Yila Grassland of Napa Lake, Shangri-La

yila grassland of napa lake

Yila Grassland of Napa Lake (纳帕海依拉草原) sits majestically on a plateau at an elevation of 3,266 meters, spanning an expansive protected area of 3,125 square kilometers. The lake itself covers an area of 660 square kilometers, making it the largest and most stunning grassland in Shangri-La, Deqen. In Tibetan, “Yila” means “Leopard Mountain,” deriving its name from the mythical belief that the mountain to the north of the Yila Grassland gate is a sacred peak.

The terrain here is mostly flat, surrounded by mountains on three sides, often adorned with snow during the winter and spring seasons. Numerous winding rivers, including Naqu River and Naizi River, traverse the grassland before ultimately flowing into Napa Lake. In reality, Napa Lake and Yila Grassland are interconnected. During the rainy season, ample water covers most of the grassland, creating a vast ocean-like expanse. In the dry season, however, the lake waters recede, revealing beautiful grasslands. This unique natural landscape makes Yila Grassland of Napa Lake a year-round tourist destination.

During the summer, the grass and water flourish, resembling a shimmering sea dotted with countless wildflowers, roses, peonies, wild chrysanthemums, and various aromatic herbs. Herds of sheep, cattle, and horses graze freely, blending harmoniously with the grassland. In autumn, the grassland turns golden, with snow-capped peaks reflecting in the lake. By winter and spring, the lake may shrink or even dry up, transforming into vast marshlands. At the entrance of the scenic area stands an eight-petal lotus white pagoda, one of only two such pagodas in the world, the other located in India.

Napa Lake is not far from the Shangri-La County town. For those planning a charter tour, it can be included as one of the stops along with other attractions. Besides chartering, another popular way to explore Napa Lake is by cycling around the lake, covering approximately 40 kilometers in total, which takes about three to four hours to complete. Along the way, the breathtaking scenery of grasslands, lakes, and snow-capped mountains unfolds, with the added surprise of panoramic views of Songzanlin Monastery from the road leading into the county town.

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 – 3 hours
Ticket Price40 RMB
Opening Hours8.00 – 19.00
Telephone Number0086-0887-8200077

Location and Transportation

Yila Grassland of Napa Lake is located 6 kilometers northwest of Shangri-La County, Yunnan Province, near Shangri-La Alpine Botanical Garden. It stands as one of the most picturesque highland areas in Deqen. Visitors can conveniently reach the site by taking a taxi or bus route 2 from Shangri-La.

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