Hiking Tour from Shitoucheng to Yongning Town and Lugu Lake

This trek is based on Laoxie’s series reports(in Chinese) posted on sina.com Traveler’s Forum. Post Date: Oct 23, 2002, Oct 24, 2002, Nov 4, 2002, Nov 7, 2002, Nov 12, 2002.

Laoxie is an intrepid explorer, well known among Chinese hikers. He posts regularly his adventures on traveler’s forum of Sina.com. He lives in Lijiang. His E-mail: wander2000@sina.com. Tel: 0086-888-6688462.

All photos presented by 
courtesy of Laoxie.


Maps: Trek Map, Around Lijiang, Northwest Yunnan
Difficulty: moderate to difficult.
Walking time: 3 to 4 days. 
Route mark: No direction mark, many side paths. A local guide is needed. 
Food / Water: Villages have shops selling drinks and snacks. 
Outfits: Torch (passing through two tunnels without light), sleeping bag.


Stage 1: Shitoucheng – Fengke (30km)
Quit Shitoucheng, you head north, climb over several ridges. Jinsha River (Yangzi River) flows southward on your right. 
Prince Pass: In 2.5 hours, you will encounter a tough ascent to the Prince Pass, steeply-incised by Jinsha Jiang. Even horses are not able to climb up here. You will have to cross two tunnels without any illumination. Torches are essential here. The second tunnel is actual the highest point of Prince Pass. 
Liuqin Village 柳青村: Descending to the next Village Liuqin from the top of Prince Pass takes 30 minutes. At the end of the village, you can make a stop at He Wenshu’s home 和文述. 
Fengke: A further descent to Fengke is a long but gentle hike, with enjoyable views of Jinsha River. Several villages can be found along the path. Local people are friendly. Children would say hello to you. Many travelers would finish their trek at Fengke as landscapes of the first stage are the most breathtaking. They can take a morning bus going back to Lijiang. 
Stage 2: Fengke – Gewa (30km). 
This stage is a long and weary climb, reserved for keen hikers who are still in good physical shape after the first stage. The orange line in photo 3 marks the trek of this stage. 
Ferry: The elevation first drops to 1400m when you reach the ferry. It costs Y5 per person to cross the river. 
Labo is the first village on the east shore. You climb through fields, streams, villages. It is difficult to find high trees giving a shade against the burning sun. Sometimes you walk on a tractor road. In 7 hours, you can reach Gewa. 
Stage 3: Gewa – Yongning.
The vehicular road is 55km long while the mountain footpath is only 35 km. It is more interesting to walk along the footpath. The black line in photo 3 indicates the ascent from Gewa to the 3500m Pass. 
Leaving Gewa, you reach Zhuangzi Village in an hour. Look for a side path on your right at the end of the village on the vehicular road where you can find traces of horses and mules. The footpath stretches across the primitive forest. Unfortunately no breathtaking view can be sighted on the top of the Pass (3500m). 

When you meet a crossroad during the descent, take the small path turning to the right. In two hours, you can see a village called Yanping at 2800m. After a final 2-hour walk, you arrive at Yongning.

Yongning – Lugu Lake
Many buses connect Yongning to Lugu Lake. You can also walk further to Lugu Lake (3 hours). It exists a 10km trail from Yongning to Lige, a village on the west shore of Lugu Lake, passing through several beautiful villages. 


Access by bus

Shitoucheng (Stone Village or Baoshan Stone City)

  • Lijiang – Baoshan County – Shitoucheng (Y35.-).
    See Shitoucheng – Getting there and away.
  • Daju – Shitoucheng.
    See Daju – Getting There and Away 
    New: It is possible to trek from Daju to Shitoucheng in two days. See the Daju-Shitoucheng Trail.

Fengke/Fenglian: Fengke is the name of a county. Fenglian is the name of a village you will encounter on the trail. Fenglian village has a bus link with Lijiang every day (Y60). The journey takes a whole day though the distance is merely 180km. Labo: There exists a vehicular road between Labo and Yongning. During rainy season (May to October), the road is blocked due to frequent landslides. No bus service.Gewa: There is no bus service between the bumpy Gewa-Yongning road (55km). One solution: rent a jeep (Y300) from Guozhimin (see Accommodations below).

Yongning: A lot of buses run from Yongning to Lugu Lake. (A 20-minute journey, Y5). From Lugu Lake, you can go back to Lijiang via Ninglang. 



See Accomodations in Shitoucheng. 
Fengke/Fenglian Village: 
Stay at Heguixiu’s home 和桂秀家 Tel: 0888-5341054. Walking almost to the end of the street, you will find Heguixiu’s Shop on your left. Quite clean. Hot water. Boarding.
Between Labo and Gewa: 
If you are too tired to walk to Gewa, you could stay at local people’s home. There are several villages along the trial. Locals would even propose their accommodations to you. At Zhuangzi Village 桩子村, you can stay at Yangchengzhi’s house 杨成志.

Gewa Village: 
Guozhimin’s home 郭志民家 : Y8-10 per bed. 10 clean beds. Grocery. Boarding. Guozhimin has a Beijing Jeep.