Road trip guide: Conquering the Mengkete Ancient Road

Mengkete Ancient Road is the name of a thousand-year old road located in the Xinjiang Province of China, on the boundary of Nilka County and Usu City district, in Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture.

Mengkete Ancient Road

Set high in the easternmost section of the Borokonu Mountain in Zhongtian Mountain Range, the road is mostly unpaved. A 4x4 vehicle is required to complete the drive. Running upstream along the Kuitun River, the drive offers stunning views of forests, hot springs, grasslands and glaciers. The views are unbelievable and the scenery is exceptionally magnificent.

Tucked away in the Tangbula National Forest Park, the road has been in use more than 1.000 years. It climbs up to Menketing Daban (also known as Menketing Daban), a mountain pass at 3.528m (11,574ft) above the sea level. In Mongolian, Mengkete means "the snow peak that never melts”. It’s usually snow covered all year round and the road is impassable from October to June. There are often rare wild animals such as snow leopards near the pass.

The road, also known as Menket Ancient Road, is 70km (43.49 miles) long starting at the paved S315 to the east of Zhongfengfanzhichang.
Road suggested by: Hugh Wilson
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