12 Days Footsteps of Joseph Rock Hiking Tour from Lugu Lake to Daocheng Yading (East Route)

Follow the footprints of Joseph Rock: Muli to Yading —- the crossing from hell to heaven.

Tour Map



  • Visit the top attractions of Lijiang, Ganzi Prefecture and Shangri-La.
  • Hike along the rivers and mountains, and enjoy the beautiful scenery of nature.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Lijiang Arrival
  • Day 2:  Lijiang–Lugu Lake-Wachang Town
  • Day 3: Wachang Town-Dulu Village
  • Day 4: Dulu Village-Shuiluo Gold Mine-Bodhisattva Cave
  • Day 5: Bodhisattva Cave-Zangbie Cattle Farm-Zabala Pass
  • Day 6: Zabala Pass – Xinguo Cattle Farm
  • Day 7: Xinguo Cattle Farm – Heihai Lake – Xiadu Cattle Farm – Snake Lake
  • Day 8: Snake Lake – Lontong Dam – Daocheng County
  • Day 9: Daocheng County-Daxiao Snow Mountain-Shangri-La
  • Day 10: Shangri-La
  • Day 11: Shangri-La –Baishuitai–Tiger Leaping Gorge-Lijiang
  • Day 12: Departure from Lijiang

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Lijiang Arrival

Sightseeing and Activities: Lijiang Ancient Town
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast, lunch.

We’ll begin our journey to Lijiang, which is the travel highlight of Yunnan. Our local guide and driver will meet you in Lijiang Airport. And then you will be transferred to hotel. The rest time will be free in Lijiang Ancient Town (丽江古镇).

Day 2 Lijiang – Lugu Lake-Wachang Town

Sightseeing and Activities: Lugu Lake, Wachang Town, Muli County
Accommodation: Wachang
Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Drive from Lijiang (丽江) to the Wachang Town (瓦厂乡) in Muli County (木里县), enjoy the scenery of Lugu Lake (泸沽湖) and visit the villages of Mosuo (摩梭) and Yi nationality (彝族), then spend the night in Wachang Town.

Day 3 Wachang Town – Dulu Village

Sightseeing and Activities: Dulu Village
Accommodation: Dulu Village

After breakfast, take a jeep up the river and experience the little-known, primitive and unexploited nature. We’ll reach DuLu Village (嘟噜村) of Shuiluo Town (水洛乡) at dusk, which is about 2700 meters above sea level.

Day 4 Dulu Village – Shuiluo Gold Mine – Bodhisattva Cave

Sightseeing and Activities:  Baishui River, Shuiluo Gold Mine, Bodhisattva Cave
Accommodation: The Camp of  Bodhisattva Cave
Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

After breakfast, pack your bags and your lunch, then we’ll depart with light packs. It is the first day of the hike, and we will follow the Baishui River (白水河) to the Shuiluo Gold Mine (水洛金矿) in the early stages of the trip. After entering the primeval forest, the altitude will gradually increase, the beautiful scenery along the way is mainly mountain streams, waterfalls and forests. Afterwards, arrive at the Camp of Bodhisattva Cave (菩萨洞营地) at dusk, and the whole trip is about 5-6 hours.

Day 5 Bodhisattva Cave – Zangbie Cattle Farm –  Zabala Pass

Sightseeing and Activities: Zangbie Cattle Farm, Xianuoduoji
Accommodation: The camp below the Zabala Pass
Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Set off at 8 am and continue through the primeval forest. Through the forest, there is a large beautiful meadow, and then walk for a while to Zangbie Cattle Farm (藏别牛场), also known as Xiari Cattle Farm (呷日牛场). Here we can see the first mountain of Three Holy Mountains (三神山): Xianuodoji (夏诺多吉). Continue walking for 2 hours and reach the camp below the Zabala Pass (杂巴拉垭口), about 4600 meters above sea level. The hike of this day is about 8 hours long.

Day 6 Zabala Pass – Xinguo Cattle Farm

Sightseeing and Activities: Yangmaiyon Snow Peak,  Zabala Pass, Xinguo Cattle Farm
Accommodation: The camp of Xinguo Cattle Farm
Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

The scenery on this day is very beautiful. At the same height of 5958m, Xianuoduoji (夏诺多吉) and Yangmaiyon Snow Peak (央迈勇雪峰) have lakes, meadows, rivers and pastures that make up the beautiful original scenery. It will be fantastic, but it’s also physically demanding. Start from the south slope of Xianuoduoji, then cross the Zabala Pass (杂巴拉垭口), which was 5000 meters above sea level. After cross the pass, walk down to Xinguo Cattle Farm (新果牛场) under the south slope of Yangmaiyon. This day’s hike will take 7-8 hours.

Day 7 Xinguo Cattle Farm – Heihai Lake – Xiadu Cattle Farm – Snake Lake

Sightseeing and Activities: Heihai Lake, Xiadu Cattle Farm, Xiannairi Mountain
Accommodation: The camp of Snake Lake
Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

After breakfast, we set out for a hike at an altitude of more than 4,000 meters, which is of great intensity but short distance. Cross several nameless passes, pass the Heihai Lake (黑海) with water as black as ink, pass the Xiadu Cattle Farm (呷独牛场) on the southwest slope of Yangmaiyon, then we’ll arrive at the Snake Lake about 4400 meters above sea level. You can see the Yangmaiyon (央迈勇) and Xiannairi (仙乃日) Mountain above the Snake Lake (蛇湖). The view of the camp is quite beautiful. The hike of this day will take 6 – 7 hours.

Day 8 Snake Lake – Lontong Dam – Daocheng County

Sightseeing and Activities: Yangmaiyon-Xiannairi Pass, Yading Scenic Spot, Riwa Town 
Accommodation: Riwa
Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Start to hike in the morning, after crossing Yangmaiyon-Xiannairi Pass (央迈勇-仙乃日垭口), which is about 4900 meters above sea level, we will enter the Yading Scenic Spot (亚丁风景区). Through the Niunaihai Lake (牛奶海) and Wusehai Lake (五色海) on the way, and along the Sheshen Cliff (舍身崖) down to the Luorong Cattle Farm (络绒牛场). Afterwards, continue along the road to Chonggu Temple (冲古寺). After seeing the Zhenzhuhai Lake (珍珠海), go to Longtong Dam (龙同坝) in Yading Village (亚丁村) , and drive to Riwa Town (日瓦乡) in Daocheng County (稻城县) at last. This is the end of the hike.

Day 9 Daocheng County – Daxiao Snow Mountain – Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities: Daocheng County, Daxiao Snow Mountain
Accommodation: Shangri-La
Meals: Breakfast, lunch.

On this day we will drive from Daocheng County to Shangri-La (香格里拉). On the way, we will pass the Daxiao Snow Mountain (大小雪山) and arrive at Shangri-La in the evening.

Day 10  Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities: Songzanlin Monastery, Napahai Lake
Accommodation: Shangri-La
Meals: Breakfast,  lunch.

Pick you up at the hotel. Then drive to visit Songzanlin Monastery (松赞林寺), then pay a visit to a local Tibetan village and family around the monastery and eat lunch. After that, transfer to visit Napahai Lake (纳帕海).

In the late afternoon, drive back to Shangri-La (香格里拉) downtown.

Day 11 Shangri-La  – Baishuitai – Tiger Leaping Gorge-Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Baishuitai, Tiger Leaping Gorge
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast,  lunch.

In the morning we will drive 2.5 hours to Baishuitai (白水台) for sightseeing. Located below the Haba Snow Mountain, Baishuitai is famed for its natural mineral terraced White Water Tables created by calcium carbonate deposits from the melting mountain spring water. After lunch, transfer to Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡).

Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangri-La Section(上虎跳峡-香格里拉段) is face to The Upper Section of Tiger Leaping Gorge (Lijiang Side). Lijiang Scetion and Shangri-La Section share the wonderful Tiger Leaping Stone and Middle Rapids in the middle of Yangtze River. You can enjoy the magnificent scenery and take photos as a souvenir.

Afterwards, transfer to Lijiang Ancient Town in the late afternoon.

Day 12 Departure from Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Lijiang Departure
Meals: Breakfast

Free leisure time until be transferred to Lijiang International Airport for returning. Service ends.

Personal Equipment:

  • Prepare a large backpack, a small backpack (or waist bag), tent, sleeping bag, mat and other camping equipment.
  • Thermal underwear, fleece jacket, waterproof jacket and down jacket.
  • Quick-dry pants or waterproof pants, warm pants.
  • Sunglasses, gloves, trekking poles,water jug and head wear.
  • Hiking shoes that are preferably waterproof.
  • Personal medicines, such as stomach medicine, motion sickness medicine and so on.
  • Sunscreen, hand cream and lip balm.
  • Torches (or headlamp), digital chargers and power bank.
  • ID card / passport.
  • Toiletries, ordinary changes of clothing, raincoat and tableware.

Service Included:

  • Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary;
  • Hotels as listed in the itinerary;
  • Private English-speaking tour guide;
  • Private vehicle for transfers & sightseeing with skilled driver;
  • Service charge & government taxes;
  • Luggage transfers between airports and hotels.

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Single room supplement;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel accident insurance;
  • All optional programs.