Mysterious Mugecuo Lake

Mysterious Mugecuo Lake

Mysterious Mugecuo Lake

Mysterious Mugecuo Lake is located around 25 kilometres to the north of Kanding, in China’s Sichuan Province. At a height of 3700 metres above sea level it is actually one of the highest lakes in this part of Sichuan. Mugecuo is a really a series of small lakes, that has become collectively known as Mugecuo.

Mysterious Mugecuo Lake

The road up to the lake is beautiful, especially the final part that follows a gushing river. One spot on the way up marks the scenic place that inspired the writing of the famous Kangding Love Song.

Gnarled Trees Mugecuo Lake

Mysterious Mugecuo Lake: Enshrouded in Mist

Once you enter the lake area you find yourself in a mystic and magical landscape that is more often than not, enshrouded in a deep impenetrable mist. The lakes are encircled by pine forests, huge cedars and ancient gnarled trees, with ´hairy´ threads of vegetation hanging off them. Furthermore, there are forests of rhododendron trees  everywhere.

Hanging vegetation Mugecuo Lake

The day we visited a swirling mist had surged up from the lake causing the water to take on a deep dark green menacing look.  Occasionally the mist would break, and for a few seconds the lake became a placid and friendly blue green.

As you hike around the lake, you’ll bump in to nomads on horse back. Some of these nomads set up temporary settlements near the lakes with some refreshments tents during in the high season.

Nomads Mugecuo Lake
Nomads Mugecuo Lake

Coming and Going:

There is no public transport; you can hire a taxi from Kanding for about 200 Yuan. Make sure you are prepared for abrupt changes in temperature and weather; it can snow here even in summer.

Hairy Trees

Our driver was a rather drunk- jolly fellow and nearly killed us all when returning to Kangding. We forgave him a as nothing happened.

Beautiful Mugecuo Lake

These days Mugecuo lake is more touristy than when we visited. However, most day tippers stick to the entrance area. There are plenty of hiking opportunities and if you take your own equippment and just keep going , you’ll end up on the Taggong Grasslands. Be aware, the mist and the thick forest make getting lost a real possibilitity!

Magic Mugecuo lake

Author: Adam

My name is Adam. I have a degree in Chinese History from SOAS and a masters in International Politics focused on China from the same university. I have travelled around China 9 times and since 2000 I have travelled every year for two months. I guess I kind of like the place!

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