Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Located about 10 miles from Lijiang City, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is noted as the southernmost snow mountain in Northern Hemisphere. It is composed of 13 peaks, stretching about 35 kilometers from north to south and 15 kilometers from west to east. The summit, Shanzidou, is 5596 meters above sea level. Viewed from Lijiang Old Town, the snow-capped range resembles a silver dragon with snow curling up its middle, hence got its name ‘Jade Dragon Snow Mountain’. The far side of the mountain forms one side of Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiao Xia). The Jade Water Village is at the foot of the mountain.
Because of vertical distribution of climate, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is blessed with various natural landscapes of subtropical, temperate zone and cold zone, such as meadows, glaciers, canyons, waterfalls, blossoms, etc. About half of China's plant species originated in Yunnan province, and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is home to about half of these, including trees, flowers, and medicinal herbs and plants.
For Naxi people, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is a holy mountain which is believed to be the embodiment of Sanduo, the god of Naxi ethnic group.
Major sights to see in Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
A visit to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain should cover the main attractions: Glacier Park, Ganhaizi Meadow, Yak Meadow, White River (Blue Moon Valley), and Spruce Meadow. They can be reached by three cableways. Alternatively, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain provides many hiking trails on the southern, eastern and western sides. Tourists can walk or rent a horse to enjoy the exciting hiking.
Located on the Shanzidou Peak, Glacier Park has 19 oceanic glaciers, including hanging glaciers and cirque glaciers. Among them, the most famous one is White Water Number.1, which looks like a hanging waterfall pouring down from the heaven. The iceberg forest on the glacier tongue looks like knifes piercing into the sky. The Glacier Park can be reached by a cable car, which is China’s highest tourist cableway with an entire length of 2,914m, a top altitude of 4,506 km, and a perpendicular ascent of 1,150m.
---Ganhaizi (Dry Sea) Meadow
Located on the foot of the east hillside of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Dry Sea is a highland plateau at an altitude of 3,100m. 5 kilometers in length and 2 kilometers in width, it covers an area of about 10,000 square meters with mountains surrounding its three sides. It is the closest and also the best outlook venue to get a full view of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
Spruce Meadow is about 3240 meters above sea leave on the eastern hillside of Yulong Snow Mountain. A legend says that it is the gateway to ''Yulong Third Country'', which is believed to be a Utopia. So the Spruce Meadow is the holy land for Naxi people. It is also the venue of the musical show, Impression Lijiang directed by the famous director Zhang Yimou.
Yak Meadow was affectionately named for the many yaks that come to the lush stretch of land to graze. In spring and summer, colorful flowers dot the expansive landscape while black and white yak wander peacefully throughout the pasture. In autumn and winter, the meadow maintains vitality while the surrounding mountainous are covered with snow; this sharp contrast landscape is marvelous and astonishing.
---White Water River
The river is famous for its bright water originating from Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, filtered by the stones and cliffs and looking white when flowing through the white marble and lime stones on the riverbed.
Location: 20 kilometers north from Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China.
Opening time: 09:30-16:00
---Admission fee: CNY105
---Cableway (round-trip) to Glacier Park: CNY170; cableway to Spruce Meadow; CNY75; cableway to Yak Meadow: CNY80.
How to get there: Take city bus No.7 from the Red Sun Square of Lijiang City to Yulong (Jade Dragon) Snow Mountain at a cost of CNY15.
Best time to visit: Autumn and winter.
Tips: In winter, the downtown area of Lijiang is warm, but the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is much colder; it is suggested to bring or hire a down coat.