Home > Explore China

Book your place

Bayinbuluke Grasslands, Xinjiang Province (6 days)

In Brief: Camp out overnight in the beautiful high-altitude scenery of the Bayinbuluke Grasslands in northwestern Xinjiang; see Silk Road sights, big mountains, and desert while on the road to and from the grasslands.

Mountains and rivers in Xinjiang

A river runs through the Bayinbuluke Grasslands, with the Tianshan Mountain Range visible in the background.

Bayinbuluke Grasslands, Xinjiang Province (6 days)

June 20–25, 2017

* Price deadlines: Make payment before the stated dates to qualify for the prices listed.
June 1Last day for early price*
June 11Last day for standard price

Costs and Registration

Prices based on Beijing departure. Joining from elsewhere? Let us know, and we'll work something out.
Cost 16,850 RMB (early)
17,520 RMB (standard)
Members 16,000 RMB (early)
16,380 RMB (standard)

More

Take a six-day road trip through the Tianshan Mountains in Xinjiang, passing by ancient Silk Road sights on the way to our campsite in the beautiful Bayinbuluke Grasslands.

During the trip you’ll visit the ruined city of Subashi, camp near a Kazakh settlement in the grasslands, visit the Kunas Forest scenic area, and you’ll get great views of grasslands and mountains on short hikes during the drive back to Urumqi.

Detailed information about the trip activities and arrangements can be found below. Please contact us at any time for further details.

Ready to explore? Book your place

The Bayinbuluke Grasslands

Surrounded by the tall snow mountains of the Tianshan mountain range, the Bayinbuluke Grasslands is an area of pure green grass, snow-fed rivers, and rolling hills that is 1.5 times the size of the entirety of Beijing Municipality.

In the grasslands we’ll take an afternoon hike up to a lookout point to watch the sun set over one of the rivers that snakes through the prairie, and camp overnight in an area favoured by local Kazakh nomads.

Also known as the Bayan Bulak grasslands, the prairie covers part of Hejing County in the Bayingolin Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture. Bayingolin is the largest of China’s autonomous regions, and is actually larger in area than the neighbouring province of Gansu. The capital of Bayingolin is Korla, and it’s in Korla that our trip will begin.

Trip overview

Day 1 Fly to Korla via Urumqi, drive to Kuqa
Day 2 Visit Old Town, Grand Mosque, King’s Palace in Kuqa. Drive to Subashi ruins, Dakziliya Grand Canyon hiking, camp overnight.
Day 3 Drive through mountains to Bayinbuluke, hikes in the grasslands, camp overnight.
Day 4 Drive to Nalati, stopping for short hikes along the way.
Day 5 Drive to Dushanzi, stopping for short hikes along the way.
Day 6 Drive to Urumqi via Shihezi, stopping for a walk in the desert, evening flight to Beijing.

Also on the trip

Part of the ruins of Subashi

Part of the ruined city of Subashi Click to view a larger image »

  • Take a stroll through the narrow streets of Kuqa’s old town, visit the Grand Mosque and the King’s Palace, camp overnight near the ruined city of Subashi.
  • Mongolian is the first language of some Kucheans. Want to say hello in Mongolian? Sain uu!
  • Hike in a forested area in Kunas on the way to the small city of Nalati.
  • Drive through snowcapped mountains on the way to Dushanzi.
  • Hike in a desert area near Shihezi on the way back to Urumqi.

Weather

Weather is expected to be fairly cool, with a temperature range of 5–17°C expected. There’s a small chance of rain, so don’t forget your raincoat!

Accommodation

Aside from the two nights of camping, we’ll stay in the best hotels we can find – 4-star (or the local equivalent) at least!

You’ll be sharing a room at the hotel with another hiker. If you'd like a hotel room to yourself, it can be arranged at an extra cost of 900 RMB for the whole trip.

Further details about room shares and single supplement can be found in the documents we send you as part of the registration.

Flights and transport

We’ll flying to Korla via Urumqi, and back to Beijing from Urumqi. For the rest of the trip, we’ll be in big, comfortable jeeps.

Frequent flyers: Please let us know if you would like to use your frequent flyer miles or if you are a frequent flyer member. If you would like to organise your own flights, we can provide further details.

Things to bring

  • Passport
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Hat
  • Hiking boots or comfortable shoes for walking
  • A day pack to take on outings, suitcases or bigger bags can be left at the hotel or on the jeeps
  • Camera and charger, batteries
  • Suncream
  • Torch or headlamp
  • Mobile phone, charger
  • Any personal medicine or things that may be required but not available in small towns (chocolate, for example!)

It would also be nice to bring a small gift for the driver of your jeep – they’re very friendly fellows, and would appreciate the kind gesture!

Xinjiang has an unofficial time difference of two hours from Beijing. All times listed are Beijing time, but we’ll be trying to time the meals for Xinjiang time.

Deposit and Payment

First, make a deposit of 5,000 RMB per person so we can be sure of getting your flight tickets and hotel bookings.

Pay the deposit before June 1 to qualify for the early-bird price. Please pay the balance before June 11.

Travel map for the trip

Travel map for the trip. Click to see a larger version »

Full itinerary

  1. Day 1
    07:30 – Meet up at Beijing Capital Airport
    08:40 – Flight to Urumqi
    12:40 – Arrive in Urumqi
    15:30 – Onward flight from Urumqi to Korla
    16:15 – Arrive in Korla
    16:30 – Drive to Kuqa
    19:30 – Arrive at hotel in Kuqa, out for dinner
    20:30 – Return to the hotel for free time, rest
    (Flight times and flight numbers to be confirmed 25 days in advance.)

  2. Day 2
    09:00 – Breakfast at hotel
    09:30 – Head out to visit the Grand Mosque, King's House, old town
    12:30 – Lunch at restaurant
    14:00 – 30-minute drive in jeeps to the ancient city of Subashi, walk around the ancient city
    15:00 – Travel to the Dakziliya Grand Canyon for hiking and exploration (1 hour drive)
    18:30 – Sunset at the camp before
    19:30 – Dinner
    20:30 – Campfire under the stars
    22:00 – Rest

  3. Day 3
    09:00 – Breakfast
    09:30 – Drive through the mountains to Bayinbuluke Grasslands, stopping at scenic areas
    13:30 – Lunch
    14:30 – Short hike in the mountains
    17:30 – Arrive by a river in the Bayinbuluke grasslands
    18:30 – Hike in the grasslands
    19:30 – Sunset view of river and grasslands
    21:30 – Dinner with Kazakh nomads, camp overnight
    22:00 – Bonfire and bedtime

  4. Day 4
    06:00 – Sunrise
    09:00 – Breakfast
    09:30 – Departure for Kunas Forest scenic area
    11:00 – Kunas Forest scenic hike
    13:30 – Lunch
    14:30 – More hiking
    16:30 – Drive to Nalati
    17:30 – Arrive at the hotel in Nalati
    18:00 – Nalati city stroll
    19:30 – Dinner
    20:30 – Back to the hotel after dinner

  5. Day 5
    09:00 – Breakfast
    09:30 – Drive to Dushanzi, stopping on the way for a hike
    14:00 – Lunch
    15:00 – Drive on, stopping on the way for a hike in a volcanic area
    19:30 – Arrive at the hotel in Dushanzi
    20:00 – Dinner
    21:00 – Rest

  6. Day 6
    09:00 – Breakfast
    09:30 – Drive to Urumqi, stopping for a hike near Shihezi
    13:30 – Lunch in Shihezi
    17:00 – Arrive at Urumqi airport
    19:00 – Flight departs for Beijing
    22:45 – Touch down in Beijing
    All times are approximate, and depend on our speed of movement.

More information

Contact us at any time for more information. Payment terms, conditions, and details will be supplied along with a waiver document and travel guidelines after your registration request has been received.

We usually need to get 8–10 people signed up to go ahead with this trip. Beijing Hikers reserves the right to decide who may participate in this trip.

Key trip information

Costs and Registration

Prices based on Beijing departure. Joining from elsewhere? Let us know, and we'll work it out for you.
Cost 16,850 RMB (early)
17,520 RMB (standard)
Members 16,000 RMB (early)
16,380 RMB (standard)

Dates: June 20–25, 2017

* Price deadlines: Make payment before the stated dates to qualify for the prices listed.
June 1Last day for early price*
June 11Last day for standard price

There are risks involved in hiking and travel. Please read our Risk Acknowledgment and Waiver and inform yourself before participating.

Ready to explore? Book your place

All trips around China

If you're interested in a trip that's not currently open for bookings, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and we'll let you know when we've got the itinerary confirmed.

Explore China calendar

See the Explore China schedule in our calendar

Huts below the Gangshika Snow Mountain
Trip dates: May 26–30, 2017

Qinghai Lake, Kumbum Monastery, and the Gangshika Snow Mountain, Qinghai Province

In Brief: Take a hike near the shores of Qinghai Lake; join the pilgrims visiting Kumbum Monastery; camp out at high altitude on Gangshika Mountain and hike up to a glacier.

Book trip
More info »
Clouds over the green rolling hills of the Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province
Trip dates: June 16–18, 2017

Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province

In Brief: Clean and cool grasslands near the border of Hebei and Inner Mongolia: hikes, BBQ lamb, and more.

Book trip
More info »
Mountains and rivers in Xinjiang
Trip dates: June 20–25, 2017

Bayinbuluke Grasslands, Xinjiang Province (6 days)

In Brief: Camp out overnight in the beautiful high-altitude scenery of the Bayinbuluke Grasslands in northwestern Xinjiang; see Silk Road sights, big mountains, and desert while on the road to and from the grasslands.

Book trip
More info »
Hiking the ridgelines at the Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province
Trip dates: July 14–16, 2017

Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province

In Brief: Clean and cool grasslands near the border of Hebei and Inner Mongolia: hikes, BBQ lamb, and more.

Book trip
More info »
The exterior of the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang
Trip dates: July 20–23, 2017

Dunhuang and Mogao Grottoes, Gansu Province

In Brief: Explore the Silk Road sights around Dunhuang, including the amazing Mogao Grottoes and Crescent Lake.

Book trip
More info »
The green rolling hills of the Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province
Trip dates: August 11–13, 2017

Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province

In Brief: Clean and cool grasslands near the border of Hebei and Inner Mongolia: hikes, BBQ lamb, and more.

Book trip
More info »
A desert lake, seen from the peak of a tall dune in the Badain Jaran Desert, Inner Mongolia
Trip dates: August 16–20, 2017

Badain Jaran Desert and Zhangye Danxia Landform (5 days)

In Brief: Two days in the Badain Jaran desert with an overnight camp, peaking with an ascent of one of the world’s tallest dunes; three days looking about nearby scenic and historical highlights including the Zhangye Danxia Landform.

Book trip
More info »
Mountains of Zhagana, Gansu Province
Trip dates: September 13–17, 2017

Xiahe, Labrang Monastery, Zhagana Tibetan area, Gansu Province

In Brief: See the Labrang Monastery, Tibetan Buddhist temples, and super high mountain scenery on this trip to the largely Tibetan remote area of Gansu Province. A similar feel to Tibet, without the hassle of getting the official permit.

Book trip
More info »
Baicheng Landform
Trip dates: October 1–7, 2017

Silk Road: Korla to Kashgar (7 days)

In Brief: Spend seven days on the Silk Road, heading west to Kashgar and travelling by jeep instead of camel through the vast empty areas of Xinjiang Province.

Book trip
More info »
Dunes in the Alashan Desert
Trip dates: October 2–5, 2017

Alashan Desert Lakes and Temple, Inner Mongolia

In Brief: Travel by foot, camel, and jeep through the Alashan Desert to reach a beautiful Buddhist temple deep in the dunes. Includes a night camping in the desert, plus a visit to the Western Xia Imperial Tombs.

Book trip
More info »
The coloured hills of the Zhangye Danxia Landform
Trip dates: October 8–12, 2017

Zhangye Danxia Landform, Gansu Province

In Brief: See the fantastically-coloured mountains and cliffs in an all-but unexplored area of Gansu; visit Horse Hoofprint Temple, Jiayuguan Fortress, and more.

Book trip
More info »
A mossy tree trunk, Five Flowers Lake, Jiuzhaigou National Park
Trip dates: October 18–22, 2017

Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong, Sichuan Province

In Brief: Visit the deservedly famous Jiuzhaigou National Park and then head on to nearby Huanglong, an equally scenic but less well-known area of still ponds and coloured rocks.

Book trip
More info »
A cluster of three tulou buildings, deep in the hills of Fujian
Trip dates: November 9–12, 2017

Hakka Tulou Clusters and Xiamen, Fujian Province

In Brief: Head deep into the mountains of Fujian to see the tulou buildings of the Hakka, visiting those both well-known and obscure, and staying overnight in a tulou building in one of the smaller, less-visited clusters. Trip includes sights around Xiamen, including Gulangyu Island.

Book trip
More info »
Bridges and pagodas in Lijiang’s Black Dragon Pool park
Trip dates: November 22–26, 2017

Lijiang and Shangri-La, Yunnan Province

In Brief: See the highlights of Lijiang and Shangri-La: cobbled streets and watercourses of ancient towns, Naxi and Tibetan culture, plus amazing views of snow-capped mountains. Cultural focus, nothing too strenuous.

Book trip
More info »