Four Maiden's Mountain (Mt. Siguniangshan)
Map of Four Maiden's Mountain (Click to enlarge)
Four Maiden's Mountain consists of four adjacent mountain peaks. It got its unusual name from a local Tibetan legend that says the four peaks are the embodiments of four pretty girls. At 6,250 meters (about 20,500 feet), the highest peak, known as "the little girl" is also called the 'Queen Peak' of Mt. Shu Shan in the Hengduan range. There is a higher 'King Peak' in Sichuan province but it is not in this area.
Four Maiden's Mountain is famed for its steep and imposing ridges. The high meadows are gorgeous throughout the four seasons. Hundreds of wildflowers burst forth in spring, giving way to luxuriant green trees and grass in summer. In the fall, the leaves on the trees blaze in color heralding the coming snows of winter. Because of the clear, blue sky, the thick forest, the verdant grassland, and the murmuring streams, it is sometimes known as the 'Alps of the Orient'. You may, in fact, think you are in southern Europe.
Two-Bridge (Shuangqiao) Valley
Two-Bridge (Shuangqiao) Valley is the most easily accessible valley with vistas of snowy peaks, pastures, grassland and forests. It is the most beautiful valley of Four Maiden's Mountain. With three sections covering an area of 216.6 square kilometers (about 83.6 square miles), the whole valley is accessible by tour bus. It's the easiest and quickest way to see the valley because of the amount of distance and the ruggedness of the terrain. People visit this valley primarily for convenient nature sightseeing.
The first section contains some unique sights including Willow (Yangliu) Bridge, Yinyang Valley, the White Poplar Zone, Sun-Moon Mirror Mountain (altitude15, 747 feet) and Five Colors (Wuse) Mountain (altitude14, 673 feet). Yinyang Valley extends 2 kilometers (about 1.2 miles), and occupies the area near the entrance to Willow (Yangliu) Bridge. Out of the narrow ravine and steep cliffs a brook flows quietly. Entering the valley, the bright sunshine is suddenly disappears. If you raise your head and look up, you can only see a sliver of sky. Sun-Moon Mirror (Riyue Baojing) Mountain stands next to Five Colors (Wuse) Mountain. A huge rectangular boulder split in two on the snow-capped mountaintop looks like two bright mirrors hanging over the horizon. Five Color (Wuse) Mountain is the most spectacular sight in Two-Bridge (Shuangqiao) Valley. It is made from five colors of rock: red, yellow, green, blue and white.
In the middle section is the Driven fish (Nianyuba) plank road built along a cliff and the Shaji woods (Lin). Shaji is a small golden fruit, which is called the 'King of vitamin C'.
In the last section are marvelous rock sculptures carved naturally by the wind. You can see wonderful shapes resembling an ape, a hunter, or a hawk beak. More than ten snowcapped mountains above 4,000 meters (about13, 122 feet), make the area a favorite with climbers.
Long-Peace (Changping) Valley
Long-Peace (Changping) Valley is long with gently sloping sides. In this valley, visitors enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. Long-Peace (Changping) Valley is the favorite valley for tourists, because you can really get involved with nature. The old cypress path, the Lama Temple, the dry lakes and the waterfalls are peaceful and secluded. Hikers can easily reach Withered-trees (Kushu) Shoal via a plank road built into the cliff. But if you are yearning for the true beauty of Long-Peace (Changping) Valley, you must take a tour on horseback.
The valley floor is well protected by thick forest. Old cypresses, green pines, and firs blot out the sky and the sun. Beyond the forest, a sun-drenched alpine meadow lying at the foot of the mountain catches your eye. When you reach the foot of Four Maiden's Mountain, pitch your tent, and enjoy mutton roasted on an open fire, you will taste the true favor of nature. How delicious! Exploring Long-Peace (Changping) Valley requires a whole day, and there are no restaurants, so you must bring your own food and supplies into the valley with you.
Alpine-Lake (Haizi) Valley
Alpine-Lake (Haizi) Valley is named after the numerous alpine lakes it contains, including Flower Alpine-lake (Haizi), White Alpine-Lake (Haizi), Blue Alpine-Lake (Haizi) and Yellow Alpine-Lake (Haizi). One of the lakes, Flower Alpine-Lake (Haizi), was formed by glacial seepage during the 4th century. Visiting this valley is for people who have experience in mountaineering and exploration. The beautiful surrounding mountains are reflected in the lakes where the non-squama Yunguyu (a type of primitive fish), the living fossil of this land, can still be found. It is interesting that the boulders scattered along the lakes, look like swan eggs from a distance. Most of the lakes are 4,200 meters (about 13,650 feet) above sea level, so only a few tourists have visited them. But the few who have say that their beauty is staggering. If you are a true lover of wilderness, Alpine-Lake (Haizi) Valley is definitely worth a visit.
The Four Maiden's Mountain Scenic Area is a mystical and beautiful land. Ancient, simple, unspoiled mountains and water, and the special sights of three valleys in different seasons all attract you here to enjoy nature.
a) Bring anti-altitude-reaction medicine
b) Bring sunglasses, a hat, and sun block
c) Bring warm clothes and medicines for everyday use
d) All the hotels and restaurants are in Rilong, so bring a tent and food with you if you want to spend the night in the valleys.
e) The best months are June, September and October
Transportation: Coach leaves once a day from the Chengdu West Gate Bus Station (setting out at 6:30) or Chengdu New South Gate Bus Station (setting out at 7: 30) to Rilong Town.
Regular bus leaves from the Chengdu Chadianzi Passenger Transport Center four times a day (leaving at 6:30, 7:00, 7:30, 12:00) or the Dujiangyan Passenger Transport Center three times a day (leaving at 6:30, 10:00, 12:00) to Rilong Town.
|Peak Season (from April 1 to November 30)||Low Season (from December 1 to March 31)|
|Admission Fee:||Long-Peace (Changpin) Valley CNY 70 (Excluding CNY 50-CNY 150 for horseback ride, CNY 40 for bus ride)||Long-Peace (Changping) Valley CNY 50 (Excluding CNY 50-CNY 150 for horseback ride, CNY 20 for bus ride)|
|Two-Bridge (Shuangqiao) Valley: CNY 80 (Excluding CNY 80 for bus ride)||Two-Bridge (Shuangqiao) Valley: CNY 50 (Excluding CNY 60 for bus ride)|
|Alpine-Lake (Haizi) Valley: CNY 60 (Excluding CNY 50-CNY 150 for horseback ride)||Alpine-Lake (Haizi) Valley: CNY 40 (Excluding CNY 50-CNY 150 for horseback ride)|
|Opening Hour:||8:00-16:00 (time of tickets sales)|
To Dagu Glacier, you are advised to return Chengdu from the mountain and take the bus at Chadianzi Bus Station to Heishuixian. The bus schedule is 07:20, 09:30 and 11:30. The ticket fare is CNY113 per person. The duration is about 5.5 hours.
But you can take the bus to Xiaojin from Dujiangyan at 9:00, and the bus will pass by Rilong, where you can get off. It takes about 6h.