3 Hiking and Climbing Tour Routes of South Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Lijiang

In order to argue for Lijiang because of  the negative impact on tourism in the last two years,. I would like to share few hiking trails with you to demostrate not only the commercial tourism with shopping stops here,but also so many amazing scenery around the beautiful city. These irregular routes are suitable for novices who are good at hiking. From my experience,I gave my recommendation which based on difficulty,physical and scenery.

Climbing difficulty,road condition and if there is way are three mainly factos for hiking routes. Obvious way,sand or gravel road,slope section and icy section are all impact on the hiking difficulty.

Phisical ability affects the length of hiking routes. Usually,30 degree is the most comfortable level on steep path. Smaller gradient,longer routes. Larger Bigger gradient,shorter routes. The length of difficult section also affect physical fitness.

Scenery on the way comes from my own judgment. Ordinary mountains and rivers are difficult to impress me   because I spent a long time in Lijiang. At the time,the regular hiking routes are not enough to let me be excited. I won’t give highly recommendation on simplex scenery,rather than evaluating it based on the layering for the whole course. You would be shocked by such hiking routes if you come from big cities.

Standards of mountaineering and hiking are different. I  can feel out the physical energy depends on different elevation although I am not an experienced hiker. The most energy-consumption track is hard compared to the overhead day,so it is unreasonable to compare the standards between hiking and mountain climbing. I give the comparison on Siguniang Mountain and Haba Snow Mountain. The hiking level on Tiger Leaping Gorge hiking and EBC climbing can be compared,which are two routes I did before.

Mountain climbing routes in Lijiang

Peak one on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Difficulty: ★




Once mentioned Jade Dragon Snow Mountain,many travel pal suppose it is impossible to overcome the mountain. Indeedly,climbing to Fan Peak is really difficult because the steep and weathered stones. Even the professional mountaineers cannot do it,let alone the amateurs. By contrast,the peak one and peak two are easier to get to the peak.

From difficulty,peak one is the most easy to overcome. There is only one small part is hard to climb for the whole route. Smaller impact by climate,smaller difficulty on snow day. However, we still have to avoid the top or rigde in the afternoon on snowy side. The heavy wind may bring risk as well. From physical,it is good for novices because the good road condition and moderate slope.

From scenery,yu can go though  azalea forests and alpine meadow. Blossom of wild flowers and colorful plants lead to the most beautiful scenery on spring and autumn. Of course,the scenery is still gorgeous on snowy day. You can see the panoramic view of Lijiang city after climbing to the top of snow mountain so that you can feel the strong scense of accomplishment.

Route details: you can easy to find the hiking route on goole,thus it is an easy hiking route for travelers. You can walk along the Wenhai lake,then walk into the entrance,start hiking from there(3150m above sea level).

Entrance of peak one of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

The entire trail is very obvious, and you can see clearly on Google. For my first visiting,I did it on my own under guideline on google. But for newers,I highly recommend you to hire a local guide who is familiar with the hiking route. You will go though the azalea forest before walk into the alphine meadows. You can enjoy the blossom of azalea on spring,and the colorful leaves on autumn.

You will get to the alpine meadow after going through azalea forest which is 3650m above sea lever. You can see a log cabin on your left when you walk out of the forest. Waking longer after the forest,then you can see the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Here,you can feel the difference on alpine meadow because of the elevation changing. Hike abong the meadow until reach a stone tablet.

Green meadow interspersed with purple flowers. Hike over the first slope,then you can see the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in tall and straight posture in front of you. You can enjoy the brilliant scenery without water or camping.

You can see the Fan Peak,peak one and peak two from the meadow. The path will be harder after going through a meadow and a forest. You need to climb to the ridge which is located between peak one and peak two.You can find the walking trace along the path,but it is too rugged to climb. The path would cut if you climb on the sand&ravel way. You can get to the ridge because the shorter route for this trip. Please note that the difficulty will be increased if you happen to snowy day.

I was  trying to looking for the path to peak two from three sides after I complished the trip to peak one. You can climb directly too the major path,although it is roundabout way.

It is easy to get to the peak if you hike along the peak one. On the one hand,you cannot hike up to the peak two from peak one. On the other hand,it is 4350m above sea level on peak one. The elevation is marked higher than normal elevation,but you can be used to it if you stay in Lijiang for a long time.

Equipment: winter jacket,windproof clothes,sunblock cream,water.

Transporation: no public transporation,you can rent a private car or local guide.

Recommendation: the hiking route is suitable for new hikers,that is low difficulty,physical and nice scenery along the way. You can feel the strong sense of succeed. On Saturday,you spend one full day to hike to the snow mountain,start at 7am in the morning and finish it at 5pm in the afternoon. Take a rest day on Sunday,that is perfect weekend for you.

Peak one on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain





There is no way get to peak two from peak one.  The way would be detour if you tried from peak one to peak two.In fact,you can get nice view the way to peak two because you can overlook Tiger Leaping Gorge from here. I prefer recommending you to choose to climb to peak two. I just recorded few traces as it’s too late to taking good pictures in foggy top,and my watch was almost turn-off.

Route explanation: there are few routes to get to peak two. I chose the one walking from valley. According to the recommendation by local Yi people,there is one way is much easier to climb to peak two from theirs village. There are two difficult sections: one section is from 3500m to 3800m above sea level. Another section is the ridge to peak two. You need to hold something to avoid falling as there is the same slope,sandy and ravel section along the path. Compared,the route climbing to peak two is shorter,but physical consumption. The hiking route is not easy to climb if it is on snowy day so that it affected by season.

This route is slightly affected by the season than a peak, if the snow will not go very well.

Route details:The hiking route starts from a small log cabin which close to the Yi village.

Beginning a long climbing after entering the valley. When you can not find the road, you start the climber’s climb.

Climb up to an alpine meadow after passing by the sand section,which is 3800m above sea level. You can see many yaks that is very friendly in Lijiang area.

Go up again to reach the ridge location.The scenery was still great here,although it was cloudy day when I was there. You can get wonderful view if it is on nice weather. You can see the peak is in the cloud and fog. Tiger Leaping Gorge is in the behind of you. The green rock looks like blade,interspersed with wild flowers,that’s really amazing scenery that you never had before. Climb from the ridge side,it’s easy to reach to the point 4050m above sea level.

I did not climb to the summit because the changeable weather there,I could not see anything in the cloud and fog. It is dangerous to get to the ridge which is 4300m above sea level.

Equipment: winter jacket,windproof clothes,sunblock cream,water.

Transporation: no public transporation,you can rent a private car or local guide.

Recommendation: you can spend the hiking trip to peak two on weekends. That is more astonished than the peak one because you can enjoy the view both Tiger Leaping Gorge and the mountains on the another side.  

 Routes of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Valley





The routes to Snow Mountain Valley is the one of training routes,which is less difficulty,less risk. But the elevation is changeable,longer distance and it’s recommended for the hiking lovers who is full of energy.

Difficulty explanation: the sand and ravel sections is longer than peak-one and peak-two,that changes from 3800m to 4200m above sea level. The difficulty is almost similar as there is trace,but the feeling is totally different after you climb to sand and ravel section under the elevation increasing as 1000m.

Physical explanation: I spent 6.5 hours from Yuhu Village(2700m) to the snow mountain valley(4500m).By contrast,the hiking route to snow mountain valley is much longer. In the previous climbing experience,I just spents 4.5 hours when I climbed to Haba Snow Mountain,3.5 hours to Siguniang peak 3,2 hours to at Siguniang peak 4. You have to prepare for the hiking with full energy  within one day. The hiking routes is popular among South Koreans as they know about the destinations from a book. South Koreans like to camp at the point 3800m above sea level,staying one night there,then continue to climb to the summit in the next day. For us,we just complete it within a day. The difficulty and scenery depend on the season,the most difficult season is on winter but the scenery is wonderful. Compared,it is less nice on spring,summer and autumn. 

Routes explanation:Start from Yuhu Village,climb to a alpine meadow,walk through a forest. Less difficulty,easy path to climb if you climb along the Tea&Horse Trail. No worries,you can get to the same destinations even though you would detour in the region. Take a stop at half-way. The first station is called buckwheat filed.

Walk through the buckwheat filed,then enter a forest. Climb along the forest,then reach at Leech Dam. There is huge rock at Leech Dam,it is said there is spring from the rock in the past time. You can overlook the Liusha po frm Leech Dam.

You can take a rest in a log cabin under Leech Dam. Try to get to the point before 10am. If you get there later,the local residents guard here and won’t let you enter to the region. In rainy season,the leech would come out and would bite you if there are people. Remember to supply for yourselves as much as you can at the point.

After a short rest,you will start long journey from Leech Dam. The climbing difficulty is gradually increasing to Xunqing Valley and Jianshu Lin. The easier slope,the better view as the increasing elevation. You can take a clear view to  Lijiang City and Pearl Lake under Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

Climb over Leech Dam,then get to the first station called Xunqing Valley. There are few Xunqing Valley in Lijiang,that is the least famous one on Snow Mountain. You can see some yaks near the Xunqing Valley. The second supply point is called Jianzhu Lin which is 3800m. 

Jianzhu Lin is the camping site for South Koreans. The South Koreans camp here,and continue to climb to the summit on the next day. It’s better to supply yourselves enough here,as no other supplying station in next points.

 Pass by Jianzhu Lin,then Liusha Po is the next point that is called Cordyceps as well. Liusha po is the hardest section for the whole tour,but that is the most interesting section. You need to spend an hour to climb up,but just need 10 minutes to climb down. On snowy season, it is full of snow at Liushapo. The ascent difficulty increases straightly,but you can ski down directly. You need bring snow cover,snow glasses and waterproof shoes. The height of Liusha Po is to zero point,as the vision becomes better. You can climb up to enjoy the cloud sea,the feeling is really impressive.

The best way to go to Liusha Po is to walk from the junction between the left side and the rock. After passing through the sections with the ropes, pull the rope and then lean to the left.

After climbing over Liusha Po,then you will get to the Green Sea. When the temperature is high, there is abundant water between Green Snow Sea and Liu Sha Po, and the water in the mountain is very clean and cold. Once I took a look at the water, a yak suddenly appeared and looked at me in adorable expression ,then continue to drink water.Except winter,you can drink spring on snow mountain.

On winter,it is easy to step into the hole which is filled with snow,but the scenery is very beautiful. You can make snowman and ski.

the road inside the snow bar filled up, get around around, but also step on the snow from time to time to go. Of course this time the scenery is very beautiful, but also can make snowmen, skiing, very cool.

Continue to climb up to get to the Green Snow Sea. The brand is on a ridge,just walk along the ridge.  The elevation of Green snow sea marked as high elevation,it is estimated 4300m above sea level here. Climb along the ridge,then you can see the the Mani Piles. Climb over Mani Piles,then you get to a rock. Climb over the rock,you can see the terminal point-Snow Mountain Valley.

The next point is maked as 4500m above sea level. Pay note the deep valley in the middle where the opposite peak is the main peak of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain-Fan Peak.You cannot be survive if you fall into the deep valley.

Equipment:  On regular days: winter jacket,windproof clothes,sunblock cream,water. On winter,you need to bring snow cover,waterproof shoes,snow sunglasses.

 Recommendation: It is the most classic hiking route to hike to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

 Transportation: take the public bus from Xiangshan Market,then get to Yuhu Village. Start the hiking trip from Yugu Village.