China Underground > Travel to Yunnan > Travel to Lijiang > Guide to Yulong Snow Mountain

Guide to Yulong Snow Mountain

The Yulong Snow Mountain, 5,596 meters high, in Yulong County of Lijiang Municipality, lies to the north of the Ancient Town of Lijiang.

It looks like a giant jade dragon and thus gets the name of Yulong Snow Mountain (the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain). It is said it is the incarnation of the ethnic god “Sanduo”. It is also regarded by the loving young Naxi People as the ideal country that Eros lives in. The Yulong Mountain is the main body and heart of the state-level scenic region.

The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain – 玉龙雪山 Yulong Snow Mountain

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain map

Basic Information

Geographic location: 15 kilometers away from Lijiang Ancient City
Scenic status: one of the 66 national 5A tourist attractions rated by China National Tourism Administration in May 2007, a provincial nature reserve
Tour time: 1 day

Recommended Tour Route

Dried River Bed → the Jade Summit Temple → the Leech Flatland → the Remains of the Ancient Glacier → Yunshan Ping (the Spruce Level Ground) → the Yak Level Ground → the Baishui River

Key Points

Basic facts of the mountain, four kinds of landscapes, major scenic attractions

The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Situated on the North end of Yulong County, the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is an east branch of Yunling mountain ranges. It extends 35 kilometers all the way from the south to the north and 25 kilometers from the east to the west. The mountain has 13 peaks all together, the highest being Shanzidou Peak, 5,596 meters above sea level. Standing on the north bank of the Jinsha River, tall and straight, the Jade Snow Mountain is just like a jade pillar supporting the sky. It is snow-capped all year-round. The main peak is in the front looking like the head of a dragon while the other peaks linked with each other as if a transparent jade dragon lying on the top. So the mountain got its name.

The most southerly of the glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere and the highest peak in the south of Changjiang River is to be found in the Jade Snow Mountain. At different altitudes, grow trees of economic value, herbal plants, and flowers and trees for viewing. Many famous flowers like azalea, primrose, orchid, and herbal medicines are grown in this area. From the bottom to the top, there are more than 20 forest clusters and varieties of birds and animals in the mountain. Among them, the essentially protected animal species amount to 23.

The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Jade Mountain in Lijiang

The landscapes of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain are unique and beautiful, taking on varieties of forms. They can be classified into four kinds: the snow landscape, the spring landscape, the forest landscape and the meadow landscape. Among the multitude of scenic spots are Dried River Bed, the Leech Flatland, the Remains of the Ancient Glacier, Yunshan Ping (the Spruce Level Ground), the Yak Level Ground, the Baishui River, the Jade Pillar Supporting the Sky and the Reflections in the Jade Lake. Many officials and men of letters had visited this mountain.

For example, Meng Shi, the King of the Nanzhao of the Tang dynasty, Li Jing, governor of a prefecture from the Yuan Dynasty, and Xu Xiake, a famous traveler from the Ming Dynasty, all gasped in admiration on seeing the mountain. Since the early 20th century, domestic and foreign explorers and botanists had also left their footprints there. Dr. Joseph Rock, an American-Austrian botanist, Peter Goullart, a Russian explorer, Li Lincan, the curator of Taiwan Museum, and Qing Renchang, a famous Chinese botanist, to mention a few.

The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

The Jade Snow Mountain has been a holy mountain in the heart of Naxi people from ancient times. Pi Luoge, the king of Nanzhao listed five important mountains in Yunnan following the example of kings in central China. As one of these five mountains, the Jade Snow Mountain is called the North Mountain. Kublai Khan offered the title of “the Emperor Jing of Holy Icy Stone Bringing Peace and Stability to the Country” to the Jade Snow Mountain. Since the Ming Dynasty (1368—1644), Naxi people had seen the mountain as their patron god “Sanduo” and begun to worship it. Now the Jade Snow Mountain is the major part and the center of the Jade Snow Mountain scenic area.

Words and Expressions

mountain range 山脉
Northern Hemisphere 北半球
azalea n. [植]杜鹃花
primrose n. [植]报春花
orchid n. [植]兰花
herbal medicine 草药
botanist n. 植物学家

Photo: Oliver Huang, Dominique Musorrafiti, Chinese web

Yulong Snow Mountain

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