Huanglong National Scenic Reserve

Huanglong Facts

Location: Songpan County in the northwest part of Sichuan Province
Huanglong altitude: 1,700 - 5,588m (5,580 - 18,300 feet)
What to see: Huanglong Valley and Mounigou Valley

The 'World Wonder' and 'Fairy Land on Earth' are names enjoyed by the Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area, which is well known for its colorful Huanglong pool, lakes, snow clad mountains, valleys and virgin forest. It was included in the UNESCO world heritage list in 1992.

The Huanglong National Scenic Reserve encompasses the Huanglong and Mounigou Valley.

Huanglong Valley

The major scenery is concentrated in the 3.6-kilometer (2.2 miles) long Huanglong Valley that includes snow-clad peaks and the easternmost glaciers in China. Due to its layered calcium carbonated deposit patterns, the valley resembles a golden dragon winding its way through the virgin forest, stone mountains and glaciers. Along the valley are scattering numerous colorful ponds of different sizes and shapes, which are strewn with gold colored limestone deposit giving a shimmering golden hue to water, so in sunlight, a golden dragon seems to surge forth from the forest. Thus it was named 'Huanglong Valley' (Yellow Dragon Valley).

Huanglong Map
Huanglong Map (Click to enlarge)

Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area is famed for its outstanding travertine (calcium carbonate) formations. With the virgin forest as its backdrop, the travertine scenery holds colorful ponds, beaches, lakes, springs, waterfalls, caves, etc. The travertine formations scenery is No.1 in China.

Upon entering the Huanglong National Scenic Reserve, a group of exquisite, crystal clear ponds will immediately catch your eyes with their unparalleled and esthetic charm. These are the Yingbin (welcoming guests) Colored Ponds. In spring, the luxuriant trees, blooming flowers, butterflies and birdsong enhance their glamour even more. From the ponds, you can see the interwoven reflection of trees, mountains, clouds and sky, which is a veritable feast to the eyes.

Along the valley, you will see many attractions including Feipuliuhui (glowing waterfall), Xishen (washing body) Cave, Penjing (miniascape) Ponds, Huanglong (Yellow Dragon) Temple, Huanglong (Yellow Dragon) Cave, Shitazhenhai and Zhuanhua (whirling flower) Pond, etc. In the Yellow Dragon Cave, there are three sitting Buddha figures whose bodies are encrusted with calc-sinter crystals. In winter, ice forest, bamboo shoots and waterfalls, etc, form a magical icy scene. Shitazhenhai is the most beautiful attraction of the whole scenic area. The calcium carbonate deposits give a myriad of different hues to the water, which is truly breath-taking. Zhuanhua Pond is crystal clear and the spring water never stops welling up. If you throw flowers or leaves into the pond, they will swirl rhythmically with flow of the water.

Bonsai Pond
Bonsai Pond
Flying Waterfall on Lotus Platform
Flying Waterfall on Lotus Platform

Huanglong's beauty is beyond mere words, you need see it in person to truly appreciate this 'Fairy Land on Earth'.

Multi-colored Pond in Huanglong
Multi-colored Pond

Holding the primary area of virgin forest in Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area, the Mounigou Valley comprises Erdao Lake and Zhaga Waterfall which is the biggest calcified waterfall in all China.

Erdao Lake

Located in the northern part of Mounigou Valley, Erdao Lake is the largest in the area and around the lake are many underground limestone caves which connect Erdao Lake with other lakes in the area. The color of Erdao Lake varies with the seasons, harmoniously complementing the lake with its surrounding of colored limestone. When standing by the lake, it seems very tranquil and calm; this belies a strong undercurrent that is very active. Erdao Lake holds attractions such as Swan Lake, Baihua Lake, etc. Beside the Baihua Lake, there is a mysterious cave which embraces wonderful and magnificent naturally-formed stalactites.

Zhaga Waterfall

Zhaga Waterfall scenic spot stretches for about 5 kilometers (3 miles), where water flows around trees and trees grow in water and this scenic spot boasts many attractions. At the bottom of Zhaga Waterfall, there is a round-shaped stone onto which the waterfall cascades. In the sunlight, the spattering water is like jade, exhibiting wonderful colors. This is the Jianyu Tai (spattering jade platform).Guhuashi (ancient fossils) is the place where a number of prehistoric, fossilized animals, plants and fish are well preserved and remain intact. Feicui (Emerald) Spring is one of the ten most famous springs in China due to its water's medicinal value, and many have recovered from stomach sickness and arthritis after drinking or bathing in its water. The local population considers Feicui spring divine and allows nobody to cause damage.

The Huanglong National Scenic Reserve gained its fame for its magical landscape of limestone formations, as well as the forest ecosystems and animals on the brink of extinction, such as the giant panda and Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkey.

Huanglong Middle Temple
Middle Temple
Huanglong Ancient Temple
Ancient Temple
Tips: The average temperature is around 7°C all the year round. It is misty in the morning and evening and rainy from May to August.

How to get to Huanglong National Scenic Reserve

Chengdu to Huanglong

Take a bus from Chengdu Chadianzi Bus Station to Songpan county, and the buses depart at 7:30, 9:30, 11:30 and 13:00. The bus fare is CNY109. After arrival, take a bus to Huanglong at 6:00, 7:00 or 14:00, and the bus fare is CNY25/ 29.

Jiuzhaigou to Huanglong

Visitors can hire a private car and the fare is around CNY400 for a round trip. 
Entrance Fee Apr. - Nov. 15 (Peak Season): CNY170;
Nov. 16 - Mar.: CNY60.
Huanglong Cable Car Ticket CNY80 (up), CNY40 (down)
Opening Hours 8:00 - 17:00
Recommended Time for a Visit 1 day

 Recommended Guided Tours:
7-Day Sichuan Tour of Chengdu, Jiuzhaigou from $1689
5 Days Private Jiuzhaigou Tour from Chengdu

- Last modified on Sep. 11, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Huanglong National Scenic Reserve
Asked by PS from MSIA | Sep. 22, 2019 07:24Reply
SP - HL - SP
Sorry if i asking same question, from Songpan i understand to get 6am bus form station to Huang Long
From Huang Long back to Songpan or Chuanzhusi is there any bus (schedule any is ok)?
If the bus only stop at Chuanzhusi return, will there any freq bus between Songpan Chuanzhusi?
Will not hired any private car coz no budget.
Asked by Ti Chou from UNITED STATES | Sep. 10, 2019 15:09Reply
Is there a bus from guangyuan to jiuzhaigou, or to huanglong?
Answers (1)
Answered by Wiley from USA | Sep. 11, 2019 20:09

Yes, you can take direct bus from Guangyuan coach station to Jiuzhaigou. It departs from 6:00 and 10:20 with CNY92. There is no bus between Guangyuan and Huanglong.
Asked by Roman from UKRAINE | Aug. 29, 2019 02:00Reply
is the road from Chengdu to Huanglong opened now?
Answers (1)
Answered by Jorge from USA | Sep. 01, 2019 23:17

There is no direct bus you can take directly to Huanglong. You can take bus from Chadianzi Coach station to Songpan station first, then take car to Huanglong. The bus departs at 5:30, 5:40, 5:50 and 9:25.
Asked by naras from THAILAND | Aug. 11, 2019 17:19Reply
How i get from Heishui to huanglong by bus ?
Answers (1)
Answered by Gabriel from FRANCE | Aug. 13, 2019 00:36

The distance between these two places is around 350km. I didn't find the public transportation. For your convenience, you are suggested to hire a private car directly.
Asked by Aim from THAILAND | Aug. 06, 2019 23:43Reply
How i get back from Huanglong to Songpan by bus?
I dont find information and i need a bus of timetable.
Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Anthony from SINGAPORE | Aug. 07, 2019 18:37

As I know, there are several coaches that have this service. But there is no fixed schedule. In addition, you can also hire a private car to go back to Songpan. Don't worry.
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