Amne Machin

Amne Machin | A’nyemaqen Shan | Amnye Maqen | Anyi Machen | Anyê Maqên | Dradullungshog

A mountain stream with the fresh clear water flowing down a glacier on the foot a mountain. Part of a trek around a holy Tibetan mountain Amne Machin | Valeriia Zherlitsyna

Amne Machin, also known as “Grandfather Pomra,” is an awe-inspiring peak located in Qinghai Province, China. It is one of the most sacred mountains in Tibetan Buddhism and has been an important pilgrimage site for centuries. Amne Machin is not only a symbol of spiritual significance but also a testament to the geographical grandeur and biodiversity of China.

Situated in the eastern part of Qinghai, Amne Machin is part of the Kunlun Mountain range which forms the watershed between the Yellow River and the Yangtze. The peak stands majestically at an elevation of 6,282 meters and is often covered with snow, creating a breathtaking panorama against the clear blue sky. It is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, contributing significantly to the ecological system of China.

Qinghai is known for its vast high-altitude landscapes, and Amne Machin is no exception. It offers an incredible trekking experience, attracting adventure enthusiasts from around the globe. Despite its challenging terrain, it’s the cultural and spiritual significance that beckons pilgrims who consider a circumambulation of the mountain to be a holy journey.

Camping in peaceful surroundings among mysterious abandoned Buddhist temples in a Tibetan village of Xueshan, Eastern Tibet, China. Part of a trek around a holy mountain of Amne Machin. | Valeriia Zherlitsyna

Interestingly, for many years, Amne Machin was thought to be one of the highest mountains in the world. However, later surveys revealed that it is not as high as Everest or K2, but it still holds great significance due to its geographical location and cultural importance.

Amne Machin is a remarkable natural monument in Qinghai, China. It serves as a symbol of spiritual reverence, adventure, biodiversity, and geological wonder. Its grandeur is a testament to the striking landscapes that China has to offer and remains an important part of the nation’s cultural and natural heritage.

A beautiful wide road in the mountains in high elevation in Eastern Tibet, Qinghai province, Amdo.| Valeriia Zherlitsyna

Fast Facts

Country: China

State/Province: Qinghai

Mountain Range: Amne Machin, Kunlun

Parents: Kunlun Mountains

Elevation: 20,610 feet / 6,282 meters

Prominence: 6,430 feet / 1,960 meters

Isolation: 343 mi / 552 km

Nearest Higher Neighbor (NHN): Bu’gyai Kangri

First Ascent: On May 1981 by a Japanese expedition.

Fun Fact: The main peak of Amne Machin, Machen Kangri, has three ridges that rise 6,100 meters above sea level.

Plant Life:  Grasslands and flowers are abundant on the slopes of Amne Machin.

Animal Life: Deer and sheep thrive on the grassland and lakes of the area.

Bird Life: The Amne Machin area has diverse bird species including swans, brown headed gulls, spotted geese, red ducks, and brown backed ducks.

Flora and Fauna

Amne Machin is a treasure trove of biodiversity. This region is home to a myriad of flora and fauna species, each unique in its own way, contributing to the ecological balance of the area. The diverse altitudinal and climatic conditions of Amne Machin result in an array of habitats that nurture a variety of life forms.

The flora of Amne Machin is predominantly characterized by alpine vegetation due to its high altitude. The lower slopes are covered with lush grasslands and shrublands, providing grazing grounds for domesticated yaks and sheep. As one ascends higher, the vegetation changes to coniferous forests and ultimately to alpine meadows speckled with hardy shrubs and perennial herbs. The area is particularly renowned for its medicinal plants like Rhodiola, a plant genus used extensively in traditional Chinese medicine.

Dramatic landscape of the grasslands with the cloud covered snowy peaks in the background. | Valeriia Zherlitsyna

As for fauna, Amne Machin is endowed with a rich mix of wildlife species. The region provides a haven for a variety of bird species, making it a paradise for bird watchers. The dense forests are home to numerous mammals including the Tibetan antelope, wild yak, and snow leopard. The rivers teeming with fish also attract a variety of predators such as bears and wolves. Furthermore, the region is identified as an important biodiversity hotspot due to the presence of several endangered species.

Amne Machin’s rich biodiversity is reflective of China’s commitment towards conservation and sustainable development. The flora and fauna of this region are not only integral to maintaining ecological balance but also have immense scientific and cultural value. However, the delicate balance of this ecosystem faces threats from climate change and human activities. Therefore, it is crucial to continue conservation efforts to protect the unique flora and fauna of Amne Machin in Qinghai, China.


Amne Machin, the sacred mountain range in the Qinghai province of China, boasts some of the most intriguing and visually stunning trails. The trails near Amne Machin offer a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage and adventurous exploration, making them a popular choice for both seasoned hikers and curious tourists. It is not just the towering peaks that amaze visitors, but also the rich biodiversity, diverse landscapes, and glimpses into the Tibetan culture that make these trails truly special.

One of the most well-known trails is the Amne Machin Summit Trail which offers a challenging yet rewarding experience. This trail takes you to the highest peak of Amne Machin range, providing breathtaking views of the entire region. The trail is steep and rugged, demanding a certain level of fitness and experience from hikers. However, the panoramic vista at the summit makes the strenuous journey worthwhile.

Another popular trail is the Amne Machin Loop Trail. This trail is relatively easier and circumnavigates the lower slopes of the mountain range. It passes through several traditional Tibetan villages, providing a unique cultural immersion along with scenic beauty. The trail also traverses lush meadows, dense forests and sparkling streams that are characteristic of Qinghai’s diverse landscapes.

Blue sky with white puffy clouds reflecting in a small lake near the Amne Machin mountain in Amdo, Eastern Tibet, China. | Valeriia Zherlitsyna

The Amne Machin Glacier Trail is another captivating option for hikers. As the name suggests, this trail leads you to one of the numerous glaciers in this mountain range. The icy landscape is a stark contrast to the greenery of Qinghai and provides an ethereal hiking experience.

Whether you are a thrill-seeker looking for a challenging hike or a nature lover seeking serenity, trails near Amne Machin in Qinghai, China offer something for everyone. These trails not only offer an engaging outdoor activity but also provide an opportunity to appreciate the beautiful landscapes and rich cultural heritage of this region.


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