Please read the explanation of hiking times, distances, altitudes and rating levels here.
|Region: Alpine Lakes Region|
|Itinerary: Haba Village—Yi Village—Jianshan Waterfall—Base Camp|
|Duration: 5 hours 10 minutes one-way|
|Distance: 12 km one-way|
|Altitude in Meters: Start 2,650. Max 4,100. End 4,100|
|Elevation Gain: 1,450 meters|
|Rating: Moderate (to Yi Village). Advanced (to Base Camp)|
|Hiking Times: Haba Snow Mountain Inn to Yi Village via shortcut 1:20 hrs. Top of the village 1:35 hrs. End of the paved road 1:45 hrs. Seji River crossing 2:25 hrs. Jianshan Meadow and Waterfall 3:10 hrs. Viewpoint 3:55 hrs. Hut ruins 4:10 hrs. Base Camp 5:10 hrs.|
Yi Village (彝家村), the highest hamlet in the Haba Village (哈巴村) valley, sits at an elevation of 3,050 meters. Village residents belong to the Yi (彝族) ethnic minority. Here you will find women in full ethnic dress, including the clan’s distinctive head covering.
Image credit: Zoharby, Yi Woman in Traditional Dressing, CC BY-SA 3.0
The Yi Village Route extends beyond the village to Jianshan Meadow (尖山坪) and Jianshan Waterfall (尖山瀑布). Above the falls, the path ascends to the tree line and ends at Base Camp (大本营). Hiring a guide is recommended.
Reliable water sources may be found at Jianshan Meadow, hut ruins in the evergreen forest, and at Base Camp.
|Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes / 1 hour 45 minutes|
You can drive a car or walk to Yi Village. The drive takes 20 minutes. If you hire a lift through a guest house, expect to pay a premium, perhaps 100rmb, due to the time and risk involved in negotiating blind curves. There are two alternatives for the walk to the village. These are the same options available on the lower section of the Lanhua Meadow Route (兰花坪路线).
|Duration: 1 hour 35 minutes|
At the lower edge of Yi Village, take the paved road on the right. Pass through to the top of the village. Here, look southwest for the sharp outline of Jianshan Peak (尖山). The waterfall sits at the base of the mountain on the left, but is not visible from here.
NOTE: The description in the next two paragraphs may have been rendered obsolete by new road construction and fencing. A new path has been constructed leading to the crossing of the Seji River (色吉河).
From the top of the village, a road ascends west into the mountains for several kilometers. At the time of writing, the pavement extends roughly ½ kilometer above the village. At a point where the paved road turns abruptly left, a dirt road continues straight ahead. Ascend the dirt road for 100 meters, then turn left off the road onto a well-beaten track. This spot is about a 10-minute walk above the top of Yi Village.
Pass near a pond known locally by the Naxi name of Sheeba (石哈湖), where local residents trap frogs. Continue ascending through meadows and sparse forest, to the crossing of an upper branch of the Seji River. The river crossing is 40 minutes beyond the end of the paved road.
After a short ascent the path briefly plateaus, passes near corrals and buildings, then climbs up to a ridge. A short descent takes you to Jianshan Meadow, elevation 3,500 meters. Here there are huts and corrals. You’ll reach the meadow 45 minutes after crossing the Seji River. The Jianshan Route crosses the meadow, leading east down to Haba Village and west up to Black Lake.
If the waterfall is your destination for the day, descend the way you came, or complete a loop by walking down the Jianshan Route.
Note on the descent from Jianshan Meadow
To locate the path of the Yi Village Route, first walk to the north end of the meadow. Here a path enters the forest and ascends a low ridge. From the top of the ridge it is downhill all the way to Yi village and Haba Village.
|Duration: 2 hours|
From Jianshan Meadow, cross the stream below the falls and venture south into the woods, passing a couple of huts. The valley above leads to Base Camp. The path starts out on the right (west) side of the valley and passes through open, deciduous forest. It is a bit hard to follow at first but becomes well defined higher up.
45 minutes after leaving the meadow, reach a fine viewpoint with a distant view of the waterfall and the sharp peak of Jianshan. From this point on, the trail traverses evergreen forest. Cross a stream on a log bridge. 15 minutes above the viewpoint, pass by hut ruins deep within the evergreen forest. The stream runs nearby. The unusually large trees lend a primeval aura to these woods. Continue ascending for another hour through thick forest, finally reaching a meadow at the tree line. Just beyond you will find Base Camp.
Note on the descent from Base Camp
To find the start of the Yi Village Route, stand outside the main building where the caretaker lives. This building is the first encountered when ascending the Base Camp Route (大本营路线). Look northwest for the sharp peak of Jianshan. The trail starts at the edge of the meadow lower down, on a direct line with the peak. To reach that point, detour around a corral by following the fence line. The trail may be hard to track across the meadow but becomes well defined in the woods.