Don’t just tour China’s mysterious Xinjiang region – experience it! Join us as we cycle the Karakoram Highway and explore the many cultures along the way.
• Hike to the base camp of Mt. Muztaghata
1. June 28 – July 6 — 2. July 22 – July 30 — 3. August 12 – August 20
Day 1: Assemble in Kashgar
Arrival in Kashgar, an ancient Silk Road stop on the western edge of China’s Xinjiang region. You will be met by our team and transported to our hotel in the city center.
Day 2: Travel to Tashkorgan
At 9:00am Beijing time we will pack our bikes on a truck and board the bus that will drive us south out of Kashgar, up through the mountains into the small town of Tashkurgan. Once we arrive, we will check into our hotel and have a relatively relaxing evening to allow our bodies to acclimatize to Tashkurgan’s 10,500 ft. elevation.
Day 3: Cycle the Tagharma Wetland – 70km
After a quick breakfast at our hotel, we begin our first day of cycling, doing a round-trip outing around the Tagharma highland wetland just north of Tashkurgan. Cycling difficulty is low and non-technical as our route is mostly flat and on paved roads.
We will stop and enjoy a packed-lunch along our route and return to Tashkurgan in the early afternoon for dinner and time to explore the town.
Day 4: Cycle around the Tashkurgan Wetland – 50km
After breakfast, we will enjoy a 50km half-day cycle trip around the picturesque grassland adjacent to the town of Tashkurgan. After completing the cycle trip for the day, we will walk down to the grassland where we will relax in one of the many nomadic dwellings known as “yurts”. It is here that we will be hosted by a local Tajik family and served a traditional Tajik meal. The afternoon and evening time will be spent experiencing one of many possible facets of Tajik culture including a possible wedding celebration or a traditional sport on horseback.
Day 5: Cycle to Subash – 85km
We leave Tashkurgan early and begin our journey north toward Kashgar, cycling 85km to Subash Village. This will be our most strenuous day of cycling, as the 35km before we reach the pass are all uphill. The reward, however, is one of the most visually spectacular stretches of highway and a rapid descent of switchbacks at high speeds.
We will eat a packed lunch en-route and by late afternoon we should arrive at our destination – a small, Kyrgyz villate at the base of Muztaghata mountain – where we will spend the night sleeping in yurts.
Day 6: Muztaghata Base Camp Trek
Hanging up the cycling shoes for the day, we strap on our hiking boots and start on the 23km round-trip trek to the base camp of Mt. Muztaghata (14,600 ft). Throughout the entire hike, we will have an up-close view of some of Muztaghata’s many spectacular glaciers.
A hearty lunch is provided by the base camp cook before we trek back down the mountain, taking time to visit the head of one of the glaciers. The night will be spent in our yurts within the Kyrgyz village.
Day 7: Rest Day at Karakul Lake – 15km
After breakfast, we get back on the bikes for a short cycle to Lake Karakul. This scenic glacial lake, covering a little less than 5 square km, is nestled between the towering Muztaghata and Kongur peaks. Here we can choose to explore the lake on foot or on the back of a horse. We will set up tents close to the water where views of the mountains and the clear, starry night are breathtaking.
Day 8: Descent to Oytagh – 100km
We will continue to cycle toward Kashgar during this 100km downhill stretch. Aside from Mt. Kongur, we will also be passing by White Sands Lake and the colorful Ghez River Canyon. Once we reach Oytagh, our final destination for the day, we will setup camp and eat a hot meal cooked at our campsite.
Day 9: Cycle to Kashgar – 105km
Early in the morning, we eat breakfast and break camp. Once we cycle out of the Ghez canyon and into the wide-open Tarim Basin, we’ll be stopping for a hearty Uyghur lunch at the oasis village of Upal. Our final leg of the journey is on flat, paved roads which lead to Kashgar where we will end our trip with a victory photo shoot at the historic Id-Kah Mosque. Dinner will be at a restaurant and we will relax with a well-deserved swim at our hotel in town.
Price per person:
6 pax – $1997
Singe supplement – $140
Ask about discounts for larger groups
- Giant or Merida-brand mountain bikes that are top quality and well-maintained
- Hotel accommodation in both Tashkorgan and Kashgar (3-4 star hotels)
- Two nights in a traditional yurt at Subash
- Tent stay at Karakul and Oytagh (inc. sleeping bags, mats, tents and all cooking utensils)
- Transportation via air conditioned bus from Kashgar to Tashkurgan
- A support vehicle that will trail us at all times with medical supplies, water and food
- Guides who speak English, Mandarin and Uyghur, the local dialect
- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners throughout the tour
- All international and domestic flights
- Medical insurance (compulsory)
- Additional travel in and around Xinjiang