Pack Trips: Sacred Mount Zhakra

Trek to, and part way around, Mount Zhakra.  This is a sacred peak, part of a family: the son of Amnye Machen to the north and brother of Genden Mountain in the west. Visit Zhakra’s medicinal hot springs, which are completely undeveloped, and Zhakra Yimtso, the sacred turquoise lake, said to house a glass city of the lu water spirits.  Visit active meditation huts above the lake, and the cave of an ancient soldier-monk-hermit. Hear tales of flying lamas and glass cities. Sleep with views of glaciers and alpenglow at sunset.

The trip takes 3-6 days, depending on your route and the completeness of your visit.  All prices include one-way car to Gyergo Nunnery from Tagong or the Ecolodge. The trips can be done on foot with packhorses, or on horseback.  

Zhakra Trips are best in summer, but can be done in any season (if you are willing and equipped to go through snow!). Horse riding is 6-7 hours per day, hiking 8-9 hours per day. As a hike, this is strenuous, for people in good shape. Horse riding is medium difficulty with some hiking required. 

Prices include packhorses, guides, riding horses (if riding), food, cooking, and tents and mats.  Sleeping bags can be rented for an extra charge.  

***Zhakra Yimtso (the lake) has been made into a park, with a paved road nearly reaching the lake.  Now treks involving the lake are limited by park rules and opening times, and sometimes not allowed.  Also, a Y100 entry fee is required.

2-day Zhakra Hotsprings Out-and-Back:

Day 1: Gyergo Nunnery Start.  Ride or hike up over Griffon Pass (4800 meters) and down to Zhakra Hot springs, and the base of the high peak. Stay the night in tents there.

Day 2: Ride or hike back up over the pass and visit Tsaiyum Lake on your way down.

Hiking

Trekkers per groupPrice per person nomad guidePrice per person with English translation
1Y 2520Y 5770
2Y 1820Y 3450
3Y 1590Y 2670

Riding

Trekkers per groupPrice per person nomad guidePrice per person with English translation
1Y 3460Y 6320
2Y 2300Y 3980
3Y1910Y2470

3-Day trek: 

Day 1: Gyergo Nunnery Start.  Ride or hike up over Griffon Pass (4800 meters) and down to Zhakra Hot springs, and the base of the high peak. Stay the first night in tents there.

Day 2: Ride or hike down the valley to the forest. Set up camp there and take an afternoon trek up to see the sacred turquoise lake, Zhakra Yimtso. (This lake has become part of a new park, with a paved road part of the way.  It requires entry ticket of Y100, and is subject to park opening and rules). 

Day 3, Ride or hike the low pass back to Gyergo Nunnery. 

Hiking

Trekkers per groupPrice per person nomad guidePrice per person with English translation
1Y 2540Y 5140
2Y 1840Y 3310
3Y 1610Y 2470

Riding

Trekkers per groupPrice per person nomad guidePrice per person with English translation
1Y 3210Y 6320
2Y 2430Y 3980

Larger groups can share costs according to actual group size. Ie. 3 people are 2 double and 1 single.

For availability, logistical details & reservation:

3-day Zhakra High Wildlife Trek

Day 1: Ride or Hike from Gyergo Nunnery to high Griffon Pass (4800 m), and down to Zhakra Hot springs. Stay the first night in tents here.

Day 2: Leave the horses, and hike up toward the high glacier. Cross another high, rocky pass with close views of the glacier. Then drop down and camp near a small lake below. Many wild animals and their tracks in the this area.

Day 3: Ride or Hike across the grasslands back to Gyergo Nunnery. Afternoon visit to the nunnery sky burial, meditation cave, and temples.

Hiking

Trekkers per groupPrice per person nomad guidePrice per person with English translation
1Y 3460Y 6320
2Y 2300Y 3980
3Y1910Y2470

Riding

Trekkers per groupPrice per person nomad guidePrice per person with English translation
1Y 3460Y 6320
2Y 2300Y 3980
3Y1910Y2470

Larger groups can share costs according to actual group size. Ie. 3 people are 2 double and 1 single.


4-Day trek (with glacier hike):

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Day 1: Meet in the morning at Gyergo Nunnery. Ride or hike up over Griffon Pass (4800 meters) and down to Zhakra Hot springs, and the base of the high peak. Stay the first night in tents there.

Day 2: leave the camp at the hot springs and hike up to the glacier of Zhakmu Peak (also ok to make this a rest day). Return in the evening for another hot springs soak.

Day 3: ride or hike down the valley to the forest. Set up camp there and take an afternoon trek up to see the sacred turquoise lake, Zhakra Yimtso. (This lake has become part of a new park, with a paved road part of the way.  It requires entry ticket of Y100, and is subject to park opening and rules). 

Day 4: ride or hike the low pass back to Gyergo Nunnery.

Hiking

Trekkers per groupPrice per person nomad guidePrice per person with English translation
1Y 3340Y 5580
2Y 2430Y 3550
3Y 2120Y 2870

Riding

Trekkers per groupPrice per person nomad guidePrice per person with English translation
1Y 4230Y 8380
2Y 3210Y 5280

Larger groups can share costs according to actual group size. Ie. 3 people are 2 double and 1 single.

For availability, logistical details & reservation:


5-6 Day trek (with nomad stay) and optional glacier hike

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Day 1: Start at the Ecolodge.  Hike or ride to the high nomad camps, to spend a night with a family of yak herders.  

Day 2: After yak- milking in the morning, hike or ride to Gyergo Nunnery, over high grasslands and high ridges.  

Day 3: Ride or hike up over Griffon Pass (4800 meters) and down to Zhakra Hot springs, and the base of the high peak. Camp next to the springs.  

Day 4: Ride or hike down the valley to the forest. Set up camp there and take an afternoon trek up to see the sacred turquoise lake, Zhakra Yimtso. (This lake has become part of a new park, with a paved road part of the way.  It requires entry ticket of Y100, and is subject to park opening and rules). 

Day 5: Day 3, ride or hike the low pass back to Gyergo Nunnery.

Best in Summer. Horse riding 6-7 hours per day, hiking 8-9 hours per day. As a hike, this is very strenuous, for people in good shape. Horse riding is medium difficulty with some hiking required. 

Hiking

Trekkers per groupPrice per person nomad guidePrice per person with English translation
1Y 4250Y 8590
2Y 3130Y 5300
3Y 2750Y 4200

Riding

Trekkers per groupPrice per person nomad guidePrice per person with English translation
1Y 5370Y 10550
2Y 4110Y 6700

Larger groups can share costs according to actual group size. Ie. 3 people are 2 double and 1 single.

For availability, logistical details & reservation:


5-Day trek (Danba start):

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Meet at Maoniu Village the night before the start of the trek, and stay in a village guesthouse.

Day 1: ride or hike up the Maoniu Valley to a midway camp.

Day 2: Continue the hike or ride up the valley to the twin lakes in the Zhakra Basin.

Day 3: Ride or hike down to the sacred Turquoise Lake, and do a kora of the lake. Then continue down and up to the hotsprings. (This lake has become part of a new park, with a paved road part of the way.  It requires entry ticket of Y100, and is subject to park opening and rules). 

Day 4: Do a day hike to the glacier above the hosprings, and camp a second night at the springs.

Day 5: Hike or ride over high Griffon Pass (4800 meters) to Gyergo Nunnery. 

Hiking

Trekkers per groupPrice per person nomad guidePrice per person with English translation
1Y 4930Y 7840
2Y 4230Y 5370
3Y 3790Y 4550

Riding

Trekkers per groupPrice per person nomad guidePrice per person with English translation
1Y 6540Y 12250
2Y 4950Y 7800

Larger groups can share costs according to actual group size. Ie. 3 people are 2 double and 1 single.

For availability, logistical details & reservation:

As part of a long full-service tour: each We offer 2-4 full-service rides and hikes that include Mount Zhakra each year.