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How To Visit Jiuzhaigou National Park : The Yosemite Of China


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Dorree Archambault



Jiuzhaigou National Park, also known as the “Yosemite of China,” is a majestic destination nestled in the mountains of Sichuan province. With its stunning natural landscapes, crystal-clear lakes, cascading waterfalls, and vibrant forests, Jiuzhaigou National Park offers a unique and unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.


Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jiuzhaigou National Park is renowned for its breathtakingly beautiful scenery and rich biodiversity. The park spans over 720 square kilometers and is home to numerous plant and animal species, including the rare and endangered giant panda.


Visiting Jiuzhaigou National Park is like stepping into a fairytale land. The turquoise-colored lakes, formed by mineral-rich glacial waters, reflect the surrounding mountains and create a mesmerizing sight that leaves visitors in awe. The interconnected waterfalls, standing tall against a backdrop of lush greenery, provide a soothing soundtrack to the serene atmosphere.


Aside from its natural beauty, Jiuzhaigou National Park also has cultural significance. The park is named after the nine Tibetan villages scattered throughout the area, which adds a touch of traditional Tibetan culture to the overall visitor experience.


Whether you are an avid hiker, a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking tranquility in nature, Jiuzhaigou National Park offers something for everyone. This article will guide you on why, when, and how to visit Jiuzhaigou National Park, as well as provide tips for making the most of your trip. Get ready to embark on a remarkable journey through one of China’s most astonishing natural wonders.


Why Visit Jiuzhaigou National Park

Jiuzhaigou National Park is a destination that captivates the hearts of visitors from all over the world. Here are some compelling reasons why you should plan a trip to this enchanting paradise:

  1. Breathtaking Natural Beauty: Jiuzhaigou National Park is renowned for its awe-inspiring natural beauty. The park is home to a collection of multi-hued lakes, mesmerizing waterfalls, and panoramic mountain vistas. The stunning blend of colors, from the deep blues of the lakes to the vibrant greens of the surrounding forests, creates a visual paradise that is simply irresistible.
  2. UNESCO World Heritage Site: As a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jiuzhaigou National Park is recognized as a place of outstanding universal value. Its ecological uniqueness and significant natural features make it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and conservation enthusiasts.
  3. Rich Biodiversity: The park boasts a diverse range of flora and fauna. From ancient trees to rare orchids, the plant life in Jiuzhaigou National Park is abundant and captivating. It is also home to many elusive and endangered animal species, including the Giant Panda and the Golden Snub-nosed Monkey.
  4. Photographic Paradise: With its stunning landscapes and vibrant colors, Jiuzhaigou National Park is a paradise for photographers. Every corner of the park offers a picture-perfect moment, whether it’s the reflection of mountains in the pristine lakes or the dynamic cascades of waterfalls. It’s impossible to resist capturing the beauty of this natural wonderland.
  5. Outdoor Adventure: Jiuzhaigou National Park offers a range of outdoor activities for adventurous souls. From hiking along scenic trails to horseback riding through the valleys, there are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the park. During the winter months, the park transforms into a snowy wonderland, perfect for skiing and snowboarding.

Visiting Jiuzhaigou National Park is like stepping into a magical realm of untouched beauty and tranquility. It’s a place where you can reconnect with nature, soak in extraordinary landscapes, and create unforgettable memories. Whether you’re a nature lover, a photographer, or an adventurer seeking new experiences, Jiuzhaigou National Park will leave you in awe of its splendor.


When to Visit Jiuzhaigou National Park

Jiuzhaigou National Park is a destination that exhibits different charms throughout the year. The best time to visit depends on your preferences and the unique experiences you seek. Here are the different seasons to consider:

  1. Spring (March to May): Spring brings a burst of vibrant colors to Jiuzhaigou National Park. As the snow starts to melt, the valleys come alive with blooming flowers and fresh green foliage. The weather is pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 10 to 20 degrees Celsius (50 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit). Spring is an excellent time for photography, as the landscapes are adorned with a colorful tapestry of nature.
  2. Summer (June to August): Summer is the peak tourist season in Jiuzhaigou National Park. The weather is mild, with temperatures ranging from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius (59 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit). This season offers the best opportunities for hiking and outdoor activities. However, be prepared for larger crowds, especially during Chinese holidays.
  3. Autumn (September to November): Autumn is considered the most picturesque season in Jiuzhaigou National Park. The lush greenery transforms into a palette of gold, red, and orange as the leaves change colors. The temperature starts to cool down, with average temperatures ranging from 5 to 15 degrees Celsius (41 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit). Autumn is ideal for photography enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful and less crowded visit.
  4. Winter (December to February): Winter in Jiuzhaigou National Park is a winter wonderland. The valleys are blanketed in snow, creating a pristine and magical atmosphere. The temperature can drop below freezing, ranging from -5 to 10 degrees Celsius (23 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit). Winter is an excellent time for snow enthusiasts, as the park offers skiing and snowboarding activities.

It’s important to note that Jiuzhaigou National Park is closed during specific periods for ecological protection and maintenance. Typically, the park closes for the entire months of February and March, as well as some specific days or weeks during the shoulder seasons. It’s essential to check the official website or consult with local travel agencies for the exact opening and closing dates before planning your visit.


Ultimately, the best time to visit Jiuzhaigou National Park depends on your preferences for weather, crowds, and the unique experiences each season offers. Regardless of the season you choose, Jiuzhaigou National Park will treat you to unparalleled beauty and an unforgettable journey through nature’s wonders.


How to Get to Jiuzhaigou National Park

Getting to Jiuzhaigou National Park involves a combination of transportation modes. Here are the main options to consider:

  1. By Air: The closest airport to Jiuzhaigou National Park is Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport (JZH). There are direct flights from major cities in China, such as Chengdu, Chongqing, and Xi’an. Once you arrive at the airport, you can choose to take a shared van or a private car to reach the park. The journey from the airport to the park takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.
  2. By Bus: If you prefer a more budget-friendly option, you can take a bus to Jiuzhaigou National Park. Buses depart regularly from Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province, and the journey takes around 8 to 10 hours. It’s advisable to book your bus tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.
  3. By Private Car: Another convenient way to reach Jiuzhaigou National Park is by hiring a private car or joining a group tour. This option provides flexibility and allows you to explore the region at your own pace. It’s recommended to book a reputable tour agency or hire a reliable driver who is familiar with the route.
  4. Local Transportation: Once you arrive at Jiuzhaigou National Park, there are shuttle buses available to take you between the different scenic areas within the park. These shuttle buses are the primary means of transportation within the park and are included in the entrance fee.

It’s important to check the latest transportation information and schedules as they may vary during different seasons. Additionally, during peak seasons, such as Chinese holidays, it’s advisable to book your transportation in advance to ensure availability.


Regardless of the mode of transportation you choose, the journey to Jiuzhaigou National Park is as much a part of the experience as the destination itself. The scenic routes offer breathtaking views of the Sichuan countryside, with picturesque mountains, valleys, and charming rural villages along the way.


Remember to bring your valid identification documents, as they are required for purchasing entrance tickets to Jiuzhaigou National Park and may be checked during your journey. With proper planning and a sense of adventure, you’ll soon find yourself immersed in the natural wonders of Jiuzhaigou National Park.


Where to Stay in Jiuzhaigou National Park

When visiting Jiuzhaigou National Park, you have several options for accommodation that cater to different budgets and preferences. Here are some suggestions on where to stay:

  1. Inside the Park: For the ultimate convenience and immersive experience, consider staying inside Jiuzhaigou National Park. There are several hotels and lodges located within the park boundaries, offering easy access to the scenic areas. Staying inside the park allows you to enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings and explore the park during early mornings or late evenings when it’s less crowded.
  2. Near the Park Entrance: If you prefer to stay outside the park, there are accommodation options near the park entrance. These hotels and guesthouses provide easy access to the park and are usually more affordable compared to the ones inside the park. You can find a range of options, from budget-friendly guesthouses to mid-range hotels with comfortable amenities.
  3. Huanglong National Park Area: Huanglong National Park, another stunning natural site in the vicinity of Jiuzhaigou, offers accommodations for visitors. Staying in the Huanglong area allows you to explore both Jiuzhaigou National Park and Huanglong National Park, maximizing your experience in the region. The hotels in this area range from budget to high-end, with some offering hot spring facilities.
  4. Chengdu: If you prefer to stay in a larger city with more amenities and a wider range of accommodation choices, consider staying in Chengdu. As the capital city of Sichuan province, Chengdu offers a variety of hotels, from budget to luxury options. Although it requires a longer journey to reach Jiuzhaigou National Park from Chengdu, it provides more opportunities for exploring Chengdu’s vibrant culture and attractions.

It’s recommended to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons when availability might be limited. You can book directly through the hotel websites or use reputable online travel platforms to compare prices and read reviews from other travelers.


Regardless of where you choose to stay, it’s important to note that Jiuzhaigou National Park operates on a daily quota system to manage visitor numbers. It’s advisable to check the official Jiuzhaigou National Park website for the latest information and to plan your visit accordingly.


By choosing the right accommodation, you can enhance your overall experience in Jiuzhaigou National Park and ensure a comfortable and memorable stay in this captivating destination.


Attractions in Jiuzhaigou National Park

Jiuzhaigou National Park is a treasure trove of natural wonders, featuring a range of attractions that will leave you awe-inspired. Here are some of the must-visit attractions within the park:

  1. Multi-colored Lakes: One of the main highlights of Jiuzhaigou National Park is its collection of multi-colored lakes. These stunning lakes, including the famous Five Flower Lake and Long Lake, are a result of mineral deposits and reflections of the surrounding landscape. The varying hues of turquoise, emerald, and sapphire create a surreal and magical atmosphere.
  2. Waterfalls: Jiuzhaigou National Park is home to numerous cascading waterfalls that add a touch of splendor to the already breathtaking landscapes. The Pearl Shoal Waterfall and Nuorilang Waterfall are two of the most notable waterfalls in the park, with their impressive heights and mesmerizing beauty.
  3. Panda Lake: Named after the playful pandas that used to frequent the area, Panda Lake is a serene and picturesque spot in Jiuzhaigou National Park. The lake is surrounded by dense forests and offers reflections of the vibrant colors of the surrounding foliage.
  4. Zharu Valley: Zharu Valley is a hidden gem within Jiuzhaigou National Park. This pristine valley is less crowded and offers a peaceful retreat amidst the stunning alpine scenery. It is also home to the Zharu Monastery, an important cultural and religious site.
  5. Rize Valley: Rize Valley is another must-visit area in Jiuzhaigou National Park, known for its towering mountains, turquoise lakes, and vibrant forests. The highlight of Rize Valley is the Mirror Lake, which offers a reflection so clear that it creates a perfect mirror image of its surroundings.
  6. Primeval Forests: The primeval forests in Jiuzhaigou National Park are teeming with lush greenery and a diverse range of plant species. Walking through these forests gives you a sense of being in a fairy tale, with moss-covered trees and a serene ambiance.

These attractions are just a glimpse of what Jiuzhaigou National Park has to offer. Each scenic spot within the park has its own unique charm and beauty, making it a paradise for nature lovers, photographers, and those seeking a serene escape from the bustling city life.


It’s important to explore at your own pace and take the time to appreciate the natural wonders that surround you. Remember to bring comfortable walking shoes, as some areas require walking and hiking to fully experience the beauty of the park.


Keep in mind that Jiuzhaigou National Park has implemented a one-way visitor flow system to manage the crowds and protect the natural environment. It’s advisable to follow the designated routes and be respectful of the park’s rules and regulations.


Prepare to be mesmerized by the breathtaking attractions in Jiuzhaigou National Park and immerse yourself in the remarkable beauty of this pristine natural wonderland.


Tips for Visiting Jiuzhaigou National Park

Visiting Jiuzhaigou National Park requires some planning and preparation to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some essential tips to help you make the most of your trip:

  1. Plan Your Visit in Advance: Jiuzhaigou National Park can get crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons. It’s advisable to plan your visit in advance and book your accommodation and transportation accordingly. Check the park’s official website for any announcements or changes in operating hours.
  2. Be Aware of the Park’s Quota System: Jiuzhaigou National Park operates on a quota system, allowing a limited number of visitors per day. It’s essential to check the park’s quota availability and purchase your entrance tickets in advance to secure your entry. Arriving early in the morning can help you beat the crowds and have a more peaceful experience.
  3. Dress Accordingly: Jiuzhaigou National Park’s weather can be unpredictable, so it’s recommended to dress in layers. Bring a warm jacket, comfortable walking shoes, and a waterproof outer layer. It’s also advisable to wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
  4. Stay Hydrated and Bring Snacks: Exploring Jiuzhaigou National Park involves a fair amount of walking, so it’s essential to stay hydrated. Bring a refillable water bottle and pack some snacks to keep your energy levels up during your visit. There are restaurants and food stalls available within the park, but it’s always good to have some snacks on hand.
  5. Follow the designated routes: Jiuzhaigou National Park has designated routes that visitors must follow to protect the environment. In some areas, there may be restrictions on walking or hiking off the trails to preserve the delicate ecosystems. Respect the park’s rules and regulations and be mindful of the natural surroundings.
  6. Bring Cash: Although some places within the park may accept credit cards, it’s advisable to bring cash for entrance fees, shuttle buses, and any additional purchases. It’s also recommended to bring small bills as some vendors may not have change for larger denominations.
  7. Be Mindful of the Environment: Jiuzhaigou National Park is a pristine natural area, and it’s important to leave no trace. Dispose of any trash in designated bins and avoid littering. Respect the wildlife and ecosystem, and refrain from touching or disturbing any plants, animals, or natural formations.
  8. Take Your Time to Enjoy: Jiuzhaigou National Park is a place of unparalleled beauty, and it’s worth taking your time to savor every moment. Slow down, soak in the serene atmosphere, and appreciate the breathtaking landscapes. Capture memories with your camera, but don’t forget to put it down and personally experience the wonders around you.

By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to explore Jiuzhaigou National Park and create unforgettable memories in this captivating destination. Enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of the park and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature’s masterpiece.



Jiuzhaigou National Park, the Yosemite of China, is a destination that truly captivates the soul. With its breathtaking natural beauty, including multi-colored lakes, majestic waterfalls, and vibrant forests, Jiuzhaigou National Park offers a unique and enchanting experience for visitors from around the world. Whether you’re a nature lover, a photographer, or an adventurer seeking new experiences, Jiuzhaigou National Park has something to offer everyone.


From the turquoise-colored lakes that reflect the surrounding mountains to the cascading waterfalls that provide a soothing soundtrack, every corner of Jiuzhaigou National Park is a visual paradise. The park’s rich biodiversity and cultural significance add to its allure, making it a must-visit UNESCO World Heritage Site.


When planning your trip, consider the best time to visit based on your preferences for weather and crowd levels. Explore the various transportation options to get to Jiuzhaigou National Park, whether it’s by air, bus, or private car. Choose your accommodation wisely, whether it’s inside the park for convenience or near the park entrance for budget-friendly options.


Once you arrive at Jiuzhaigou National Park, be prepared to be amazed by the stunning attractions that await. Take your time to soak in the breathtaking landscapes, explore the multi-colored lakes, and witness the grandeur of the waterfalls. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the primeval forests and indulge in outdoor adventures.


As you journey through this natural wonderland, remember to be mindful of the park’s rules and regulations, respect the environment, and leave no trace. Stay hydrated, bring snacks, and dress accordingly to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience.


Let Jiuzhaigou National Park cast its spell on you, providing an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Immerse yourself in the beauty of this natural wonder, capture unforgettable memories, and leave with a profound appreciation for the wonders of nature.


Welcome to Jiuzhaigou National Park, where nature’s masterpiece awaits your discovery.