Eastern Tibet Mountain Bike Tour - 12 Days

Mountain Biking Tour to Sichuan Eastern Tibet

Trip Info

Trip Duration

12 Days

Max Altitude

4550 m

Difficulty

difficult

Start From

Chengdu

Trip Ends At

Chengdu

Eastern Tibet Mountain Bike Tour Overview

Eastern Tibet Mountain Biking Tour is an intense experience for two-wheeled mountaineers in Tibet's backcountry. This high-altitude cycling adventure features many challenging climbs, massive descents, and breathtaking landscapes. This is a great opportunity to discover another Tibetan world by traveling overland to East Tibet.

The trails in Eastern Tibet are free to all the riders and bikers: the adventurers seeking speed and technical challenges, those looking for a new physical challenge, and first-timers trying out mountain biking.

Eastern Tibet covers all the parts of western Sichuan, practically all of Qinghai province, southern Gansu, and the northernmost part of Yunnan province. This designed biking journey covers the western Sichuan parts. This amazing voyage starts and concludes in Chengdu, China. Travel overland to Kangding, a highland town in Tibet's Kham province, in the Himalayan foothills. A substantial portion of this excursion takes place at elevations above or near 3000 meters and climbs to over 4000 meters on certain passes.

The ride starts from Kangding on an incredible single-track through the Tagong Grasslands and challenging trails around Mt. Yala, a sacred mountain revered by Tibetans. Tagong Grasslands surround Yala Mountain to the north and northwest, creating a beautiful contrast between the snowy mountain slope and the grasslands below. Climbing towards the Minya Konka/Mount Gongga (7556 m) range, often known as The King of the Sichuan Mountains make the moments of joy much more intense.

As you journey through rural communities and find old routes high on the Tibetan Plateau, immerse yourself in local cultures and feast on delectable Chinese and Tibetan food. Encounter stacks of rocks with scriptures, gorgeous valleys full of friendly Tibetans, yaks wandering free, charming guesthouses, and fun chat with new friends on every ride. Every high point, hillside, roofline, and pretty much everywhere else is covered in prayer flags.

In addition to that, the Eastern Part of Tibet is a diversified region with majestic snow-capped peaks, lush green plains, breathtaking gorges, and even bamboo forests where Pandas live. As a result, biking in the backcountry of Tibet is a completely new experience. You can't help but feel like a trailblazer.

Major Highlights of Eastern Tibet Mountain Biking Tour

  • Biking around rarely explored parts of Tibet 
  • A high-altitude backcountry mountain biking
  • Displays the best of Tibetan culture
  • Exciting single-track ascents and descents
  • Awe-aspiring views of Mount Yala and Mount Gongga
  • A glimpse into the nomadic lifestyle of yak herders
  • Traditional Tibetan homestays and genuine hospitality
  • A hot stone bath to unwind

Best time for Mountain Biking in Eastern Tibet 

The eastern parts of Tibet are lower in elevation. This results in a considerably warmer, and alpine temperate environment. Eastern Tibet is best visited in the spring, between April and June, and in the autumn, between September and December.

The weather is dry and chilly in the spring, warming up as summer approaches offering the breathtaking alpine landscapes and picturesque low deep valleys with the biking tracks in the best condition. The region is also known for its gorgeous forest settings, and in the spring, the area is blanketed in stunning peach blooms.

As summer approaches, the rains arrive between July and August and may wreak havoc on the roads. The rainfall is much heavier here in the east than in most parts of Tibet.

Autumn is the season when the leaves turn crimson and gold and fall to the ground, creating a brilliant carpet of dry leaves on the forest floors. With summer behind us, the weather becomes milder, and the rains virtually stop, leaving drier grounds, tracks, and trails but still lush green vegetation in the fields and meadows.

The weather from December to Mid-March is cold and the roads might be covered with snow, especially at the mountain passes making it hard to bike around.  The days might be warmer but the nights can be bitterly cold during winter.

Moreover, mountain biking in Eastern Tibet is ideal from April to May and September to November, when the spring and autumn seasons are in full swing. The weather is dry and the air is clear, with nearly no rain across the plateau at these times with the best biking trail conditions.

Booking

  • Guaranteed Satisfaction
  • Transparent Price
  • No hidden fees
  • Experience of a More than two decade
  • Personal Touch & Professional Service

US$ 3,190 P/P


US$ 3,190.00

US$ 143.55

3,190

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Itinerary Details

Day 1: Arrival in Chengdu
30 Min Drive to Hotel
Max Altitude: 500 M

Once you land at the Chengdu International Airport, our representative from the Tibet side will welcome you and transport you to the designated hotel in the city center. After completing the necessary check-in procedures and getting some rest, you can go sightseeing in the city, visiting local markets and ancient sites. Over a welcome supper in the evening, you will meet the group (your fellow riders) and guides and discuss your adventurous mountain biking trip to the infamous eastern Tibet. 

(Note: If you arrive at Chengdu International Airport before the afternoon, we will depart the city for the 6 hours drive to Kangding. If you arrive late, we will travel to Kangding the next day, extending the trip by one day.)

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Chengdu
Day 2: Drive to Kangding
6 Hours Drive
Max Altitude: 2600 M

We set out on a picturesque 6-hour trip through the Sichuan Basin and up to the old trading town of Kangding after breakfast. Everything from the environment, the climate, the cuisine, the language, the customs, and, of course, the people seems to be changing in these 6 hours. Once we reach our destination, we check in to a traditional guesthouse and rest. Later, we build our bikes and set our gears for the rides that start the next day. You can enjoy the traditional dinner and join the community dance in the town square on the first evening in Kangding. 

Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Kangding
Day 3: Bike Ride to Panpan Valley
3/4 Hours Ride
Max Altitude: 4200 M

Get the first taste of Tibetan single-track today. 

After breakfast, we go for a picturesque acclimatization ride, straight up one hour pedaling to Zheduo Mountain outside of the town. Around midday, we begin a relatively gradual 8-kilometer ascent into a large grassland valley at 4000m. The smooth trail winds its way through an open valley between green hillsides. We come across the yak hair tents of the Tibetan nomad families and their roaming herd of yaks, shaggy high-altitude cows. 

We continue until we hit 4200 m near the Panpan Mount Pass and make a gratifying 17 km single-track descent on the other side. We pass by the Zheduo village, more nomad settlements, and a pine-forested gorge and get back to Kangding for dinner. Cycled distance: 25 km

Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Tented Camp
Day 4: Ride to Tagong Grasslands
3 Hours Ride
Max Altitude: 4250 M

We are ready to journey up to the Tibetan Plateau’s higher heights this morning after our second night in Kangding which worked as acclimatization. A 2-hour shuttle trip will take us to the Tagong nomadic trading town for a ride along the tops of the rolling hills that lie behind the majestic Yala Peak. The rolling hilltop path is more difficult than it appears, and some short hike-a-bike sections will be required in several areas. 

Tagong allows us to fully immerse ourselves in Tibetan culture. After the most difficult ride of the tour, we arrive in the monastery town. The surrounding sweeping views of the grasslands are a stunning sight to witness before returning to Tagong to visit Muya Monastery's calm monastic community. 
(Note: Trailhead starts at 4000m with a peak elevation of 4250m.) Cycled distance: 19 km

Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Tented Camp
Day 5: Ride to Tagong Ride
4 Hours Ride
Max Altitude: 4200 M

When we arrived in Tagong yesterday in the dark, it seemed quiet. But, you will find the town filled with pilgrims and locals walking and doing kora (circumambulation) around the monastery in the morning, some prostrating themselves every 50 meters, others turning the enormous prayer wheels that line one wall.

Soon after breakfast, enjoy a magnificent 90-minute shuttle ride to the trailhead outside Tagong, a highland nomad settlement on the west side of Yala Mountain. The views keep getting better motivating us through the thinning air. We make a 15-kilometer rise and traverse a ridge trail above Tagong with views of the Yala and Gongga (Minya Konka) in the distance. We will then go for a 12 km free-ride and single-track descent back to the valley bottom passing by a few local farms with barley fields. From there, we take a short bus ride to our lodging in Tagong, which would be a typical Tibetan homestay. Cycled distance: 27 km

Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Tibetan Homestay
Day 6: Ride to Yala Mountain North Pass
3 Hours Ride
Max Altitude: 4350 M

After brief biking to an enchanting Buddhist village, we climb to a mixture of single-track and do grassland freeriding, including some hike-a-bike sections. After a picnic lunch, a gradual climb to Yala Pass (4350m) will take you to the highest point on this mountain bike trip, with views of Yala valley on the backside and expansive vistas of the plateau to the west. It's a 12-kilometer drop from the pass's summit to tonight's campground in the valley below. Cycled distance: 19 km

Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Tented Camp
Day 7: Ride to Yala Mountain East Pass
4 Hours Ride
Max Altitude: 4200 M

Today's ride and hike-a-bike into the alpine splendor of Mt. Yala's backside will blow out our senses. The first hour is a sharp ascent maxing out at 4200 meters before descending onto a 20-kilometer stretch of flowing alpine single-track surrounded by gigantic granite peaks. The shuttle to our lodging in Kangding is then followed by a wonderful treat of a hot spring bath. Cycled distance: 25 km

Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Tented Camp
Day 8: Optional Departure
4 Hours Drive
Max Altitude: 500 M

After a nice breakfast, your shuttle back to Chengdu city will be waiting for you.

(Important Note: You can depart this beautiful site of Tibet on the 8th day or further extend the riding days through the Yulongxi Valley. The extended itinerary is designed as below.)

Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Chengdu
Day 8: Rest day at Kangding
Full Day
Max Altitude: 2600 M

Kangding is an old trading town, perched on the eastern edge of the Tibetan Qinghai plateau, remains a hub of commerce and communication between Han Chinese and Tibetans, and is the ideal spot for a day of relaxation.

Breakfast will be followed by an optional excursion to a grassland above the town. You can simply relax at a downtown cafe and soak up the city's ambiance. Later in the day, a tour through the marketplaces will reveal why this town has long been a vital historical commercial center for Tibetans and the Chinese. We spend our night at the same accommodation. 

Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Kangding
Day 9: Ride to Yulongxi Valley
5/6 Hours Ride
Max Altitude: 4500 M

After breakfast, ride immediately from the guesthouse to the 4500m pass above the settlement, which is 12 kilometers away. The first half of the climb follows a bizarre river valley up to a waterfall before connecting the mountain road to the pass's top, where you may enter Yulongxi's nomad valley. On a clear day, the entire Gongga range can be seen from here, making it an ideal picnic destination. After lunch, bike 4 kilometers down to the valley level on a hairpin-laced road before continuing on a 16-kilometer undulating ride through a grass-carpeted valley past grazing yaks and shocked herders. This evening's destination is a local semi-nomadic family's warm home. Cycled distance: 32 km

Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Tibetan Nomadic Homestay
Day 10: Ride through Zemei Pass
5/6 Hours Ride
Max Altitude: 4550 M

The rolling valley ride continues for another 8 kilometers this morning before heading east toward Minya Konka (Mt. Gongga) and our final ascent of the trip. The 11-kilometer climb features a panoramic view of Yulongxi Valley below before being rewarded with Eastern Tibet's most spectacular view. The main massif of Minya Konka is located right opposite the top of Zemei Pass at 4550m, providing one of the best views of any Himalayan peak. We then descend 13 kilometers to Zemei village at 3250m. This secluded and romantic village buried away in the highlands of Eastern Tibet is barely described as charming. Cycled distance: 32 km

Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Tibetan Homestay
Day 11: Ride to Zemei Valley & Drive to Chengdu
1 Hours Ride and 2/3 Hours Drive
Max Altitude: 500 M

Today's ride is one of the best single-track segments anywhere on the planet. As we descend 30 kilometers from the alpine heights to the canyon valleys above Shimian, the panorama changes frequently. This is the ideal approach to round out your Tibetan wilderness trip. We load our bikes and ourselves onto our jeep at the end of the trail and move to Chengdu.  Rest, relax and roam around the city. Unwind the tiredness after taking a hot spring bath before dinner. Enjoy the last day with great food and drinks. 

Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Chengdu
Day 12: Departure from Chengdu
30 Min Drive to Airport

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Chengdu International Airport for your flight back to your destination. 

Meals: Breakfast

What is included / not included

Include

  • Airport transfers (Pickups and drop-offs) on a private vehicle
  • 2 nights of shared accommodation in 3-4 star hotel in Chengdu 
  • 1 night in backcountry camping 
  • 7 nights in traditional guesthouses or homestays
  • All meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) (Any dietary restrictions can be accommodated: vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, etc.)
  • Professional English-speaking local guide 
  • Professional, certified, and experienced wheel guide 
  • Assistance with trip planning and packing
  • 4-wheel service for bicycle and luggage transport
  • Support and cleaning for your bike 
  • Comprehensive tool kit and repair stands
  • Welcome/farewell dinner 
  • All required permits &b Entrance Fees
  • All applicable government taxes

Exclude

  • Flights to Chengdu International Airport
  • Chinese Tourist Visa
  • Mandatory travel & medical insurance
  • Personal Bikes and riding gears
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities for guides and drivers
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, phone bills, internet, beverage bills, souvenirs, etc. 
  • Anything not mentioned in the inclusion 

Accommodation

Himalayan Trekkers promise to manage the best, most comfortable, and preferred accommodation.

In general, we arrange a 3* Standard Category Accommodations with all facilities in cities. If available, you can opt for a more budget-friendly option or upgrade to a more luxurious hotel by paying a little extra.

Although all places during your trek do not have all modern facilities (especially at higher altitudes), we ensure that it is arranged safely and comfortably. Mostly hygienic and safe tea houses / local lodges/homestays are arranged & please feel free to personalize according to your preference.

If your travel schedule includes camping or if you choose to experience it, a correct campsite will be determined in advance and everything will be taken care of. If required, we also provide equipment such as a tent, cookware, etc. Check the equipment lists and equipment lists for more information.

Meals

Breakfast is usually included with your accommodation within the costs. Meals in the city must be paid separately. Often in the cities, you can choose from many different cuisines and varied food services. We can always help you find the right place.

Remote areas don't have that many options, but hygienic and well-prepared food is always served. Moreover, most meals are included in the costs during your trek. We can help you make changes according to your preference and budget, but only if choices are available! Moreover, Himalayan Trekkers also organize Welcome of Farewell Dinners as a symbol of warm greetings.

Follow the detailed route description or itinerary for more information. We are always there to help you to your heart's content.

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