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Home Travel in Yunnan Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Travel in Yunnan


Locating between 10004'-10016'east longitude and 2703'-2740' north latitude, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yùlóngxuě Shān 玉龙雪山) is the southernmost glacier in the Northern Hemisphere. Consisting of 13 peaks, among which Shanzidou is the highest one with an altitude of 5,600 meters (18,360 feet), Jade Dragon Snow Mountain stretches a length of 35 kilometers (22 miles) and a width of 20 kilometers (13 miles). Looking from Lijiang Old Town in the south which is 15 kilometers (nine miles) away, the snow-covered and fog-enlaced mountain resembles a jade dragon lying in the clouds, hence, the name Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.



According to the geologists' research, for about 400 million years the area around Jade Dragon Snow Mountain was the ocean and it was during the last 600 thousand years that the different landscapes had come into being because of the uprising of the lithosphere. Archaic legend about this mysterious and beautiful snow mountain goes like this: Once upon a time, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Haba Snow Mountain were twins. They had lived on panning in Golden Sand River until one day an evil fiend usurped the river. The brothers were very brave and had a fierce fight with the fiend, Haba died in the fight and Jade Dragon drove off the fiend after wearing out 13 swords. For guarding the people and preventing the return of altthe fiend, Jade Dragon held the 13 swords in hands day and night. As time passed, the brothers had turned into the two snow mountains, and the 13 swords had become the 13 peaks. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is a holy mountain for the local Naxi people not only because of the legend, but also because long time ago, it was a place for young lovers to sacrifice their young lives in honor of true love and to escape from the arranged marriages and feudal ethics.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is a sanctuary for rare animals and wild plants. In fact, one fourth of all plant species in China can be found here and 20 primeval forest communities shelter a big family of 400 types of trees and 30 kinds of animals which are protected by the state. These species live in different temperature levels and create different kinds of views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The 13 peaks, which have the altitudes of at least 4,000 meters, are covered by snow all year round; the mountain is called the "Natural Glacier Museum" for it has all types of glacier. Move down from the mountaintop and you can see rivers and pools, which are formed by the thawed snow water running along the valley and through the forests. The plants and the animals are different according to the altitude, so are the views. Every sight brings you a surprise and every step takes you to a new scene. Each of the meadows on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain has its own special character due to their different landscape and height. For instance, Yunshanping (Spruce Plateau) is grassland with gigantic spruces whilst Ganhaizi (Dry Sea) used to be a highland lake as its name tells, the meadow was formed after the water had dried up.


Jade Dragon Snow Mountain now is a famous scenic spot for sightseeing, mountaineering, skiing, exploration, scientific research and taking holiday. Besides, widespread legends and myths of the Naxi ethnic minority and the unclimbed Shanzidou are all important attractive spots for those who come to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

Location: 15km in the north of Lijiang.
Activities: altSkiing. The mountain is a fine natural skiing area. It is the world's longest and warmest ski resort. For the convenience of tourists, a tramway was built.
Riding, you can ride a horse from Yunshanping to Ganhaizi and enjoy the good scenery on the road.

Admission Fee: RMB 80 or $ 11 for entrance
RMB 40 or $ 5.5 for the Protection Fare of the Old Town

Transportation: By air, Beijing to Lijiang takes 4 hours and costs RMB 2,410 or $ 323. A flight from Shanghai to Lijiang is 5 hours, with a ticket price of RMB 2,430 or $ 325. Kunming to Lijiang, then a taxi or public bus No.7 to get to the mountain. There are enclosed cable cars to take travelers up to the ski resort.

altAccommodation: There are many hotels and guesthouses in Lijiang. Some are very modern and others are built as replicas of courtyard style inns. Price is moderate, about USD 30 to USD 60 per room.

Best time: Winter, you'd better get there in the early morning, because the peaks will be glossed over by heavy clouds at noon. Warm coats and oxygen bag are available for rent at the resort but deposit is needed. Drugs treating altitude sickness are can be purchased at the resort.


Tags: Travel in Yunnan  Travel in Shanghai