The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yulong), is known as the southernmost snow mountain of the Northern Hemisphere. The mountain consists of 13 peaks and Shanzidou is the highest one with an elevation of about 5596 meters above sea level.
The fog-shrouded and snowy mountain resembles a massive jade dragon when viewed from the Old Town of Lijiang, China. Hence it’s called the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Yulong Snow Mountain is also known as White and Black Mountain since it consists of black whin and white limestone primarily.
Jade Dragon Mountain General Information
The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is regarded by the Naxi people as a holy mountain. In Naxi mythical legend, the mountain is the sole personification of their god, Sanduo. Thanks to the native landscapes of cold, temperate, and subtropical zones, the mountain has meadows, canyons, glaciers, blossoms, waterfalls, etc.
The mountain is home to quite a few rare plants and animals. The Yulong Snow Mountain scenic area was approved as a national 5A-class scenic location by the National Tourism Administration back in 2007.
What to Expect in Jade Dragon Snow Mountain?
Attractions that will make you stunned in the mountain are Ganhaizi Meadow, Glacier Park, Yak Meadow, Spruce Meadow, Blue Moon Valley, etc. Visitors are able to either rent a horse or walk from Yak Meadow to Ganhaizi. There are also 3 cableways available in the scenic area, all located at Yak Meadow, Spruce Meadow, and Glacier Park.
Yak Meadow is known as the “Ban Nong Guo” in the Naxi ethnic language, which means “mysterious and beautiful paradise”. The meadow in the summer transforms into peaceful and beautiful scenery, which is dotted by yaks and blossoms. The 13 peaks of the Yulong Snow Mountain can be seen from Yak Meadow.
Glacier Park is found on the Shanzidou Peak, which houses 19 oceanic glaciers, cirque glaciers, and hanging glaciers. The most visited glacier is White Water Number 1. It resembles a hanging waterfall from the sky when viewed from the bottom of the peak.
There is an iceberg forest that seems like sky-piercing knives. Also, there are fragments of glaciations such as Ganheba Valley, which has a landscape that is typically seen at the foot of the Alps.
Spruce Meadow is elevated 3240 meters above sea level on the eastern hills of the Yulong Snow Mountain. The Naxi locals see it as a holy land and their legends claim it is an entrance to Yulong Third Country. This is thought to be Utopia. A second legend states that if a young couple commits suicide at Spruce Meadow, their spirits get transported to the Third Country of Yulong, where they achieve eternal happiness. This meadow is the site of a live show called Impression Lijiang, which is directed by the director of the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games.
As the entrance to Yulong Snow Mountain, Ganhaizi is the name given to the huge grassland located on the eastern side of the Yulong Snow Mountain. The meadow is situated at 2900 meters above sea level, with a length of 4 km and a width of 1.5 km. As a natural pasture, Ganhaizi displays herders of Naxi, Tibet, and Yi ethnic groups on horseback converge on it in the spring with their felt hats, grazing their cattle, sheep, and yaks.
Between Spruce Meadow and Ganhaizi, there is a deep valley called the Blue Moon Valley. Running along the bottom, the White River exists, which cascades into numerous calcified pools. White River got its name from the color of its river bed which consists of white marbles. As unpolluted glaciers are the source of the river’s water, it makes great cool drinking water.
3 Cableways of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
In this scenic area, there are three cableways that run to Yak Meadow, Spruce Meadow, and Glacier Park.
Glacier Park Cableway
This cableway is the most famous one in the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and it’s also the second most elevated cable car in the country. The cableway is able to transport visitors up to Glacier Park to view the glacier and its environs.
There are stairs that still need to be climbed by visitors if they want to reach a higher altitude after exiting the cable cars. The climb is short but somewhat difficult; however, visitors are rewarded with a beautiful panoramic scene at 4,680 meters above sea level. This cable car has an elevation range of 3,356 meters to 4,506 meters (11,010 feet to 14,783 feet). You should pay 180 Yuan for using the cableway, which covers a round trip.
Cableway to Spruce Meadow
Spruce Meadow, which gets its name from the fact that it is encircled by lofty spruces, has an elevation of 3240 meters (10630 feet). Visitors of this meadow have to go through ancient woods which then open to beautiful and peaceful scenery. The elevation range of this cableway is from 2938 meters to 3205 meters (9639 feet to 10515 feet). A roundtrip on the cableway costs 55 Yuan.
Cableway to Yak Meadow
This cableway is the farthest one from Lijiang; therefore, Yak Meadow has the lowest number of visitors. Located at 3650 meters or 11975 feet above sea level, Yak Meadow is a grassy area close to the high peaks. Visitors who choose to take this cableway will face beautiful views of not only snow-capped mountains but a highland grassland full of grazing yak. Yak Meadow’s lowest elevation is 3280 meters high (10433 feet) and its highest peak is 3650 meters (11975 feet). A round trip on this cableway costs 60 RMB.
Important Point About the Cableway
- Buying the 2 Yuan insurance at the time of buying round-trip tickets is highly recommended
- The ticket price is free for children under 3.3 feet
- Children between 3.3 and 3.9 can have a 50% discount on their ticket
- You can buy the ticket from 07:00 to 16:30 at the ticket office
The Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is between November and April, as by this time there is enough snow. Besides, the clear sky aids the great sights of the white-capped mountain.
|How to get to|
|By Bus||You can go to Yuhe Parking Lot near the northern gate of Lijiang Old Town and take the bus, which operates at 8:30 for snow mountain and returns at 16:30 with a 40 Yuan ticket price.|
|By taxi, car, mini-van or carpool||You can also take a taxi or mini-van from downtown, which costs 200 Yuan and takes 40 minutes of time|
|Impression Lijiang Show||280 Yuan|
|Combo Ticket||200 Yuan for|
|Sightseeing Bus||20 Yuan|
It should be mentioned that the combo ticket is valid for 2 days and you can enjoy the snow mountain, Yushui Village or Jade Water Village, Yufeng Temple, Dongba Valley, Dongba Kingdom, Dongba Gods’ Garden, Yuzhu, Baisha Mural, and Qingtian Scenic Resort with the help of this ticket.
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