Test hike! We looked at a few hiking options during the week and found a valley that offers a good hike as well as a chance to explore some interesting ruins, walking a mix of paved tracks and rocky paths, passing abandoned houses and flowering apricot orchards on the way.
From the start point of the hike the valley doesn’t look super interesting. And maybe that’s why it was a good spot to hide a temple and monastery way back in the day.
The temple and monastery date back to the 1300s. They were in use through to the Qing Dynasty, and were pulled down for building materials during the Cultural Revolution. Large gates and arches remain, as well as large carved blocks that were too heavy to haul away.
We’ll hike up into the valley and explore the side trail that leads up to the ruins and piles of carved blocks that are all that's left of ‘High Bridge’ monastery.
Our next destination on the hike is the saddle at the top of the valley. From the monastery ruins we’ll walk back down to the main trail and then continue our hike up the valley.
At the top of the valley there’s a loop trail to that passes some more ruins, and then we’ll hike back down and out to finish.