Leziping-Niru Trek

Niru-Leziping Trek

Route Overview

Route Overview

The Leziping-Niru Trek (乐子坪-尼汝路线) offers a 14 km journey from Pudacuo National Park (普达措国家公园) to Niru Village (尼汝村). It crosses the high and extensive meadow known as Deji Pasture (德吉牧场) where herds of yaks graze. Pack trains ply the route, coming up from Niru Village to supply rustic Tibetan homes in the area.


Two Day Trek

The trek can be done in one day in either direction. However, this presents a problem of transport from or to the remote village of Niru, a four-hour drive from Shangri-La. An attractive alternative is to make it a two-day trek. Begin at Leziping Pasture (乐子坪牧场) and trek to Niru, spending a night in the village. On the second day, visit Colorful Waterfall (七彩瀑布) and continue on the Niru-Shudu Trek (尼汝-属都路线), crossing over Deji Pasture back to the starting point.


Features

The trek offers the shortest approach to Deji Pasture. The enormous meadow measures some 15 square kilometers at an elevation of 3,850 meters. An alternate name for the expanse is Dijitang Meadow (地基淌草甸).

Pass 3860 marks the midpoint of the trek. Apart from hut ruins located directly on the crest, the view takes in forests, valleys and lofty ridges extending into the distance. A place to experience the serenity of nature in a wild and remote setting.


A dirt road runs from Leziping over Pass 3920 to Deji Pasture. The road was originally intended to extend all the way to Niru, however the project was abandoned around the year 2019 because of adverse impact on the environment.


Niru Village Before the Arrival of Tourism

In 2010, Matthew Christensen, an American academic and Chinese language researcher, traveled to Niru Village on foot. You can read about his interesting experiences before the area was developed for tourism and trekking. He hiked out to Shudu Lake using the Leziping-Niru Trek described here.


Trailhead

Trailhead

The starting point of the trek lies within Pudacuo National Park . The park entrance is located twenty km east of Shangri-La City and can be reached in 30 minutes via Route S207. An entrance fee is charged. Trekkers who begin the trek at Niru Village might imagine they can avoid paying by coming into the park the back way, but this is not the case. Upon reaching the entrance they will be required to pay the fee.


The preferred way to reach the trailhead is to drive a private car past Shudu Lake (属都湖) and then a bit beyond to a car park at Leziping Pasture, a total of 22 km. Normally, visitors must travel on park buses, but personal cars are allowed with special permission which must be obtained at the park entrance. Registration may also be required at the police checkpoint located at the west end of Shudu Lake.


The road beyond Leziping is barricaded to prevent access to Bita Lake (碧塔海), located in the southern part of the park. The area around the lake has been closed since 2017 to protect a rare species of fish.

Parties without a car may take the tourist bus to the east end of Shudu Lake and walk the road for the remaining 2 km to the trailhead.


Route Description

Route Description

Trailhead to Deji Pasture

Cross Leziping Pasture heading east and pass near Tibetan dwellings to reach a dirt road coming in from the south. Follow the road north over Pass 3920 and descend a short distance to Deji Pasture.


Continue north across the huge open space. A building to the left is a ranger station, probably unmanned. One of the great snow peaks of Sichuan’s Yading Nature Reserve (亚丁) peeks over the distant horizon.


The abandoned road jogs over to the eastern edge of the meadow and ends about 2 km north after entering the pasture. The road swings east, makes a slight ascent and turns into a footpath.


Pass 3860

The Leziping-Niru Trek continues on the footpath heading eastward, passing through meadows and sparse forests on a gradually descending grade. A short ascent leads to Pass 3860. A dilapidated hut sits on the crest, the halfway point of the trek. Apart from the hut and trail there are no signs of civilization to be seen, only trees, valleys and mountain tops.


From the pass the trail descends gradually to the northeast before zig-zagging more steeply down into the valley. About 3 km from the pass the valley turns north. The brook here is likely the first water source encountered on the trek. A gradual descent follows along the brook, which is a tributary of the Niru River.


Trail Junctions

After another 3 km or so reach a trail intersection, where the path to Xiadiaoge Pasture (下掉阁牧场) branches off on the left. Continue straight ahead at the junction.


The trail turns right around the mountain side, passing through thick forests with occasional views down onto Niru Village


Upon reaching the next trail junction, turn sharp left (the trail straight ahead leads to lower Niru Village) and descend steeply. Near the bottom of the slope the path turns sharp right, passes a junction with the trail leading to Colorful Waterfall, and immediately reaches a bridge over the Niru River.


Here there is a ranger station and registration point. After crossing the bridge, the trail ascends a short distance to the west end of Niru Village.


Summary: Leziping-Niru Trek

Summary: Leziping-Niru Trek

Region: Pudacuo National Park and Niru Village
Itinerary: Leziping Pasture—Pass 3920—Deji Pasture—Pass 3860—Niru Village
Duration: 5 hours one-way
Distance: 14 km one-way
Altitude in Meters: Start 3,780. Max 3,920. End 2,850
Elevation Gain: Gain 300 meters. Loss 1,250 meters
Rating: Advanced
Water Sources: Brook 3 km east of Pass 3860
Hiking Times: Leziping Pasture to Deji Pasture ¾ hour. Pass 3860 2½ hrs. Niru Village 5 hrs



Written by
Pieter Crow
2024-04-08