The Meri Snow Mountains (Meili Snow Mountains) are a sacred mountain range in the northwestern part of Yunnan and China’s far western extreme near Tibet.
The land of the colossal, jagged snowy peaks is a holy land of pilgrimage for Tibetan Buddhists. And the 13 mountains of the Meri range are a sight of breathtaking beauty that is profoundly moving to everyone of any religion.
The main peak, Kawagebo, 6,740 meters (22,000 feet) above sea level, is the highest peak in Yunnan Province. No one has ever climbed to the top.
Many people are drawn to witness the sunrise as it hits the mountain range in the morning and lights up the snowy peaks in gold sunlight, starting with Kawagebo and then spreading to the other peaks.
Below Kawagebo there are glaciers at an altitude of 2,700 meters (8,900 feet). The longest and largest one is Mingyong Glacier, which is 11.7 kilometers (7.3 miles) long, with an average width of 500 meters (0.3 miles). It is also the glacier with the lowest-altitude in all of China, at around 2,200 meters (7,200 feet) high.
The Meri region is a paradise for hikers. One favorite route for trekkers is from Feilai Temple to Yubeng Village, a remote village in the east of the Meri Snow Mountains.
Feilai Temple is a Tibetan temple about 5 km (3 miles) southwest of Deqin County. It’s the first stop for visitors to the Meri Snow Mountains.
Many other favored hiking routes converge in Yubeng Village. Some of the most popular destinations for trekkers are Ice Lake and Holy Waterfall.
Ten kilometers northeast of Deqing County, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China
The best places to view the mountains are the Wunongding Viewing Deck on the National Highway 214 between Shangri-La and Deqin County, and the Feilai Temple Viewing Platform, which is the favorite spot for shooting photos of the entire range of 13 peaks.
The best time to visit the Meri Snow Mountains is in October and November. December to March can be good as well, if you don’t mind colder temperatures, averaging around the freezing point.
At other times of the year clouds often obscure the view of the mountains at sunrise.
From October through March, in the fall and winters seasons, the weather is usually dry and skies are clear. The rainy season peaks in July and August.
You can take a bus or rent a car from Shangri-La to travel to the Meri Snow Mountains.