Tian Shan Mountains

Tian Shan Mounatins, Xinjiang
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Tian Shan Mountains, also called Tien Shan, Celestial Mountains or Heavenly Mountains, is a large system of mountain range situated in the Eurasia hinterland. Tian Shan Mountains location makes it the furthest mountain system from the sea with widespread drought regions. As one of the Seven Mountain Systems in the world, Tian Shan Mountains stretches through four countries (China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan) with a length of 2,500 kilometers (about 1,553 miles) from east to west.

The following introduction will guide you to the part of the Tian Shan Mountains within Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China. With its particular geological structure and stunning natural landscape, the mountain has been inscribed in the World Heritage List by the UNESCO on June 21st 2013.

Tian Shan Mountains spans across the whole Xinjiang, through Kashgar, Aksu, Ili, Bortala, Bayingolin, Changji, Urumchi, Turpan, and Kumul with a length of 1,760 kilometers (about 1,094 miles). It is also worth to mention that 'three mountains clip two basins' is the geographic feature of Xinjiang. With the Altai Mountains on the north boundary and the Kunlun Mountains on the south boundary, the Tian Shan Mountains in the middle is the natural geographical dividing line between Junggar Basin and Tarim Basin, so Xinjiang can be divided into two parts - Southern Xinjiang and Northern Xinjiang.
Heavenly Lake on Tian Shan Mountains
Heavenly Lake in the Mountain

In addition to the highest peak - Pobeda Peak at 7,435.3 meters (24,394 feet), there are tens of peaks along the Tian Shan Mountains including Khan Tengri (China-Kazakhstan border) and Bogda Peak. Owing to the high latitude and high altitude, those peaks are covered with ice all year round. And what makes the Tian Shan Mountains more remarkable is that a high mountain lake - the Heavenly Lake. About 110 kilometers (68.4 miles) away from Urumqi, the lake is located in a valley at 1,943 meters (6,375 feet) on the northern slope of Bogda Peak. The melt water in the lake is crystal clear and quiet like a mirror, which is very beautiful with reflection of the snow peaks and jade green spruces.

Although many peaks of Tian Shan Mountains are covered with snow all the year round, the mountain area under snow line is still abundant in animals and plant resources. Vegetation there is under rich diversity, including dense forest, green spruce, whirl pines and more than 80 species of medical plants, especially the most precious herbal medicine - Saussurea Involucrate. Being adapted to harsh climates of high altitude, it grows well on cliffs and in the clefts of rocks along the mountain. Aside from Tianshan Wild Animal Park, which is located at the southern foot of Bogda Mountain, the Southern Pasture and Ili Nalati Grassland are also famous tourist attractions along the Tian Shan Mountains which are highly recommended for visitors who enjoy horse racing and the kazakh folk customs.
Natural Pastures in the Mountain     Mt. Tianshan, Xinjiang
 Travel Tips:
1. The best time to travel to Tian Shan Mountains is in summer from June to August when there are beautiful grasslands, cattle and sheep flocks and boundless rape flowers. Besides, for those who favor to enjoy the snow, they are suggested to visit the Mountain before December or after February because the mountain climate between December and February is severe cold and often with wind of force more than 8. 

2. Take along enough warm clothes even if you plan to visit in summer due to the big temperature difference between day and night in the mountainous areas. Also, pay attention to weather changes before visit, especially, the weather forecast for sandstorms. 

3. The Heavenly Lake Scenic area of Tian Shan Mountains is the most popular tourist attraction and it is close to Urumqi, so tourists are recommended to stay in hotels in Urumqi city and take through bus to the scenery spot. The single trip takes 1.5 to 2 hours.

How to get to Heavenly Lake in Tian Shan Mountains Area

Take a bus from Urumqi Beijiao Bus Station to Fukang, and then transfer to another bus from Fukang Bus Station to the Heavenly Lake.

How to get to Tianshan Grand Canyon

Take a direct bus from Nanjiao Bus Station in Urumqi City to Tianshan Grand Canyon.

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