Please read the explanation of hiking times, distances, altitudes and rating levels here.
A day hike to Haba Muru Sanctuary (哈巴雪山庇护所) lies beyond the reach of most trekkers, because of the distance and the elevation gain. However, a day hike to Miner’s Pass (矿工垭口) offers a glimpse. Access to the trailhead is by way of a rough mining road. Hiring a car and driver/guide is recommended.
The route coincides with a portion of the Haba-Bendiwan Route (哈巴-本地湾路线). In fact, the view of Haba’s rugged East Face is nearly as fine as that from the Haba-Bendiwan high point.
Hiking time is 4½ hours, excluding breaks, plus one hour for the drive to and from the trailhead. Be sure to carry water from town. Mine tailings contaminate streams in the area.
Mining Road Access
A mining road in Bendiwan Village (本地湾村) begins two kilometers southwest of Halfway Guest House (中途客栈). Look for a sign indicating On the Clouds Manor Guest House (云上庄园客栈). Miner’s Pass is not visible from the village, but you can pick it out from where the mining road starts or in that general vicinity. Look for a tell-tale sign, the white water-pipe that stretches over the pass.
The mining road begins as 10 kilometers of narrow, twisty pavement, followed by 5 kilometers of rough and stony track. The drive takes 30 minutes and is not suitable for low-clearance passenger cars. The trail begins near a cluster of mining buildings at ca. 3,000 meters elevation.
Arranging a lift up the road will greatly reduce hiking time and elevation gain. You can hire a car and driver/guide at Halfway Guest House.
The trail crosses a stream, ascends through forest, and passes through a portion of the abandoned mining area. The entire tungsten mine (钨矿) was reportedly shut down for good in 2019 after fifty years in operation. Streams in the area bear milky white coloration from mine tailings. Not suitable for drinking.
Above the mining area, the path makes a gradual traverse to Yak Meadow, elevation about 3,600 meters, named for the hairy bovines that graze nearby. From the meadow there is a clear view of the final steep ascent to the pass.
Beyond Miner’s Pass, the trail descends to a second mining district followed by the ascent to Pass 3770. From there the trail descends into Haba Muru Sanctuary, a bowl-shaped basin surrounded on three sides by high peaks. It is the most inaccessible valley of the Haba massif. The rugged Haba-Bendiwan Route tracks through the Sanctuary and continues on to Haba Village.
|Region: Tiger Leaping Gorge|
|Itinerary: Mining Area—Yak Meadow—Miner’s Pass|
|Duration: 4½ hours round-trip|
|Distance: 8 km round-trip|
|Altitude in Meters: Start 3,000. Max 3,870. Destination 3,870|
|Elevation Gain: 870 meters|