Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Thirteen Snow Peaks
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Located in Yulong Naxi Autonomous County, Lijiang City, Yunnan Province, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is China’s southernmost glacier. The mountain belongs to the south section of Shaluli Mountains of Hengduan Mountains. It is the mountain of lowest latitude and highest altitude in the northern hemisphere. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is considered a sacred mountain by the Naxi nationality. Having 13 peaks, the silhouette of the mountain looks like a dancing silver dragon and was thus named Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Its main peak, Shanzidou, has an altitude of 5,596 meters and is covered by snow all year around. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is famous for its height, beauty and peculiarity. The main scenic spots are Glacier Park, Ganhaizi Meadow, Blue Moon Valley, Spruce Meadow and Yak Meadow.

Quick Facts
  • Chinese name: 玉龙雪山 Yù Lónɡ Xuě Shān
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Entrance fee: RMB 230 (shuttle bus and cable in each scenic spot is not included)
  • Opening hours: 7: 00-19: 00
  • Best time to visit: November to March when visitors can enjoy the snowscape. Spring and winter are the best seasons to enjoy the snowscape of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The weather is clear and dry, and the mountain is covered with snow, which makes it perfect for a visit and photo taking.
  • Address: Yulong Naxi Autonomous County, Lijiang City, Yunnan Province
  • How to get there: charter a car or take designated bus

Highlights of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Major Scenic Spots

Glacier Park: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain has 19 glaciers, among which the longest one is Baishui-1 Glacier (Glacier Park), which is right below the main peak, Shanzidou, and is 2.9 kilometers long. At the end of the glacier is a forest of seracs (columns of ice) of different shapes. Looking blue-green under the sun, the seracs are called marvelous green glaciers. Visitors can get to the Glacier Park via a cable way, and appreciate the spectacle of it. The Glacier Park has an altitude of 4,680 meters.

blue moon valleyBlue Moon Valley

Blue Moon Valley: Because the snow melts from Jade Dragon Snow Mountain converge into a river passing through a valley where the moon and the blue sky reflect in the water, and the valley resembles the Blue Moon Valley in Lost Horizon by British author, James Hilton, the valley is called Blue Moon Valley. Blocked by the mountain in its way, the river in Blue Moon Valley forms four lakes, namely Yuye Lake, Tanjing Lake, Lanyue Lake, and Tingtao Lake.

Snow Mountain Golf Club: Located in Ganhaizi Meadow of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, and at an altitude of 3,100 meters, the place is covered with lush vegetation all year round. The golf course was designed by famous designer, Neil Haworth according to the terrain. Having a total length of 8,548 yards, the 18 holes-72 par golf course is the longest golf course in the world so far. The first 9 holes are in smooth and flat land, while the following 9 holes are in hilly and rough land where the vegetation is well-preserved. Since its opening in June, 2002, the golf club has made a remarkable performance. In 2007, it was rated as one of the top ten golf courses in Asia (China) by Asian Golf Monthly. Its God-given geographical circumstances, cultural landscape and world class design make this golf course the one with the most potential in China.

yak meadowYak Meadow

Wherever you stand on the course, you can see the main peak with an altitude of 5,596 meters, Sahnzidou.

Yak Meadow: Located at an altitude of 3,700 meters, Yak Meadow’s picturesque scenery can be seen all year around. In spring, Rhododendrons are in full bloom. In summer, the grasses are green and thick with groups of yaks walking among them. In autumn, the grasses turn golden, and in winter, flying snowflakes and lofty snow-topped mountains are there to welcome visitors. Blue sky, white clouds, green grasses and snowy mountains form a fantastic snowscape, making it the best place for a visitor to pay a visit. There aren’t many visitors, and most of them are foreign visitors.

Spruce Meadow: Spruce Meadow in Naxi language means a place where people die for love. It was considered a symbol of perfect love by young men and women of Naxi in ancient times. According to a legend of Naxi nationality, it is the Third Kingdom of the Jade Dragon.

impression lijiangImpression Lijiang

Impression Lijiang: Impression Lijiang is a large-scale outdoor live performance directed by Zhang Yimou together with Wang Chaoge and Fanyue. The show is made up of six parts, namely, Caravan of the Ancient Road, Drinking in Front of the Snow Mountain, Heaven on Earth, Dancing and Singing, Worshiping God through Dancing, and Blessing Ceremony.

The performance is put on in Ganhaizi Meadow of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain at an altitude of 3,100 meters, with the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain as its backdrop. The cast of the show is made up of 500 farmers from 10 ethnic groups. Their natural performance and unaffected singing and the beautiful scenery around make the show well worth watching.

Cable cars

Big Cable car: The big cableway is the most popular cableway in the scenic spot. The cableway will take tourists from Ganhanzi Meadow to the Glacier Park at an altitude of 4,506 meters. Getting off the cable, you can walk along the plank road on the glacier to the highest point with an altitude of 4,680 meters to enjoy the beauty of snow mountain and glaciers at more closely. The ticket costs RMB 180. The cableway will close on windy days. Please pay attention to official notifications.

Spruce Meadow Cable car: The cableway is located by the banks of Baishui River at the foot of the snow mountain. You can get there by taking the green bus in the scenic area. Taking the Spruce Meadow Cableway, you’ll arrive at Spruce Meadow at an altitude of 3,240 meters, where you can best appreciate the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

Yak Meadow Cable car: 15 kilometers to Spruce Meadow, Yak Meadow is located on the other side of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. On the Yak Meadow, you can appreciate the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain from another perspective.

Recommended One-day Schedule

An early start is recommended to visit the mountain. It is only enough to visit one of the scenic spots within one day. The big Cable car and Spruce Meadow Cable car are usually packed with Chinese tourists, so you’ll have to wait in line for a long time. Getting down from the cable, you can go and watch Impression Lijiang and then take the shuttle bus to visit the Blue Moon Valley. As there are always a huge number of tourists, you will have to wait for any of the cable cars. It is suggested that you join a group tour instead of going there on your own as tour groups have priority to take the cable car with advanced reservations.

By Shirley Li
Web Editor