The 13 peaks of 18,360-foot Jade Dragon (Yu Long) Snow Mountain, a treasure of wild plants and rare animals, are like a silver dragon lying in the clouds. Awesome and unconquered, they dominate the Lijiang Plain. Some have described Jade Dragon Snow Mountain as a radiant cornet crowning Lijiang‘s head.
Scientists say she arose from an ancient geosyncline 230 million years ago in an age when dinosaurs began to increase and formed her present shape sometime during the last 600,000 years, even as late as 12,000 years ago. Storms frequently rage around the glaciers and silver-gray rocks and eternal snowfields of her five primary peaks.
She is a sanctuary to animals that know not the scent of man and a flower kingdom that was old when the Gardens of Babylon were new. In the alpine meadows of her lower slopes, lonely herders sing to their goats and set the wild echoes flying with the music of their reed pipes.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is located in Yulong Naxi autonomous county of Lijiang city, Yunnan province, is the most south of snow mountain in China, is also the famous mountain of Shaluli Mountain south Range of Hengduan Mountains, and it is the biggest snow mountain in the southernmost of the northern hemisphere. From north to south it is 35 kilometers long, 13 kilometers wide from east to west, covers an area of 525 square kilometers, the mountain snow scenery area located in 4000 meters above sea level, which is famous for precipitous, special and beautiful. The temperature difference is big between the foothill and the mountain, and the ground cover is also different just like a different world from without any vitality to full of vigor.
What to see
【Animals and Plants】
She is a botanist’s paradise, a “kingdom of medicinal materials.” Of the 1 3,000 kinds of plants in Yunnan, more than half of them can be found on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain as well as 400 types of trees in 20 primevial forest communities. On her slopes grow such trees as fir, dragon spruce, Chinese hemlock, Chinese larch, and fragrant camphor.
She has more than 50 species of azalea, 60 kinds of primroses, eight species of poppies and 20 lilies, four species of peonies, five camellia, 50 species of rough gentian, and six kinds of flowering crabapple. From April to June the azaleas turn the mountain into a riot of brilliant color. And in autumn blue rough gentian flowers cover her marshlands. She is decorated with blooming flowers 10 months of the year.
She is home to a rare tea – Wild Snow Tea -which the Naxi insist is good for high blood pressure. It ripens in the winter time and Naxi men, women and children flock to the mountain in November, December and January to pick it. When dried, it resembles tiny strips of dried apples whitened by the sun.
The mountain is also a sanctuary for animals, many of them rare animals that live at different temperature levels. She is home to 30 kinds of animals protected by the state, such as the wild ass, the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey, the lesser panda, the forest musk deer, the clouded leopard, the blood pheasant, the silver pheasant, and the spotted, yellowish civet cat.
Ganhaizi is an open meadow in the east side of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, it is about 4 km long, 1.5 kilometers wide, 3100 meters above sea level. From Ganhaizi meadow to the 4500 m snow line, you can see all kinds of trees and flowers, orchids, wild peony, snow lotus and so on.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is one of Yunnan’s protected nature reserves, and a certain fee is charged to those for making scientific investigations, collecting animal and plant specimens, taking photos and shooting films.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is yet to be conquered by a human, albeit mountaineering teams from the United States, Japan, China, and other countries have tried.
She is an awesome mountain, a whimsical mountain. She even has green glittering snow. You can see it from Yunshanping (Dragon Spruce Meadow )if you look westward. The only explanation that has emerged is that it may be caused by crystals or algae. And she has a glacier at the lowest altitude in China that is 7.5 miles wide and 21.7 miles long.
She has attracted the attention of many scholars and travelers. Early in 1837, the French writer Bacier introduced Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in his acclaimed book entitled “Universe “. And seven years ago the chairman of the international Mountainous Region led a team to the mountain for field work.
In Lijiang City you can have a magnificent view of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, with the main peak thrust into the clouds, the Old Man Peak standing out on the right and Black Snow Peak on its left.
【White Water River (Blue Moon Valley)】
From Ganhaizi to Yushanping, there is a deep valley, the valley has dense trees, clear long stream, and this long ever-flowing river under the valley is called White Water River. Because of riverbed, tableland is made of white marble, carboniferous fragments of stone, and it looks grey white; the river flows from the stone and shows white, because of the color it is named “white water river”. The water of White Water River comes from four or five kilometers high ice snow melt water, cool and clear with no pollution, is a natural cold drinks. The color of White Water River will change because of the weather, in sunny days the water is milky white river, whenever the rainy days the water will change into sky blue again. And because the valley is crescent shape, it is also called the Blue Moon Valley.
Generally the tourists who pay visit to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain will choose to stay in Lijiang Old Town. There are many characteristics hotels, the guesthouses and inns to choose in Lijiang Old Town. Lijiang Old Town is that kind of place if one visit would stay for half a month, most visitors to Lijiang will choose to live in the inn. There are many traditional Naxi and Bai traditional inns. People can enjoy sun leisurely in the inn or chat with the shopkeeper for a day, or can also stay in the room of the shopkeeper to watch video for a day. People who want a more beautiful living environment can also choose to live in the Shuhe Ancient Town.
The typical traveling route is Lijiang—Glacier Park—Blue Moon Valley—Ganhaizi. And for cableway, people can choose Yunshaiping cable way or Maoniuping cable way. From White Water River, people can take Yunshanping cableway to the mountain, do not recommended visitors to go up the mountain by riding horse. Riding horse can not reach the snow line, neither reach Ganhaizi nor Blue Moon Valley. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain can ski all year around, people can take closed cable car to Four Season ski field 4506 above the sea level.
Tourists can choose to charter a minibus to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, can also take No.7 public bus in the Red Sun Square near the water wheel to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Visitors can take the bus of Cable Car Company to the mountain, and the bus departs every morning in Guluwan Hotel.
From Lijiang Old Town to Yunshanping can take bus No.7 to the cableway station, if rent a taxi (Xiali car) about 150 to 300 RMB. Self-help travelers can take midi bus next to the Red Sun Hotel at eight in the morning to Daju and get off at Yunshanping, or can take the bus to Daju or Long pan departs from Lijiang Transportation Company and get off at Yunshanping, the driving time is about 30 to 40 minutes. Tourists who have limited time can take car across the Yuquan Hotel, but should pay attention to have an appointment with the driver about the specific time to return, picking place and price.
• Transport in Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
There are three cable ways in Jade Dragon Snow Mountain: Glacier Park Large Cableway (this cableway is 3 km long which can reach to 4506 meters above sea level and upon the snow line), Yunshanping Cableway and Maoniuping Cableway.
Taking Large Cableway can reach the summit directly, and it needs to wait in line (it can be waiting for 4 to 5 hours during peak season) so people should be prepared to accept and be patient. The temperature in the snow mountain is low, people can rent a down jacket under the mountain. The altitude of snow mountain is high, people who has hypertension and heart disease should be cautious. In order to prevent oxygen deficit in the high mountain, people can rent a oxygen tank (there is oxygen tank for sale in Ganhaizi).
More information about transport in Jade Dragon Snow Mountain: 3 Cable Ways in Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Best Time to Visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
From November to March in the next year is the best time to visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain that people can see snow view. Spring and winter is the best season for seeing snow-covered landscape of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. During that time, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain has clear weather and dry air, the snow mountain gleams white, whether it is for visiting or shooting, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is the most charming at this time.
- 3 Cableways in Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
- Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Trip Tips