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Jiuzhaigou Travel Guide

Jiuzhaigou Overview

Jiuzhaigou County, original as Nanping County, is located in the western Sichuan. It is one the boundary between Sichuan Province and Gansu Province. Covering an area of 5,290 sq km, Jiuzhaigou County is administratively divided into 17 towns. And the world famous scenic sport Jiuzhai Valley lies in the southwest direction of Jiuzhaigou County, about 41km away from the county. The various geographical characters and various scenic types make Jiuzhai Valley as the unique site in the karst geography in the world.

Jiuzhaigou County is a part of the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province. Due to the Jiuzhai Valley scenic area which was open since 1984, visitors have flocked to the region year by year, and the prosperous tourist industry now accounts for a large proportion of local revenue.

Jiuzhaigou Facts
Jiuzhaigou Geography
Jiuzhaigou Climate & Weather
Jiuzhaigou Transportation
Best Time for Jiuzhaigou Travel
Best Places for Jiuzhaigou Travel

Chinese Name: 九寨沟
Location: Jiuzhaigou County, A Ba Tibeten and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
Dialing code: (+86) 0837
Zip Code: 623400
Area: Jiuzhaigou has an area of 64,297 hecture.
Main attractions in Jiuzhaogou: Jiuzhaigou Valley, Huanglong Scenic Spot, etc.

About Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture
The Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan is home to an abundance of natural beauty and cultural significance. 3 of China’s UNESCO World Heritage Natural Sites can be found in the Aba Prefecture.

The population of the Aba Prefecture is mainly formed by Tibetans, Han Chinese, Qiang ethnic, and Hui ethnic.

Jiuzhaigou County, original as Nanping County, is located in Zhangzha town, Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, the western Sichuan. It has more than 400 km distance of Chengdu. Geographical coordinates (E) east longitude 100˚30΄-104˚27΄, north latitude (N) 30˚35΄ - 34˚19΄. It is one of a big branch of Baishuijiang River source of Jialing River upstream which belongs to the Yangtze River water system, the basin area of 651.34 km.

The climate is subtropical to temperate monsoon with a mean annual temperature of 7.8 °C, with means of -3.7 °C in January and 16.8 °C in July. Total annual rainfall is 761 mm but in the cloud forest it is at least 1,000 mm. 80% of rainfall occurs between May and October.

Climate Data Table for Jiuzhaigou

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
average temperature
6.7 8.3 12.2 17.5 21.5 24 26 25.8 21.7 17.3 13.9 8.8
Rainfall (mm) 20.8 31.9 50. 90.0 129.4 181.0 369.6 433.6 206.6 98.3 56.5 20.9
Days of rainfall 13.3 16.1 18.6 17.8 19.1 19.3 20.1 18.8 20.8 20.4 16.3 12.6

Weather in Jiuzhaigou Valley:

The area has a subtropical to temperate monsoon climate. Valleys are warm and dry, the middle mountain slopes cold and damp. At Nuorilang waterfall and visitor center at 2,400m the mean temperature is 7.3C, the mean January temperature is -3.7C and the mean July temperature is 16.8C. Although the mean temperatures are not too high, on a warm summer’s day, ar such altitude it feels a lot hotter. Mid-summer days can oftern reach the low 30’s but at this altitude humidity is low. Similarly winter days can oftern drop below 0C and can feel considerably colder than the 3.7C mean provided. Having said that, during the many blue sky winter days, when it can rach as high as 15C in the sunshine, it feels a lot warmer, while in the shade you will stll feel cold and warm clothes are needed.

Tips on weather:

Pay attention to the sun burn: Jiuzhai Valley enjoys more that its fair share of blue sky days which is results in spectacular scenery. But especially at this altitude, you should take preventative measures against sun burn. You should apply a high SPF sun cream and re-apply regularly. On a clear summer day, you could be in the sun on and off through the shade from 9 A.M. to 6 P.M.. Even in the winter months when the mean temperature is close to 3C, it can be quite warm in the sun shine and there is a risk of burning. Wearing a hat and good sun glasses are further methods of protecting you against sun bum.

Currently visiting Jiuzhaigou the most convenient approach is to fly to Chengdu or Chongqing, and then transfer to Jiuzhaigou-Huanglong Airport (Jiuhuang Airport). There are flights from the domestic cities to Chengdu or Chongqing. At present there is no direct train to Jiuzhaigou, only to go to Chengdu or Guangyuan, Jiangyou first and then take vehicle transfer to Jiuzhaigou, very inconvenient.

How to Get Jiuzhaigou Valley

If you choose to travel independently of a travel agent, there are many ways to get there.

► By Bus: Buses to Jiuzhai Valley leave in the mornings from both Cha Dian Zi and Xin Nan Men bus stations in Chengdu.

► By Train: The closest accessible train station to Jiuzhai Valley is in Jiangyou, a 6 hour bus ride from Jiuzhai Valley. From Jiangyou it is possible to connect to national train routes.

► By Air: During the peak season 23 flights a day leave from Chengdu to Jiu Huang Airport which is a 80min drive from the park entrance. During the off-peak season 15 flightsleave per day. It is also possible to fly from Beijing, Xian and Chongqing during the peak season. Flight schedules oftern change so it is advisable to contact a travel provider or check about the exactly information on related website.


Jiuzhaigou Huanglong Airport
♦ Address: Songpan county, A Ba Tibetan and Qing Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
♦ Official website: www.jzairport.com
♦ Tel: 0837-7243126

Jiuzhaigou Huanglong Airport (referred to as Jiuhuang airport) is located in 12 km of north Chuanzhusi Town Aba prefecture in Sichuan province, is the first airport in Aba prefecture, the airport elevation 3448 meters, 88 km away from Jiuzhaigou, 43 kilometers apart from Huanglong. The design throughput of 2010 will reach 0.8 million person-time, airport runway length 3200 meters, 60 meters wide, the airport can handle the Boeing 757, 737 and the Airbus 319 aircraft. The distance from Chengdu is about 240 km, flight time of about 40 minutes. Airport was officially put into use on October 20, 2003.

How to get to Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area from Jiuzhaigou Huanglong Airport?
There are shuttle buses from airport to Juzhaigou and Huanglong scenic spot, 45 RMB of one way to Jiuzhaigou Scenic Spot and 22 RMB of one way to Huanglong Scenic Spot. Round way to Jiuzhaigou is 80 RMB and 40 to Huanglong. The shuttle buses are very fewer. General tourists could rent a car there, about 200 RMB/car to Jiuzhaigou valley


At present there is no direct train to Jiuzhaigou, only to Chengdu or Guangyuan, Jiangyou and then transfer to Jiuzhaigou by bus, very inconvenient.

Taking train to Jiuzhaigou there are four routes to choose:
Route 1: Taking train to Guangyuan (or Zhaohua), and then transfer to bus going to Jiuzhaigou via Wenxian county in Gansu province, and you will pass Guangyuan ancient city, Zhaohua ancient city, Huangze temple, thousand-buddha rock and other attractions along the way. But going this route is easily getting landslides during rainy season.

Route 2: taking train of Baocheng railway to Jiangyou station, and then transfer bus to Jiuzhaigou County via Pingwu county in Sichuan and Wenxian county in Gansu province. The whole highway mileage is about 303 km.

Route 3: taking train of Baocheng railway to Lvyang station in Shaanxi, and then transfer bus to Jiuzhaigou through Chengxian county, Wudu, Wenxian county in Gansu province. The whole highway mileage is about 441 km. And you will pass Wudu Wanxiang Cave along the way.

Route 4: taking train of Longhai railway to Tianshui Station in Gansu, and then transfer bus to Jiuzhaigou through Wudu and Wenxian county in Gansu province. The whole highway mileage is about 546 km. And you will pass Maijishan Grottoes, Shimen Scenic Spot, Dufu Thatched Cottage of Chengxian county along the way.


Considering distance and convenient way, most of people will choose to take bus from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou.

Jiuzhaigou Passenger Bus Center
♦ Address: 500 meters of west of Jiuzhaigou Valley
♦ Tel: 0837-7739900
♦ How to get: it is in the entrance of Jiuzhaigou, people can walk there

To Chengdu: there are six buses to Chengdu, respectively departs at 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, and 8:30, ticket price 145 Yuan (most of the Bus which back to Chengdu will stop at Chadianzi Station, but it is also possible that stop at the New South Gate Station, so before you take the bus you need to ask clearly);

To Mianyang: there are three buses to Mianyang, respectively departs at 6:30, 7:20, 8:20 and the ticket price 103 yuan;

To Deyang: the earliest bus departs at 6:00, ticket price 102 yuan; To Dujiangyan: the earliest bus departs at 6:00 and the fare of 107 yuan.

Best Time to Visit Jiuzhaigou:

The best season to visit Jiuzhaigou valley is summer and autumn. At this time, the water resource is very adequate, lots of waterfalls and brook here and there; you can fully understand why Chinese people always say” one will not see the natural landscape after visiting the Jiuzhaigou valley”.

Nearly 300 km2 (116 sq. miles) of the core scenic area are covered by virgin mixed forests. Those forests take on attractive yellow, orange and red colors in the autumn, making that season a popular one for visitors.

The winter is also a good season, you can enjoy the snow view on the valley, but the transportation may be influenced by the snow, besides, the Huanglong may be closed on account of snow.

Jiuzhaigou Accommodation in Peak Season:

Because this is a remote place, the food there is much more expensive than other places, because everything is transferred from other areas. In the peak season, the accommodation is really hard to find, outside the valley lie lot of hotels and hostel, you can find one for your budget. Remember tourists are prohibited camping in the valley.

Clothes for Jiuzhaigou Travel:

Because Jiuzhaigou locates in the margin of the Tibetan Plateau, there is a very huge temperature difference between day and night. Make sure bundle up in the night and bring some warm clothes. Touring in the valley, you need waterproof clothes and mountain shoes. If you don’t have any, don’t worry about that. The local hotel and hostel provide warm clothed rent services.

The sun there is really hot, bring your umbrella or some sunshine-blocking cream.

Avoid Peak Holidays:

It is not a good idea to travel in China during Chinese holidays when huge numbers of Chinese people are travelling around. The busiest three national holidays in China are Chinese Spring Festival (usually in late Jan or early Feb.), International Labor Day (May 01 to 03) and National Day (Oct 01-07). Spring Festival is an especially crowded time to travel. The advantage of being in China at this time is that you will get the opportunity to experience "first hand" the significance of these celebrations in Chinese culture.

Jiuzhaigou Valley – Situated in the northern part of Sichuan Province, Jiuzhaigou Valley is a well-known fairyland that features perennially snow-capped mountain peaks, verdant and lush forest, stretches of serene lakes, and various birds and animals.

It is also a world of water, the clearest in the world. Water brings Jiuzhai Valley its most enchanting views, which is the soul of the place. Bright green waters, icy waterfalls, colorful forest (especially in autumn) and pure snow mountains surrounded, all contributing to the unique view of Jiuzhai Valley and earning it a place on the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List.

Huanglong Scenic Area – Huanglong Scenic Area is located at the foot of Xuebaoding, the main peak of Minshan Mountain. The topography is very like a head of the pranced dragon, resting in the crystal arms of Snow Mountain. Huanglong valley is about 7.5 km long, about 1.5 km wide. Full mountain of gorgeous azalea, red maple leaf, reflect with the size of the colorful pools, it is beautiful.

Huanglong main attractions are: Yingbin Pool, Huanglong Cave and Five Color Pools, Lotus Pond, Huanglong temple, etc.

Five Flowers Lake – Five Flowers Lake is praised as “the essence of Jiuzhaigou”, and it is located at the end of the upstream channel of Peacock River Rize Valley. Five Flowers Lake is the most wonderful attractions in the Jiuzhaigou scenic spot. It is surrounded by hills and fall over a piece of beautiful scenery in autumn with rich colors. October is the most beautiful time to visit Five Flowers Lake, water is so clearly to see the bottom, and there are colorful leaves and colorful water.

Jiuzhaigou Tours & Tings to Do