Western Sichuan Travel Guide - Mount Xigongyan "After Shu Mountains"
If someone asks what is most beautiful mountain in Sichuan province, I will answer: Mount Xigongyang.
Looking at distance in a straight line, it can be said that Mount Xigongyang is nearest snowy mountain to bustling city. It is located only 260 kilometers from Chengdu. It takes 4 hours to see snow mountain from Chengdu.
It belongs to Qionglai Mountains of Hengduan Mountains. In addition to sightseeing in scenic area, you can also climb mountains.
The altitude of Dafeng, Erfeng, Sanfeng and Yaomeifeng increases in succession, and in turn climbing difficulty factor increases. The highest peak, Yaomei, is 6,250 meters above sea level and is main peak of Qionglai Mountains.
The four peaks have their own characteristics. Walk deep into Changping Valley or Haizi Valley to appreciate peaks from different angles, or go to Maobilang Viewpoint to enjoy panoramic views of Xigongyang; autumn scenery in Shuangqiao Valley is also magnificent.
(1) Scenic Spot
The city where Mount Xigongyang is located is divided into two parts: Rilong City, where locals live, and Changping Village, where scenic spots are concentrated.
Scenic Spot Ticket Center, Sightseeing Bus Passing Point, Activity Control Center and Haizigou Entrance are located on south bank of river in Changping Village. Shuangqiaogou is not in city, but 7 km west of Rilong city.
(2) Essence of scenic spots
The scenic spot's peak season is from April to November of each year, and off-season is from December to March of following year.
The whole scenic area consists of 3 ditches: Haizi Ditch, Changping Ditch, and Shuangqiao Ditch.
The three ditches can be visited in different ways:
Haizigou constantly walks and climbs;
Changpingou can be combined with pleasure and sightseeing cars;
Shuangqiaogou is most expensive and easiest, and you can take sightseeing bus all way.
If you want to choose only one tour, it is recommended to choose one of Changpingou and Haizigou. If you are short on time and want to see pure snow mountains, go to Haizigou, if you like hiking, go to Changpingou.
View of Mount Xigongyan from Maobi Bridge
As name suggests, pure alpine lakes are hidden in depths of this moat. However, if you want to see Haizi, whole journey takes at least 7 hours and most tourists just stop at Chaoshanping.
Horses in Haizigou Dahaizi eat grass
2. Changping Valley
Changpingou is very long, by sightseeing bus 7 kilometers to mouth of ditch, then 7 kilometers of boardwalk, followed by 3.5 kilometers of dirt road.
Of course, route is long, and accompanying scenery is also rich: along way, there are waterfalls, red rocky beaches, etc. The deeper you go, closer you are to the snow-capped mountains.
The first scenic spot after entering ditch is Sgul Temple, commonly known as Lama Temple. If you are interested, we recommend visiting it on your way back. Take time to go in and see snow - first covered by mountains.
If you are going slowly and plan to walk whole way, it is recommended to reserve 8 hours. The snow mountain is most likely to appear at noon, it is best to enter as soon as scenic spot opens in morning, then you can reach Muluzi around noon.
Muluzi is a natural grassland right below Yaomei Peak. Weather permitting, you can enjoy a 360° panoramic view.
Sunset at Yaomei Peak
You can't see Mount Xigunyan in this ditch, but you can admire other snowy mountains, such as Potala Peak. If you go fast, you can finish tour in 3 hours.
(3) Popular Actions
In addition to usual mountaineering and scenic hiking, ice climbing and rock climbing are also available on Shuangou Bridge.
Four "girls" in scenic area are open for climbing. The altitudes from Dafeng to Xifeng are 5025, 5276, 5355 and 6250 meters consecutively.
The climbing entrances of Dafeng and Erfeng are in Haizigou, and each takes about 2 days. Generally, tourists can climb Dafeng if they are physically fit and difficulty is relatively low.
The second peak is more suitable for beginner climbers.
Climbing three peaks is usually done from Changpingou, which takes 3 days and requires professional mountaineering skills.
As for Yaomei Peak, it's too difficult, and ordinary people are advised not to challenge it lightly.
2. On foot
The most popular hiking route in a scenic area:
Trekking to Haizigou: takes 3 days, 2 kilometers forward from Dahaizi, camping here on first day, visiting Rhinoceros Sea and Shuanghaizi in depths on second day, and returning to Huazi camp; Mountain.
Sea of Rhinos