7-Day Mountain Biking Backcountry Tibet

Attention: by choosing this selection, you are paying to book a private room on top of what you have already purchased previously (i.e. paying to not share a bedroom with another tour guest).
This Mountain Biking Backcountry Tibet tour is designed for two-wheeled mountaineers.

This epic cycling challenge is best described as adventure biking. There are riders for whom 2-3 hours of climbing is worth an hour or more of non-stop descent. For these riders, when burning muscles and desperate pedal strokes are overshadowed by the seemingly futile experience of breathing, by screaming lungs gasping for one more mouthful of oxygen, their smiles get bigger and their sense of adventure grows deeper.

Simply put, the rider who thrives on a Mountain Biking Backcountry Tibet tour in Kham Tibet is one for whom no effort is too great to capture the prize of the descent. And combined with the task of daily falling victim to awestruck in the remote and mountainous world of Tibet, there is hardly a better prescription to discover (again) that the path to enlightenment is always ridden on a mountain bike.

For the backcountry cycling tour profiled below, all five days of riding do not offer a pedal stroke under 3200m (10,500ft), every day takes you to a maximum elevation of 4200m (13,7800ft) or higher, and one day will take you to a maximum elevation of 4350m (14,270ft)

Looking for a custom tour? Either way, we are pleased to oblige. After all, if joining an upcoming tour does not appeal to you, we specialize in consulting with you to tailor make a route for you.

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7 Days

Upcoming Group Trip Dates: 

  • September 17-23, 2023
    (Registration Deadline: July 31st)

Interested in joining? Shoot us an inquiry!
Looking for a private trip? Send us an email!

Key Destinations

Kangding, Tagong grasslands, Yala Mountain


Private van, plus extra vehicle for bicycle transport

Starts / Ends

Starts and ends in Chengdu

  • All transport, including airport pick-up and transfers
  • Private vehicle and driver, plus vehicle for bicycle transport
  • English speaking bike guides
  • All meals
  • All accommodation based on double occupancy
  • All activities and entrance fees enroute (per the itinerary)
  • Comprehensive bike repair toolset and repair stand enroute
Not Included
  • Personal bicycle and riding gear
  • International airfare
  • Medical, travel, and trip interruption insurance
  • Souvenirs, laundry, items of a personal nature

DAY 1 - Arrive in Chengdu. Shuttle to Kangding

Accommodation: Zhilam Hostel, Kangding

The heart of Western China welcomes you as your driver navigates the throngs of cyclists which mix with the rhythm of a modern city. Head out of the city in the afternoon for the 3.5 hr drive to Kangding (2600m). Leaving the Sichuan basin, you head deep into the mountains that guard the approach to the Tibet-Qinghai plateau. This is as close as it gets to passing through a virtual time warp. Everything becomes new: landscape, climate, cuisine, language, customs, and of course, the people. After settling into the Tibetan styled comfort of Zhilam Hostel, for your first evening in Kangding you’ll have the option of joining in with a community dance in the town square before dinner.

Ride day 1 - getting to know the locals

DAY 2 - Ride Day 1 (Panpan Valley)

Accommodation: Zhilam Hostel, Kangding

After breakfast and assembling your bike, you can enjoy a scenic acclimatization ride around midday. The trailhead is a 1hr drive straight up Zheduo mountain outside of town. Begin a very gentle 8km ascent at 4000m, up a broad grassland valley with nomad families in traditional yak hair tents dotting the landscape along with their roaming animals. Max out at 4200m near Panpan Mt pass before the exhilaration of one hour of rewarding downhill (17km) on the other side. Descend past more nomad families, through a pine-forested canyon, to the village of Zheduo. Return to Kangding for dinner.

Max elevation: 4200m
Ride distance: 25km

Ride Day 2 - Monastery near Tagong

DAY 3 - Ride Day 2 (Tagong Grasslands)

Accommodation: Mandala Hotel, Tagong

After your second night in Kangding at 2600m elevation, you're feeling more and more acclimatized. This morning you’re ready to move up to the higher elevations found on the Tibetan Plateau. A 2hr shuttle will take you to the nomadic trading village of Tagong for a ride along the tops of the rolling hills that lay beneath the imposing rock and snow of Yala Mountain. The rolling hilltop route is more challenging than it appears due to the elevation (trailhead starts at 4000m, max elevation 4250m) and some short hike-a-bike will be required in some sections. The surrounding sweeping views of the grasslands are a beautiful sight to behold before descending back down toward Tagong to experience the quiet monastic community of Muya Monastery. Following the monastery visit, you will ride across the grasslands toward town and a hot meal.

Max elevation: 4250m
Ride distance: 19km

Start of ride day 3

DAY 4 - Ride Day 3 (Tagong Ridge Ride)

Accommodation: Mandala Hotel, Tagong

Enjoy a scenic morning 90 min shuttle to the trailhead outside the highland nomad village of Tagong which sits on the West side of Yala Mountain. Begin a 15km ascent starting at 3500m and max out at the 4200m pass before traversing a ridge trail above Tagong with views of Yala and Gongga mountains in the distance. Another long descent (12km) back to earth begins with a steep upper valley ride before leveling out lower down as you pass a few local farms with barley fields. Scenes including herds of cattle and flocks of goats being driven through the center of town, await you as you arrive at the nomad outpost of Tagong. Enjoy a visit to the local monastery in the middle of town before dinner.

Max elevation: 4200m
Ride distance: 27km

Ride day 4 - Yala north side campsite

DAY 5 - Ride Day 4 (Yala Mt. North Pass)

Accommodation: Campsite (3750m), Yala Mountain.

An early start today involves a short shuttle to access a ridge ride that traverses the west side of Yala mountain from south to north. The first half of the ride is an undulating mix of both single track and grassland riding with the shadow of Yala Mountain looming above your right shoulder. Following a picnic lunch, a steady climb up and around an alpine bowl to Yala pass will take you to the highest point on your bike this trip (4350m), with views of Yala valley on the backside and sweeping views of the plateau to the west. From the top of the pass it is a 12km descent to tonight's campsite in the valley below. There are several kilometers of technical rock riding in the bottom half of the descent, which is easily walkable for those who lack the technical confidence.

Max elevation: 4350m
Ride distance: 19km

Ride day 5 - stream crossing

DAY 6 - RIDE DAY 5. Yala Mt. East Pass.

Accommodation: Nicang Hotel, Kangding

Today is a feast for your senses as you cycle into the alpine wonderland which is the backside - East side - of Mt. Yala (5820m). From the previous night's campsite, ride a couple of kilometers to the base of this morning's ascent. The first hour is a steep trail (with some pushing required) up to where it continues as a moderate ascent to the pass. Once again you max out at 4200m before descending into the forested wonderland below. There is a short and steep descent near the top, before reaching the flowing single track that carries you 20km to the trail exit below at 3000m. Hot springs are a welcome reward before a shuttle to tonight's comfortable hotel back in Kangding and a celebration banquet. Clean and pack your bike tonight or, alternatively, tomorrow morning.

Max elevation: 4200m
Ride distance: 25km

DAY 7 - Depart

Depart: Afternoon flight

This morning begins your reluctant departure from this virtual Shangri-la. Your shuttle back to Chengdu (3.5 hrs) will be waiting for you after a hot breakfast.