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How To Visit Huanglong National Park


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Melisandra Villagomez



Welcome to Huanglong National Park, a majestic natural wonder located in the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province, China. Known for its breathtaking beauty and unique geological features, Huanglong National Park is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and those seeking a memorable experience in one of China’s most stunning landscapes.


Spread across an expansive area of over 1,700 square kilometers, Huanglong National Park is renowned for its vibrant colored pools, cascading waterfalls, lush forests, and diverse wildlife. The park is dominated by the Huanglong Valley, which is famous for its series of terraced, limestone pools that have been formed over thousands of years by mineral-rich hot springs.


Visiting Huanglong National Park offers a fascinating glimpse into the incredible forces of nature that have shaped this unique landscape. As you explore the park, you’ll be immersed in a world of vivid colors, sparkling water, and towering mountains, creating a truly unforgettable experience.


Whether you’re an avid hiker, a photography enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the wonders of the natural world, Huanglong National Park has something to offer everyone. From leisurely strolls along boardwalks to challenging hiking trails that lead to panoramic viewpoints, there are plenty of opportunities to connect with nature and soak in the beauty of this remarkable place.


With its stunning natural scenery, rich biodiversity, and cultural significance, Huanglong National Park has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is protected as a national treasure by the Chinese government. It serves as a testament to the power and beauty of nature and is a prime example of why China’s natural wonders continue to captivate visitors from around the world.


In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to plan your visit to Huanglong National Park. From getting there and navigating the park to discovering the must-see attractions and trying local cuisine, we will ensure that your trip to this enchanting destination is filled with unforgettable experiences.


Getting to Huanglong National Park

Located in the northern part of Sichuan Province, getting to Huanglong National Park is relatively easy, although it does require a bit of planning. Here are the primary transportation options to reach this stunning destination:

  1. By Air: The nearest airport to Huanglong National Park is the Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport (JZH). Several major cities in China, including Chengdu, Beijing, and Shanghai, offer direct flights to this airport. From the airport, you can hire a taxi, take a bus, or arrange a private transfer to the park.
  2. By Train: If you prefer traveling by train, the closest railway station to Huanglong National Park is the Chengdu Railway Station. From Chengdu, you can take a train to Jiuzhaigou Huanglong Station or Chuanzhusi Station. Both stations are within a reasonable distance from the park, and local transportation options, such as buses or taxis, are available to take you to the park entrance.
  3. By Bus: There are regular bus services connecting Huanglong National Park with nearby cities and towns. From Chengdu, you can catch a bus from the Xinnanmen Bus Station or Chadianzi Bus Station. The journey takes around 8-10 hours, depending on traffic conditions.

Once you have arrived at the entrance of Huanglong National Park, you can purchase your admission ticket and begin exploring the wonders that await you inside.


Note: It’s important to check the latest transportation schedules and availability, as they may vary depending on the season and weather conditions. During peak tourist seasons, it’s recommended to book your transportation in advance to ensure a smooth journey.


As you plan your trip, keep in mind that Huanglong National Park is a popular destination, attracting a large number of visitors throughout the year. To avoid crowds and enjoy a more tranquil experience, consider visiting during weekdays or during the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn when the weather is mild and the scenery is breathtaking.


Now that you know how to get to Huanglong National Park, it’s time to delve into the details of what to expect once you arrive. In the next section, we will explore the entrance fees and opening hours of the park, ensuring that you have all the essential information for a seamless visit.


Entrance Fees and Opening Hours

Before embarking on your journey to Huanglong National Park, it’s important to be aware of the entrance fees and opening hours. Here’s what you need to know:


Entrance Fees: The entrance fee for Huanglong National Park varies depending on the season. During the peak season, which includes April to November, the fee is higher compared to the off-peak season. The exact pricing can fluctuate, so it’s advisable to check the official website of the park or consult with a local travel agency for the most up-to-date information.


Opening Hours: Huanglong National Park has varying opening hours throughout the year. During the peak season, the park opens at around 7:30 am and closes at approximately 6:00 pm. However, please note that the ticket office usually stops selling tickets a few hours before the closing time. In the off-peak season, the park may have shorter opening hours, so it’s recommended to check the schedule in advance.


Note: Due to weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances, the opening hours of the park may be subject to change. It’s always a good idea to double-check the operating hours before your visit.


Avoiding the peak hours is essential if you want to enjoy a more serene and less congested experience. Consider arriving early in the morning or visiting during weekdays to beat the crowds. This will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the park and make the most of your time there.


It’s worth mentioning that the entrance fee covers access to the main areas of Huanglong National Park, including the boardwalks that lead you through the scenic pools and waterfalls. However, certain attractions or activities within the park may require additional fees, such as cable car rides or access to specific viewpoints. These extra charges will be clearly indicated, and you have the option to participate or skip them based on your preferences.


With the knowledge of entrance fees and opening hours, you’re now ready to plan your visit to Huanglong National Park. In the next section, we will delve into the incredible attractions and highlights that await you within this magnificent natural paradise.


Exploring the Park

Once you’ve entered Huanglong National Park, it’s time to begin your exploration of this awe-inspiring natural wonder. The park offers a variety of ways to experience its beauty, from leisurely walks along boardwalks to more challenging hiking trails that lead to breathtaking viewpoints. Here are some of the best ways to explore Huanglong National Park:

  1. Boardwalks: Upon entering the park, you’ll find a network of well-maintained boardwalks that wind their way through the Huanglong Valley. These boardwalks allow you to immerse yourself in the park’s enchanting landscapes while keeping you on a designated path. As you stroll along the paths, you’ll encounter a series of the park’s famed terraced pools, each filled with vibrant hues of blues and greens. Take your time to admire the beauty around you, capture stunning photographs, and let the tranquility of the surroundings wash over you.
  2. Hiking Trails: For those seeking a more adventurous experience, Huanglong National Park offers several hiking trails that lead you deeper into the park’s breathtaking scenery. The trails range in difficulty, from easy walks that are suitable for all fitness levels to more challenging routes that require physical stamina. The hiking trails provide an opportunity to explore hidden valleys, lush forests, and stunning viewpoints, allowing you to discover the park’s natural wonders from different perspectives. Some popular hikes include the Five Color Ponds, the Golden Sand River, and the Snow Mountain Waterfall.
  3. Cable Car: If you want to get a bird’s-eye view of the park without hiking, you can take a cable car ride. The cable car will transport you to higher elevations, offering panoramic vistas of the Huanglong Valley and its surrounding mountains. The ride itself is an exhilarating experience, providing a unique perspective of the park’s majestic beauty.
  4. Photography Opportunities: Huanglong National Park is a paradise for photography enthusiasts. With its mesmerizing limestone pools, cascading waterfalls, and vibrant foliage, the park offers endless opportunities to capture stunning images. Whether you’re using a professional camera or just your smartphone, be sure to take your time and frame your shots carefully to capture the natural beauty in all its glory.

As you explore the park, make sure to follow the designated paths and adhere to the park’s rules and regulations to help preserve the delicate ecosystem. Take breaks along the way to soak in the serenity and connect with nature. Remember to carry essentials such as water, snacks, and sunscreen, especially on longer hikes.


Now that you have an overview of how to explore Huanglong National Park, it’s time to discover the must-see attractions and highlights that await you within this magnificent natural paradise.


Must-See Attractions

Huanglong National Park is home to a plethora of stunning attractions that showcase the natural beauty and unique geological formations of the region. Here are some of the must-see attractions that you should not miss:

  1. Huanglong Valley: The Huanglong Valley is the heart of the park, and its striking terraced pools are the main highlight. These pools, known as the “yellow dragon,” are a magnificent display of vivid colors ranging from deep blues to vibrant greens. The crystal-clear water, surrounded by limestone formations, creates a surreal and ethereal atmosphere.
  2. Five Color Ponds: This collection of five interconnected ponds is one of the most iconic attractions within the park. Each pond boasts its own unique color, ranging from emerald green to turquoise. The vibrant hues, combined with the natural cascading formations, make for an awe-inspiring sight that will leave you mesmerized.
  3. Golden Sand River: As you explore the park, you’ll come across the Golden Sand River, a stream that winds its way through the Huanglong Valley. The river is named after its golden-colored bed, created by mineral deposits that shimmer under the sunlight. Take a moment to relax by the river’s edge and enjoy the tranquil surroundings.
  4. Snow Mountain Waterfall: Located in the eastern part of the park, the Snow Mountain Waterfall is a majestic cascade that originates from the snow-capped mountains surrounding the Huanglong Valley. The waterfall plunges down from a height of over 30 meters, creating a mesmerizing display of beauty and power. Admire the sheer force of nature as you marvel at this natural wonder.
  5. Forests and Wildlife: Huanglong National Park is not just about stunning geological features; it is also home to lush forests teeming with diverse flora and fauna. Take a leisurely stroll through the verdant forests and keep an eye out for the park’s wildlife. You may spot rare species such as takins, golden monkeys, and various bird species.

Each of these attractions offers a unique experience and showcases the remarkable beauty of Huanglong National Park. Take your time to explore and appreciate the natural wonders that await you at every turn.


It’s important to note that the park’s scenery changes with the seasons, with each bringing its own unique charm. Spring and summer are marked by blooming flowers and vibrant green foliage, while autumn offers a picturesque display of colorful leaves. Winter transforms the park into a snowy wonderland, creating a peaceful and serene atmosphere.


Now that you have a glimpse of the must-see attractions in Huanglong National Park, it’s time to plan your hiking routes to fully immerse yourself in the park’s natural splendor. In the next section, we will explore some popular hiking routes that will take you to even more breathtaking viewpoints and hidden gems within the park.


Hiking Routes

Exploring Huanglong National Park through its hiking trails is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area. The park offers a range of hiking routes, each showcasing different perspectives, viewpoints, and hidden gems. Here are some popular hiking routes to consider:

  1. Huanglong Temple to Five Color Ponds Loop: This moderate hiking route takes you on a loop from the Huanglong Temple to the famous Five Color Ponds. Along the way, you’ll pass through beautiful forests, encounter smaller terraced pools, and witness stunning vistas of the surrounding mountains. The highlight of the hike is reaching the Five Color Ponds, where you can marvel at the awe-inspiring colors and cascading water formations.
  2. Golden Sand River to Snow Mountain Waterfall: This slightly more challenging route leads you from the Golden Sand River to the magnificent Snow Mountain Waterfall. The hike offers breathtaking views of the Huanglong Valley, the meandering river, and the lush forests. As you approach the waterfall, the sound of rushing water grows louder, building anticipation for the grand display of nature’s power and beauty.
  3. Huanglong Temple to Zhaga Waterfall: This scenic route takes you from the Huanglong Temple to the Zhaga Waterfall. Along the way, you’ll pass through tranquil forests, encounter smaller waterfalls, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. The highlight of the hike is reaching the Zhaga Waterfall, where you can rest and take in the impressive sight and the refreshing mist of the cascading water.
  4. Five Color Ponds to Muni Valley: For those seeking a longer and more challenging hike, the route from the Five Color Ponds to Muni Valley is a great choice. This trail leads you through diverse landscapes, including forests, meadows, and rocky slopes. Along the way, you’ll encounter hidden pools, smaller waterfalls, and panoramic viewpoints. The Muni Valley rewards hikers with its serene atmosphere and a chance to spot wildlife in their natural habitat.

It’s important to note that some hiking routes may require a higher level of physical fitness and proper hiking gear. Make sure you are prepared with comfortable shoes, layered clothing, and sufficient water and snacks. Additionally, it’s advisable to check with park authorities or local guides for any trail closures or safety guidelines before embarking on your hike.


Remember to respect the natural environment, stay on marked trails, and adhere to any park regulations to help preserve the park’s fragile ecosystems. Take your time to enjoy the breathtaking views, capture memorable photographs, and connect with the beauty of Huanglong National Park.


Now that you’re equipped with knowledge of the hiking routes, get ready to immerse yourself in the wilderness and encounter the incredible wildlife and nature that awaits you within Huanglong National Park.


Wildlife and Nature

Huanglong National Park is not only renowned for its breathtaking geological formations but also for its rich biodiversity and abundant wildlife. As you explore the park’s forests, meadows, and mountains, you’ll have the opportunity to encounter a variety of fascinating flora and fauna. Here are some of the wildlife and natural wonders you may encounter in Huanglong National Park:


Wildlife: Huanglong National Park is home to various species of animals, many of which are rare and endangered. One notable creature is the takin, a muscular and robust goat-antelope found in the rugged mountainous regions. The park is also home to the famous Sichuan golden monkey, a critically endangered primate known for its striking appearance and unique behavior. Additionally, you may come across marmots, foxes, deer, and a plethora of bird species, including the elusive blue-eared pheasant and colorful Himalayan monal.


Flora: The park’s diverse ecosystems support an array of plant life. Tall coniferous trees dominate the higher elevations, including species such as spruce, fir, and pine. As you descend to lower elevations, you’ll encounter broadleaf trees like birch, willow, and maple. The undergrowth is adorned with a variety of wildflowers, including rhododendrons, gentians, and primroses, which add vibrant splashes of color to the landscapes.


Hot Springs: Huanglong National Park is renowned for its mineral-rich hot springs, which are responsible for the formation of its stunning terraced pools. The hot springs, heated by geothermal activity deep within the Earth, flow through the Huanglong Valley, depositing calcium carbonate and other minerals along their path. These deposits contribute to the vibrant colors and unique formations of the terraced pools, creating a surreal and captivating sight.


Ecological Importance: Huanglong National Park’s unique ecosystem is of significant ecological importance. The park’s karst landscapes, dense forests, and pristine water sources serve as crucial habitats for several endangered species and contribute to the overall balance of the region’s biodiversity. The protection and preservation of this fragile ecosystem are of utmost importance to ensure the survival of these species and maintain the natural beauty of the area.


While exploring the park, it’s important to remember that Huanglong National Park is a protected area. To minimize your impact on the environment and wildlife, follow the park’s guidelines and refrain from littering or disturbing the natural surroundings. By being a responsible and conscientious visitor, you can contribute to the long-term conservation efforts and help preserve the park’s incredible wildlife and nature for future generations to enjoy.


Now that you understand the incredible wildlife and natural wonders that await you in Huanglong National Park, it’s time to consider your options for food and accommodation during your visit. In the next section, we will explore the different food and accommodation options available in and around the park.


Food and Accommodation Options

When visiting Huanglong National Park, you’ll find a range of food and accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets. Whether you prefer to stay within the park or in nearby towns, there are choices available to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay.


Food: Inside Huanglong National Park, you’ll find various dining options ranging from casual snack bars to full-service restaurants. These establishments offer a variety of Chinese and local dishes, providing you with the opportunity to savor the flavors of the region. Sample delicious Sichuan cuisine, known for its spicy and flavorful dishes, or opt for traditional Tibetan food, such as yak meat and momos (dumplings). Additionally, there are vegetarian and international food options available to cater to different dietary preferences. It’s advisable to carry extra snacks and water for longer hikes and to keep yourself energized throughout your adventures in the park.


Accommodation: When it comes to accommodation, there are several options available both inside and outside of Huanglong National Park. Inside the park, you’ll find a limited number of guesthouses and lodges that offer basic amenities. Staying within the park allows you to fully immerse yourself in the natural surroundings and enjoy a serene atmosphere during early mornings and evenings when day-trippers have left.


If you prefer more comfortable accommodation, nearby towns such as Songpan and Jiuzhaigou offer a wider range of hotels, guesthouses, and resorts. These towns are within a reasonable distance from Huanglong National Park and provide easy access to the park through organized tours, buses, or private transportation. You’ll find options catering to different budgets, ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxurious resorts with modern amenities.


Regardless of where you choose to stay, it’s recommended to book your accommodation in advance, especially during the peak tourist season. This ensures that you have a comfortable place to rest after exploring the park and guarantees availability during busy periods.


Before making a reservation, consider the location, facilities, and reviews of the accommodation to find the best fit for your needs. Look for options that offer convenient transportation options to and from the park, as well as amenities such as Wi-Fi, hot showers, and comfortable beds to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.


With a range of food and accommodation options available, you can plan your visit to Huanglong National Park knowing that you’ll have a comfortable place to stay and delicious meals to fuel your adventures in this remarkable natural paradise.


Now that you’re equipped with knowledge about food and accommodation options, let’s continue with some helpful travel tips to ensure a smooth and memorable visit to Huanglong National Park.


Travel Tips

As you plan your visit to Huanglong National Park, here are some valuable travel tips to help you make the most of your experience:

  • Plan Your Visit: Before your trip, research the park’s opening hours, admission fees, and any additional activities or attractions you wish to explore. Consider visiting during weekdays or the shoulder seasons to avoid crowds and enjoy a more peaceful experience.
  • Check the Weather: Huanglong National Park experiences varying weather conditions throughout the year. Make sure to check the weather forecast before your visit and dress accordingly. Layers, comfortable walking shoes, hats, and sunscreen are recommended.
  • Stay Hydrated: It’s important to stay hydrated, especially during hikes or in higher elevations. Carry a reusable water bottle and refill it at designated water stations or purchase water from the park’s facilities.
  • Respect the Park: As a protected area, it’s essential to respect the rules and regulations of Huanglong National Park. Do not litter, stay on designated paths, and avoid touching or damaging the natural features. Help preserve the park’s pristine environment for future generations to enjoy.
  • Prepare for Altitude: Huanglong National Park is located at high elevations, so it’s important to be aware of the potential effects of altitude. Take it easy and give yourself time to acclimate before engaging in strenuous activities. Stay properly hydrated and consider consulting with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.
  • Carry Essential Supplies: While facilities are available within the park, it’s advisable to carry essentials such as water, snacks, a rain jacket or poncho, insect repellent, and a small first-aid kit. These will ensure you are prepared for any unexpected situations during your visit.
  • Arrange Transportation in Advance: To ease your travel to and from the park, make transportation arrangements in advance. Whether it’s booking a bus or tour, arranging a private car, or consulting with a local travel agency, having transportation plans in place will ensure a smooth journey.
  • Capture Memories: Huanglong National Park offers stunning landscapes and unique geological formations. Don’t forget to bring your camera or smartphone to capture the beauty around you. Take your time to frame your shots and create lasting memories of your visit.

By following these travel tips, you’ll be well-prepared to immerse yourself in the wonders of Huanglong National Park and create unforgettable memories.


As your journey comes to an end, take a moment to reflect on the awe-inspiring beauty you’ve experienced and the sense of connection you’ve gained with nature. Huanglong National Park is a destination that will leave a lasting impression, drawing you back to its enchanting landscapes time and time again.


Whether you’re exploring the terraced pools, hiking through the lush forests, or admiring the wildlife, Huanglong National Park offers a captivating adventure for all who venture within its boundaries. So pack your bags, embark on an unforgettable trip, and let the natural wonders of Huanglong National Park mesmerize you.


Safe travels!



Huanglong National Park is a remarkable destination that showcases the power and beauty of nature. From its breathtaking terraced pools to its lush forests and diverse wildlife, the park offers a captivating experience for visitors from around the world.


Through this comprehensive guide, we have explored the various aspects of visiting Huanglong National Park. We have discussed how to get there, the entrance fees and opening hours, the best ways to explore the park, the must-see attractions, the hiking routes, the wildlife and natural wonders, as well as the food and accommodation options available.


As you plan your visit to Huanglong National Park, remember to be mindful of the park’s rules and regulations, respecting the environment and wildlife. Take your time to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the park, capturing memories and connecting with nature.


Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply someone in search of a peaceful escape, Huanglong National Park offers an unforgettable experience. It is a place where vibrant colors, sparkling water, and towering mountains come together to create a haven of natural splendor.


So, embark on your journey to Huanglong National Park, explore its wonders, and let the majesty of this incredible destination captivate your senses. Create lasting memories and cherish the moments spent in this unique and awe-inspiring landscape.


Remember, as you venture into the park, be a responsible traveler, ensuring the preservation of Huanglong National Park for future generations to cherish and enjoy.


Now, it’s time to pack your bags, embrace the adventure, and immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Huanglong National Park. Safe travels!