Laojun Mountain National Geopark in Lijiang

Laojun Mountain National Geopark (Chinese Name: 丽江老君山国家地质公园) is a stunning natural attraction located in the northwest of Lijiang City, Yunnan Province, China. Laojun Mountain in Lijiang, Southwest China’s Yunnan province was announced as part of the second batch of “China’s Most Beautiful Forests” at the 2019 China Forest Oxygen Bar Annual Festival, which was held in Beijing on May 10. As an important part of Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Laojun Mountain National Geological Park covers an area of 1324.77 square kilometers.

Location: Laojun Mountain National Geopark is situated approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Lijiang’s city center. It covers an area of about 667 square kilometers and encompasses Laojun Mountain, which is part of the Hengduan Mountain Range.

Features and Attractions:

  1. Scenic Beauty: Laojun Mountain boasts breathtaking landscapes characterized by towering peaks, lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and crystal-clear streams. The park’s natural beauty attracts visitors seeking outdoor adventures and tranquil retreats.
  2. Geological Wonders: The geopark is renowned for its diverse geological formations, including ancient rock formations, limestone karsts, and unique landforms shaped by millions of years of geological processes. These geological wonders offer opportunities for geological exploration and education.
  3. Cultural Heritage: In addition to its natural attractions, Laojun Mountain National Geopark is steeped in cultural heritage. Visitors can explore traditional Naxi villages nestled among the mountains and learn about the local customs, architecture, and way of life.
  4. Hiking and Outdoor Activities: The geopark offers a variety of hiking trails that cater to different skill levels, from leisurely strolls to challenging treks. Popular hiking routes lead to scenic viewpoints, mountain passes, and hidden valleys, providing opportunities for adventure and exploration.
  5. Wildlife and Biodiversity: Laojun Mountain is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, including rare and endemic species. Visitors may encounter wildlife such as monkeys, birds, and butterflies while exploring the park’s natural habitats.

Visitor Facilities: Laojun Mountain National Geopark provides visitor facilities and amenities to enhance the visitor experience, including:

  • Visitor centers with information about the park’s geology, ecology, and cultural heritage.
  • Interpretive trails and signage to guide visitors through key attractions.
  • Rest areas, picnic areas, and designated camping sites for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Local guides and tour services for guided hikes and exploration.
  • Souvenir shops and food stalls offering refreshments and local products.

Accessibility: Laojun Mountain National Geopark is accessible by road from Lijiang City, with transportation options including buses, taxis, and private vehicles. Visitors can arrange transportation from Lijiang to the geopark through tour operators or travel agencies.

Tips for Visitors:

  • Wear comfortable hiking shoes and clothing suitable for outdoor activities.
  • Bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and plenty of drinking water.
  • Respect the natural environment and follow designated trails to minimize impact.
  • Check weather conditions before visiting, as mountain weather can be unpredictable.
  • Observe local customs and regulations, and be mindful of cultural sensitivities when interacting with local communities.

Laojun Mountain National Geopark offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, geological wonders, and cultural heritage, making it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts exploring the Lijiang region.