Trumpet Shell Valley (Hailuogou)
Trumpet Shell Valley, called Hailuogou in Chinese, is located on the eastern slope of the Gongga Snow Mountain, southeast of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. It's around 52 kilometers (approx. 32 miles) from Luding County and 76 kilometers (about 47 miles) from Kangding, the capital of Garze. It has been well known for its natural resort with miraculous glaciers and hot springs.
The climate of Hailuogou Scenic Area is deeply influenced by its surrounding landscapes. The four seasons are greatly distinguish in this area. One can enjoy the spring atmosphere at the foothill all year round. As the region is covered by dense vegetation, the yearly average temperature is around 15°C (59°F) as compared to the mountain top, where average temperature is always around minus 9°C ( −48.2°F). As a local saying goes, 'The valley has the features of the four seasons at any one time and different weather exists in different locations.' It's cool in summer and warm in winter, which makes it a good place for sightseeing, holidays, convalescing, mountaineering, research exploration and adventuring.
|Map of Trumpet Shell Valley |
(Click to enlarge)
Firstly, Gongga mountain is always covered with snow throughout the year. Standing in the valley and looking up to the mountain, one can feel the grandness and glorious radiation of Gongga.
Secondly, there are 74 glaciers on the Gongga Snow Mountain. Among them, the glacier in Trumpet Shell Valley, also called No.1 Glacier, is the longest. It has a total length of about 14.7 kilometers (approx. 9 miles). Moreover, it is unique in itself for it is a low-altitude glacier. Its lowest point being at an altitude of 2,850 meters (about 9,350 feet).
The No.1 Glacier is made up of three stages: the firn basin (the origin of the glacier), the great frozen waterfall and the glacier tongue. The frozen waterfall is between 500 (1,640 feet) and 1,000 meters (3,281 feet) wide and 1,080 meters (3,543 feet) high. It's so rare that it's very difficult to find another frozen waterfall like it in anywhere else in this world. When an avalanche occurs, snow and ice thunder down the glacier with great force. The glacier tongue extends into primitive forests for about six kilometers (about 3.7 miles). Dense forests coexist with glacier. The No.1 Glacier is hyperactive and over time, a lot of ice holes, ice ladders, ice gates, ice lakes and ice peaks came into being.
Third, in this ice and snow world, there are more than ten hot springs. Tourists can enjoy a bath on the ice. The temperature of the spring is from 40°C (104°F) to 80°C (176°F). Even there is one with a temperature of 90°C (194°F). Cold and heat coexist, which is extremely astonishing.
Tips on Hot Spring for your reference
Additionally, the valley possesses very abundant plants and animal resources. Over 2,500 kinds of plants can be found there, such as Chinese dove trees, katsura trees, tetracentrons, circaeasters, kingdonia balfs and rhododendrons. And more than 400 kinds of animals live there, including wildebeests, giant pandas, golden monkeys, white-lipped deer, wild donkeys, leopards, and back-neck cranes, water dogs, and Tibetan snow cocks and so on.
A Visit to Hailuogou Scenic Area
|Hand Painting of Trumpet Shell |
Valley (Click to enlarge)
Tips: 1. You may reach the Fourth Encampment through the cable car directly. Arriving there at around 05:00, you could see the beautiful sunrise. Bright sun shines on the Gongga Snow Mountain and everything is immersed into the golden warm.
2. Dining & Accommodation: You can find Gongga International Hot Spring Hotel, Gongga Hotel, Hailuogou Glacier Hotspring Holiday Village and Hailuogou Changzheng Hotel in the scenic area.
3. Considering the existence of tourist risk, you are suggested to purchase travel insurance for yourself.
|Admission Fee of Hailougou Scenic Area||CNY90|
|Cable Car||CNY150 for round trip|
Or you can take the minibus outside the Kangding Bus Station. The fee is about CNY60 per person.
Or you can take the bus at Kangding Bus Station to Luding Bus Station and then take the bus at Luding Bus Station to Moxi Town. The whole ride need about CNY60.
From HaiLouGou back to ChengDu, some locals said that you can take the bus from Hailuogou to Luding. On the way, you can get off at Caihong Birdge. There may be many buses to Chengdu. Or you can go back to Luding Bus station directly and then take the bus to Chengdu.
Or, there is direct bus across from Changzheng Hotel in Hailuogou to Chengdu, departing at 09:00am every morning. And get to Chengdu Xinnanmen Bus Station. Sorry I didn’t find the specific ticket fare and it may be CNY150 or so.
Of course, you can choose to take a car-sharing with other tourists.
How is sunset view?