Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yulongxue Mountain) is located about 15km north of Lijiang and forms the southern part of the Hengduan Mountains. Stretching 35km from north to south, it has 13 peaks, the highest being Shanzidou which stands at 5,596 meters. If you look at the mountain from Lijiang, it is said to resemble a jade dragon lying among the clouds, and this is where its name comes from.

The mountain is very important to the local Naxi people, especially Juna Shiluo peak which is believed to be the soul's resting place, and Jade Dragon peak. Sanduo, the God of Jade Dragon, is the greatest protector of the Naxi people. During the Tang Dynasty (618 -907), Yi Mouxan, the King of Dali, declared Jade Dragon as the North Holy Mountain and ordered a temple built at the foot of the mountain in honour of Sanduo.

The mountain attracts all types of visitors, from mountaineers and skiers to nature and wildlife lovers. Contained in the mountain are 19 of the northern hemispheres most southern glaciers and it is called a natural glacier museum. A quarter of China's plant species can be found here which makes it a haven for plant lovers and it is also a wildlife sanctuary, home to 30 different types of animals on the country's protected list.

Beautiful scenery brings many sightseers, the most famous view being from Black Dragon Pool (Heilong Tan) which is regarded as one of the best in China. The mountain's "twelve scenes" are also known for their beauty. Spring and autumn are said to be the best time to visit as the mountain is covered in different colors as the flora changes. For the more adventurous, the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain ski resort is China's highest ski resort.