way. Upon arrival at Riwa town, you need to take the local sightseeing bus to Yading village, the start point for your next one and half days exploration at Yading Nature Reserve. From Yading village (altitude 3,800m) you will take the sightseeing bus to Zhaguanbeng, and walk about 15-20 minutes to Chonggu monastery, enjoy the scenery around Chonggu monastery and the holy peak of Xiannairi. From Chonggu monastery trek up to Drolma-la tso (Pearl Lake) - about 2 hours for round trip, the best place to view the holy peak Xiannairi. Later afternoon return to Yading village for overnight.
Try to get up early in the morning and go to Chonggu monastery for the stunning sunrise, then take the local battery cart to Luorong Pasture, it is nestled on a high and flat valley encircled by the three sacred mountains with expansive meadows and surrounding forests.
The pasture is dotted with brooks, lakes and the Gongga River cuts through the grassland posting a majestic view. Continue the trip by hiking up to Milk lake and Five color lake (altitude 4,600m) (roughly 5-6 hours round trip by hiking) or you can take the horseback riding (about 4-5 hours, the horse riding fee is on your own). It is a challenging trekking, but its all worth for the spectacular scenery. Later afternoon get back to Yading village and take the local sightseeing bus back to Riwa town where you will meet the driver and head to Daocheng for overnight.
After breakfast at hotel, start driving back to Xinduqiao. On the way, you may choose to have a stop at Litang, an important transit town along the ancient trade business route between Tibetans from Tibet and the local Hans at Kangding and Ya’an city. At Litang, you can choose to visit Litang monastery, one of the larger Gelupa monasteries in Sichuan Kham area, this monastery has close and tight relations with the 7th, 10th, 11th Dalai Lhama. Then continue the driving to Xinduqiao, enjoy the nice views along the way. Overnight at Xinduqiao.
(P.S. If you only have 6 days for this trip, then today you can consider taking a flight back to Chengdu from Daocheng airport, normally the flight departs in the early morning).
Today continue our driving back to Chengdu via Kangding, the distance is about 400km, roughly about 8 hours in the car. The tour ends in Chengdu.