Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Located 15 km north of Lijiang old town, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yulong Snow Mountain) stretches 35 km from north to south with 960-square-kilometers of snow-capped area. Among the area, 415-square-kilometers consist of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Scenic Area. It has the southernmost glacier in the Northern Hemisphere. Of all the 13 peaks on the mountain, Shanzidou is the highest with an altitude of 5,596 meters above sea level. As one of the first batch 5A-level national scenic spots officially approved by the National Tourism Administration, and a national-level glacier geological park, the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain attracts a huge amount of tourists from home and abroad every year.

Looking from afar, you can see that the mountain just looks like a huge dragon flying through the cloud. That’s the reason why the holy mountain got its name “Jade Dragon”. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is the holy mountain of the local Naxi people and also the embodiment of their protector — war god Sanduo.

Several nice hiking routes are available in this area, length at 9km, 13km and 19km. Outdoor activity lovers will find much fun in Jade Dragon Snow Mountain area by choosing a proper hiking route. Hiking along with the snow mountain view, you may meet yaks, wild animals, and plants. Contact Easy Tour China for more information.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Scenic Area Facts

Chinese Name: 玉龙雪山景区

Location: 15 kilometers north of Lijiang Old Town, Yulong County, Lijiang City (Yulong Snow Mountain Scenic Area), Yunnan Province, China. 丽江市玉龙县丽江古城以北15公里处(玉龙雪山风景区)

Opening hours: Summer Schedule (May 1st- Oct 31st) 6:00-17:00, Winter Schedule (Nov 1st – Apr 30th ) 6:30-17:00

How far from Lijiang Ancient Town: 15 km.

Entry Ticket price:RMB100 (must).

Price of Cable cars: 1) Glacier Park RMB120/round way; 2) Yak Meadow RMB45/round way; 3) Spruce Meadow RMB40/round way. Usually choose one of these three options.

Ticket of Shuttle bus inside the park:RMB20 per person (must if you are going to take a cable car).

When is the better time for visiting Jade Dragon Mountain? January- April, when the mountain is covered with more snow.

What to see in Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Scenic Area?

The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is rich in natural resources, and the most ornamental value resources are the alpine snow landscape, water landscape, forest landscape and meadow landscape. The major spots include below sites.

1. Glacier Park

Glacier Park is located on the northeast slope of the main peak of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yulong Snow Mountain). It is a typical representation of modern glaciers. Glacier Park is a park composed of caves and clefts formed by the erosion of glaciers. It is a landform relic formed by the Quaternary glaciers. The maximum number of visitors to this glacier park in a single day is limited to 10,000. Taking the longest cable car you will reach the glacier park. Do some hiking along the wooden plank over an altitude of 4000m, along the glaciers on both side. You may have a total different feel just like in a fairy land.

2. Ganhaizi

Ganhaizi is located at the foothills of the Yulong Snow Mountain. It was originally a high mountain icy lake. Due to the rising of the snow line, the accumulation of water decreased and finally dried up. The name Ganhaizi, means a dry lake. Ganhaizi now is a plateau meadow surrounded by mountains on three sides. The entire large meadow is about 4 kilometers long and 1.5 kilometers wide, covering with dense pasture and low shrubs. As the tourist distribution center in the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Scenic Area, tourists are able to get food, accommodation, travel, transportation, entertainment, shopping and other services here. Besides, there is a unique golf course here, with the longest golf fairway in the world, the highest elevation in Asia, and views of snow-capped mountains.

3. Impression of Lijiang

Impression Lijiang Theater is located in Ganhaizi, which is 3100 meters above sea level. With the majestic peak of Yulong Snow Mountain as its natural background, the show Impression Lijiang is an original ecological daytime live performance co-directed by directors Zhang Yimou, Wang Chaoge, and Fan Yue. Director Zhangyimou is well known by his work the opening show of Olympic Game 2008.

The whole show is divided into six sections, "Ancient Road Caravan", "To the Wine Snow Mountain", "Heaven on Earth", "Dancing Group Song" "Encourage sacrifice to heaven" and "Blessing ceremony". Every section of the show introduces you the minorities’ culture in different ways.

4. Spruce Meadow (Yunshanpin Meadow)

The Spruce Meadow is a huge grass land hidden in the original spruce forest. It is 3240 meters above sea level. It is called "Youwu Ge" in Naxi language, which is the "land of love and death". The Spruce Meadow is located right under the main peak of the Snow Mountain. It is regarded as the entrance to the "Third Kingdom of Jade Dragon" in the myths and legends of the Naxi people. According to legends, citizens of the Third Kingdom of Jade Dragon have no trouble at all and enjoy the best of the world. Many young lovers have attracted by the wonderful “Third Kingdom of Jade Dragon". When their love is hindered by the old marriage policy or parents, they will come to the Spruce Meadow and die for love. They believe that dying at Spruce Meadow will lead them to the "Third Jade Dragon Country", where they can stay forever with their lover without any annoyance.

Here, the majestic Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is close before you, and the Millennium Glacier is clearly visible. In addition to viewing the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, you can also appreciate beauty of the original forest, and enjoy the singing and dancing of ethnic minorities when the time is right.

5. Yak Meadow

Located at the northern end of Lijiang Yulong Snow Mountain Scenic Area, Yak Meadow is an important part of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Scenic Area. Yak Meadow is a typical alpine pasture. From here the mountain and snowfield scenery is in front of you accompanied by the distinct and colorful natural landscape. In different season, the Yak Meadow offers tourists different experience. It’s a destination with picturesque scenery throughout the year, also an unparalleled holy place with more life taste.

6. Blue Moon Valley (White Water River)

The Blue Moon Valley is located in the eastern part of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Scenic Area, commonly known as the "Baishui River". It is well known for its majestic snow-capped mountain background, jade-blue lakes, and beautiful canyon landscape. It is named after the blue water lakes and crescent-shaped valley. There are 4 lakes in the Blue Moon Valley; each has its own features.

Kindly Note: The Blue Moon Valley at the foot of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is not the same place as the Blue Moon Valley in Shangrila which is also called Shika Snow Mountain. The Blue Moon Valley (Shika Snow Mountain) in Shangri-La, is the birthplace of the Naxi culture, and the Blue Moon Valley here is a valley on the way from Ganhaizi to Spruce Meadow. Having this information will be helpful when you are planning a Lijiang tour.

7. Skiing resort

The ski resort in Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Scenic Area is located in eastern part of the place, with an altitude of 4500-4700 meters. It is covered with snow in all year around. The ski resort is 1000 meters long and 600 meters wide. The snow here is quite good quality. It is considered to be the warmest ski resort in the world. The ski resort open for skiing for about 8 months a year (Nov-Jun). The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Ski Resort develops projects including alpine skiing, primary skiing (with ski instructor), snowmobiles, snow rubber rings, snow sleds and other snow entertainment projects.

How to get to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain?

From Lijiang Ancient Town: 500m north of the entrance of the ancient city(large water wheel), you will find the Red Sun Square (红太阳广场), from where you can take bus No. 7 to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

The route of bus No. 7:

Shopping Mall (百货大楼)-Red Sun Square (红太阳广场)-Black Dragon Pool(黑龙潭公园)-Spruce Meadow Cable car station (云杉坪)

Spruce Meadow Cable car station (云杉坪)- Black Dragon Pool(黑龙潭公园)- Red Sun Square (红太阳广场)- Shopping Mall (百货大楼)

Tourists can also choose to take taxi, or rent private car from Easy Tour China which is highly suggested.

Travel Tips

1. There are three cable ways to enjoy the view of Jade Dragon Mountain. Choose the one which suits you the most.

2. Good walking and antiskid shoes always help.

3. Ready for crowds and queues before taking the cable car especially in peak season.

4. Be aware of the high altitude. Tourists who have diseases those are not suitable for high altitude should give up visiting Glacier Park to avoid serious problem.

5. Wear warmly and wear sunglasses.

6. Shared shuttle buses inside the park can be used for transfer between different sites.

7. Ready for steps and moderate hiking.

8. A tour guide is highly recommended. 

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