Haba Snow Mountain Overview

Haba Snow Mountain overview includes fast facts about its basic information, climate, best time to visit, culture, transportation, things to do, climbing tips, etc. As one of highest snow mountains in Yunnan, Haba Snow Mountain is gorgeous. Foreign backpackers started climbing snow mountain in the area in the 1995 and now Haba Snow Mountain Climbing Tour has been one of the most famous climbing tour all around the world.

Basic Information of Haba Snow Mountain

  • Chinese Name: 哈巴雪山
  • English Name: Haba Snow Mountain
  • Keywords: Mountaineering, Mountain Climbing Tour
  • Location: Southeast of Shangri-La, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
  • Climate: Alpine vertical climate
  • Highest Altitude: 5,396 meters
  • Lowest Altitude: 1,550 meters
  • Opening Time: All Day Long
  • Recommended Visit Time: 2-4 days

Geography of Haba Snow Mountain

Haba Snow Mountain is located in 120 kilometers southeast of Shangri-La City. Haba Snow Mountain has a total area of 21,908 hectares. The highest altitude arrives at 5,396 meters while the lowest altitude is just 1,550 meters. Located in the southeastern part of Shangri-La City, Haba Snow Mountain is a mountain that rose sharply under the strong influence of the Himalayas and its Quaternary tectonic movement. The highest peak is 5,396 meters above sea level, while the lowest river is only 1,550 meters above sea level. The upper part of the mountain is relatively flat, and the lower part is steep. It is steep and majestic and beautiful. "Haba" is Naxi language, meaning the flower of gold. Haba Snow Mountain looks at Jade Dragon Snow Mountain across the Tiger Leaping Gorge.

Climate of Haba Snow Mountain

The vertical alpine climate is formed because of the mountain's altitude, and thus the climates are various in ascending order. Subtropical zone, cold temperate zone, frigid zone, paramos are distributed in different parts with different altitude. The difference in temperature between the top and the foot of the mountain can reach up to 23℃. Snow on the top of the main peak of the mountain persists all the year around. The upstanding main peak, together with four little peaks around it, seems to be a shining crown on a fine day from a distance.

Best Time to Visit Haba Snow Mountain

Best time to climb Haba Snow Mountain is between mid of March till end of June and mid of September till mid of December. Because the other periods are mostly rainy or windy. From April to June, the blossoming rhododendra add more glamour to mysterious Haba Snow Mountain. In the late autumn, the forest is full of color, the air is pure, and the starry sky can be photographed. From November to December, the light wind makes tourists more easily to climb up to the summit. 

More about The Best Time to Climb Haba Snow Mountain

Legend about Haba Snow Mountain

The upper section of the Yangtze River in northern Yunnan province is called Jinsha River. She runs between her sisters - the Salween and Mekong Rivers. Jinsha River wanted to marry the eastern sea. Therefore, she made a sudden turn east to meet the sea, but her jealous brothers, Haba and Jade Dragon Snow Mountains, blocked her way. They guarded her passage day and night, until one night Haba fell asleep on duty, allowing Jinsha to slip past leaving the deep Tiger Leaping Gorge behind her speedy escape. When Jade Dragon awoke to find her gone, he was so angry with his brother that he beat one side of his brother’s face. So, Haba’s head fell on the western side, leaving his peak little shorter and flatter today. 

Why Begin Haba Snow Mountain Climbing Tour

Haba Snow Mountain was sharply raised by the Himalayan orogeny and the subsequent Quaternary tectonic movement. The upper part of the mountain is gentle but the lower part is filled with cliffs, which makes Haba Snow Mountain precipitous, magnificent and mysterious. Haba means 'the golden flower' in the Naxi language. In local folklore, Haba Snow Mountain and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain are considered to be brothers. The Jinsha River, the upper reach of the Yangtze River, runs between the two high mountains, forming the Tiger Leaping Gorge which is the most spectacular site in this area. Haba Snow Mountain Climbing Tour is not only an activity for building fitness but also a good opportunity to appreciate beautiful natural landscape.

Haba Snow Mountain is regarded as an ideal trekking paradise for beginners who are intended to climb a real snow mountain at an altitude of more than 5,000m. Located 120 km southeast of Shangri-La City with its main peak of 5,396 meters, Haba Snow Mountain is a mountain rising above the northwest side of Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan, China. It rises opposite the higher Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, and towers 3,500 meters above the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, also known as the Jinsha River. The summit of the mountain is a popular destination for amateur mountaineers and its lowest slopes are crossed by the popular Tiger Leaping Gorge trail.


Tourists can take a long-distance bus from Lijiang or Shangri-La to Qiaotou town and it will take about 2 hours. Then rent a car or a minibus driving along the highway near Tiger Leaping Gorge to Haba Village. 

Long-distance buses frequently shuttle between Lijiang and Shangri-La every day. You can take the  long-distance bus and get off at Qiaotou if you miss the direct long-distance bus for Qiaotou from Lijiang or Shangri-La. It’s easy to rent a car or a minibus at Qiaotou and takes around 2 hours to get to Haba Village.

Things to Do in Haba Snow Mountain

Haba Snow Mountain is regarded as an ideal trekking paradise for beginners who are intended to climb a real snow mountain at an altitude of more than 5,000 m. You will go through alpine vegetation, meadows, moraine lakes, waterfalls, boundless snow and glaciers with panoramic views of snow mountains all around you. Abundant wildflowers like rhododendra and clouds may come into sight at the right time.

Top Attractions in Haba Snow Mountain

Must-See Sceneries in Haba Snow Mountain

Snow Peak

On the top of the main peak of the mountain snow persists throughout the year. The upstanding main peak, together with four little peaks around it, seems to be a shining crown on a fine day in the distance. Sometimes, they are partly hidden in clouds and mist and the crown becomes dimly visible; sometimes, they are totally lost.

Magnificent Glaciers

At about 4,700 meters above sea level, there are glaciers resembling frozen waterfalls that flow down steep slopes. Those glaciers are classified as maritime temperate glaciers in the southern latitude limit in China.

Heihai Lake

The Black Sea is different from the Black Sea in south-eastern Europe. Actually, it is a lake that gets its name from the color of its water which is as black as ink. An abundance of Chinese giant salamanders will swim together forming a ring in the shallows of the Black Sea with an appropriate temperature is reached, which makes it more attractive.

Wonderful Waterfalls

There are also rivers and waterfalls in Haba Snow Mountain. Jianshan Waterfall is about 40 meters high. The sufficient water flow makes it spectacular. From April to September, when the snow and ice melt, the water rushes down the steep slopes from the clouds and mist, forming the great Dadiaoshui Waterfall, which makes the waterfall look like a mighty river flowing down from heaven.

Beautiful Azaleas

From April to June, when the rhododendra are in full blossom and you visit Haba Snow Mountain, you will be surprised to find that there are so many varieties of rhododendra. More than 200 hundred kinds of rhododendra are distributed from the bottom to the top of the mountain, accounting for 70% of those in Yunnan.

Where and What to Eat in Haba Snow Mountain

Most of the guesthouses in Haba Village provide local food for backpackers. Besides, You can take some food at only the Guesthouse around the Base Camp (4,200m). Please note it provides Muslim food without pork. Other than the impressive range of locally gathered wild mushrooms, there is a definite shortage of culinary variety in this town. The staple food is often baba or flatbread rather than rice, and you may be offered Tibetan-style buttered tea, which is an acquired taste by all tourists. The saving grace is that all food available is locally produced and is completely free of agricultural chemicals.

Where to Stay in Haba Snow Mountain

There are not many accommodation choices around Haba Snow Mountain. Before you start trekking, the guesthouses in Haba Village seems to be the only and the best option for you. Most of guesthouses provide equipment for climbing. After getting to the Base Camp, at the hillside nearly at an altitude of 4,200 meters, it’s better for you to spend one night there. It’s an important landmark of Haba Snow Mountain and a relatively good place for a rest. You can pitch a rent if there is no available room as it’ s the only lodging place on the halfway.

Climbing Tips & Route of Haba Snow Mountain

Climbing Route of Haba Snow Mountain

Start Point of Haba Snow Mountain: Tiger Leaping Gorge

Mountaineering level: Entry level

Recommend you to start with a warm-up trekking from Tiger Leaping Gorge to Haba Village first instead of arriving Haba Town by bus. Then you can start your Haba Snow Mountain Climbing Tour from Haba Village. From Haba Village to the Base Camp, it takes an average walk of 5-6 hours. The Base Camp is at the altitude of 4,100 meters. From here, hike up to 4,900 meters in 3 hours, and another 2 hours to the top. If there is no snow up to the 4,900m point, you can easily get there in 2 hours, and another 1.5 hours to the top (5,406 meters).

Haba Snow Mountain Climbing Tips

On a fine day, ordinary tourists may reach the summit successfully if they follow the professional climbers. However there are some accidents happened, some of famous travelers died here, so everything needs to be paid full attention and taken care of. Yunnan Exploration Travel has rich experiences in working out Haba Snow Mountain Climbing Tour and provides professional English-speaking guide that make your individual climbing tour more convenient and safer. If you are interested in, please contact our staff to consult more details.

Essential Items for Trekking

Trekking Equipment: snow cover, tent, ice pick, crampon, health food, sleeping bag, warm glove, headlight, sunglasses, garbage bag, assault pants , feather fine hair clothes, waterproof backpack, warm water bottle 2-3 liters, waterproof mountaineering boots, warm socks, headgear.

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