Road trip guide: Conquering the Kuqiong Gangri Glacier

Kuqiong Gangri (Kuoqionggangri) Glacier is the name of a glacier located in Damxung, a county of Lhasa City in the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. A new gravel road to the glacier tops out at 5.606m (18,392ft) above the sea level.

Kuqiong Gangri Glacier

The unrestrained road to the glacier is totally unpaved. It was opened for tourists visiting the glacier in April 2021. It’s one of the highest roads of the country. A 4x4 vehicle is required. This road is usually impassable from late October through late June or early July (depending on snow). The open and close dates all depend on snowmelt and snowfall each year. Facilities like electricity, medical aid, hot running water, western toilets etc. are rare to find. It is one of the world's three largest land glaciers. The ecological environment on both sides of the road has not been damaged, and if you are lucky, you can see a lot of wild animals.

The road is simply terrible: it’s very curvy with 17 hairpin turns. It is not recommended if your passengers are prone to car sickness. The road is icy all year long, so pay attention to safety. It is pretty steep, hitting an 11% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Starting at S304 road, the ascent is 11km (6.83 miles) long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 680 meters. The average gradient is 6.18%.
Road suggested by: Hugh Wilson
Pic&video: 用青春去旅行 官方频道