Balang Mountain, Sichuan – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

balang mountain

Balang Mountain (巴朗山), also known as “Banlan Mountain (斑斓山),” is situated between the Wolong Nature Reserve and the Four Sisters Mountain Scenic Area in Sichuan, China. In Tibetan, it is referred to as “阿巴朗依” (Abalangyi), and according to local mythology, Abalangyi is considered the father of the Four Sisters. The mountain range consists of several peaks with elevations exceeding 4500 meters, the main peak standing at 5040 meters, and the highest peak reaching 5072 meters.

Gazing upward, one witnesses rugged cliffs and exposed rocks, creating a perilous yet breathtaking landscape. High mountain meadows cover the slopes like a vast carpet, while a sea of clouds hovers around the mountain, separating the majestic peaks from the mystical, deep primitive forests below.

Balang Mountain Pass, at an elevation of 4480 meters, is one of China’s renowned high-altitude mountain passes accessible by road. Previously, driving through this area provided a thrilling experience of winding mountain roads, showcasing the beauty of the high-altitude landscape.

However, as of the end of June 2023, the mountain pass route leading to Balang Mountain has been permanently closed due to long-term disrepair. Travelers heading to Xiao Jin can now use the Balang Mountain Tunnel, while those wishing to explore the pass area must do so on foot, as the road is no longer accessible by vehicle (caution is advised, especially for those without outdoor experience).

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour3 – 4 hours
Ticket Price10 RMB
Opening Hours24 hours a day

Location and Transportation

Balang Mountain, also known as Balangshan, is a prominent mountain located in the western part of Sichuan province, China. It forms part of the eastern section of the Tibetan Plateau, an area renowned for its stunning landscapes and high-altitude terrain. The mountain lies in the border region between Sichuan and the neighboring province of Tibet.

Specifically, Balang Mountain is situated within the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, which is known for its cultural diversity and rich Tibetan heritage. The mountain’s elevation rises to over 5,000 meters (16,404 feet), making it one of the highest peaks in the region.

Because of the relatively remote location of Balang Mountain, the only way to get there is to drive yourself or hire a car in the city nearby.

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Highlights of Balang Mountain

Spectacular Scenery

spectacular scenery of balang mountain

Balang Mountain boasts a spectacular scenery that leaves visitors in awe of its natural beauty. Majestic snow-capped peaks pierce the clear blue sky, while lush alpine meadows stretch endlessly, adorned with a vivid tapestry of wildflowers. Crystal-clear glacial streams weave through deep valleys, adding to the enchantment. The landscape’s ever-changing colors throughout the seasons offer a mesmerizing visual delight. With breathtaking vistas at every turn, this mountain paradise is a photographer’s dream. The serene ambiance, untouched wilderness, and abundant biodiversity complete the allure of Balang Mountain, making it an unforgettable destination for nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike.

High-Altitude Pass

high-altitude pass of balang mountain

The High-Altitude Pass of Balang Mountain is an exhilarating and renowned feature that graces the Sichuan-Tibet Highway. Sitting at a lofty elevation, this pass offers travelers a thrilling and adventurous journey through the rugged terrain of the Tibetan Plateau. As vehicles wind their way along the snaking roads, they are rewarded with awe-inspiring vistas of snow-capped peaks, deep valleys, and pristine alpine meadows. The pass provides a gateway to witness the breathtaking beauty of Balang Mountain, with its ever-changing scenery, diverse wildlife, and captivating flora.

Rhododendron Forests

rhododendron forests in balang mountain

The Rhododendron Forests of Balang Mountain are a spellbinding natural wonder that enchants visitors with their vibrant and colorful splendor. Nestled within the picturesque landscape of the mountain, these dense forests come alive during the summer months with an awe-inspiring display of rhododendrons in full bloom. Countless shades of pink, purple, red, and white paint the slopes, creating a breathtaking floral paradise. As visitors meander through the trails, they are immersed in a sensory symphony of scents and sights.

Hiking and Trekking

trekking and hiking in balang mountain

Hiking and trekking in Balang Mountain offer exhilarating adventures for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With a network of well-marked trails cutting through its rugged terrain, the mountain presents a diverse range of options suitable for all experience levels. From leisurely walks amidst vibrant alpine meadows to challenging treks up to its snow-capped peaks, there’s something for everyone. The breathtaking scenery, including glacial streams, lush forests, and picturesque valleys, provides a visual feast at every step. Hikers and trekkers can immerse themselves in the untouched wilderness, encounter unique flora and fauna, and experience the serenity of the Tibetan Plateau, making it an unforgettable journey of discovery.

Winter Wonderland

winter wonderland of balang mountain

During winter, Balang Mountain transforms into a magical winter wonderland, enchanting visitors with its ethereal beauty. The lofty peaks are blanketed in a pristine layer of glistening snow, creating a breathtaking snowy landscape. Sparkling icicles hang from the evergreen trees, and frozen streams add to the serene ambiance. Winter sports enthusiasts flock to the mountain for skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing, enjoying the thrilling slopes and powdery snow. The crisp mountain air invigorates the senses, and the clear night skies offer stargazers a dazzling celestial display. Balang Mountain’s winter wonderland captivates the heart, promising an unforgettable and enchanting snowy escape.

Pristine Glacial Streams

pristine glacial streams in balang mountain

The pristine glacial streams of Balang Mountain are a mesmerizing sight to behold. Originating from the majestic glaciers that adorn the peaks, these crystalline waters flow gracefully through the deep valleys, reflecting the surrounding rugged landscape. With their untouched purity, the streams create a serene and tranquil atmosphere, providing a soothing melody as they cascade over rocks and boulders. Amidst the vibrant flora, the glacial streams add a touch of magic, inviting travelers to immerse themselves in nature’s untouched beauty.

Video about Balang Mountain

Useful Tips from Genuine Reviews

Base of the Mountain – Supplies and Snacks: The starting point for the hike at the base of the mountain offers various amenities such as barbecue stalls, fruit vendors, convenience stores, oxygen bottles, snacks, water, dried meat, and freshly grilled beef skewers. Bring candies, chocolates, beef jerky, or other snacks to supplement your energy for the hike.

Poor Signal – Bring Cash: The mountainous area has very poor mobile signal reception, so it’s crucial to carry some cash. Some vendors or services might not accept card payments, and having cash can be useful for unforeseen situations.

Toilets on the Mountain: There is only one toilet available at the base of Balang Mountain, and it is a dry toilet (pit toilet) with two-person seating. There are no mid-way toilets during the ascent. If this arrangement is a concern, be prepared to find a spot in the wilderness if needed.

Hiking Duration and Altitude: The hike to the first platform takes approximately one hour. After replenishing energy, it takes another one and a half hours to reach the Sea of Clouds. Descending should begin no later than 3:00 PM. A round trip covers about 10 kilometers.

Driving Tips from Chengdu: If driving from Chengdu, it is recommended to use an off-road vehicle or a 4WD (four-wheel-drive) vehicle, as the mountain roads are rugged, and the driving difficulty is high.

Download Road Maps: Download road maps in advance, as the weather on the plateau can change rapidly. Visibility may become challenging, and having offline maps can help in navigating back safely.

Altitude Sickness Awareness: As the summit reaches an altitude of 4000+, individuals prone to altitude sickness should gauge their physical capabilities and proceed accordingly. If experiencing symptoms, consider descending to lower altitudes.

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