Yulong Snow Mountain (Jade Dragon Snow Mountain)

This mountain, actually a small mountain range, is located 15km north of Lijiang and is home to the southern-most glacier in the northern hemisphere. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain provides a picturesque backdrop when seen from Lijiang and is truly stunning when viewed up close. The tallest of the mountain’s 13 peaks is Shanzidou at a height of 5596 meters. The far side (relative to Lijiang) of the massif forms one side of Tiger Leaping Gorge.

In an effort to gouge tourists, the area around the mountain has been declared a ‘scenic area’ which you need to pay to enter. Once inside, there are three cable cars going to different places. The most popular, and the highlight of the mountain, is the one that takes you up to an elevation of 4506m (¥160). From there you can trek a bit further up the mountain or just enjoy the spectacular views of the glacier, the peak and the Lijiang countryside. If you time your visit right you can also catch the “Impression Lijiang” show at 1:30pm each day (tickets around ¥200). Visiting Yulong Snow Mountain is a little pricey, but it’s a very memorable experience. If you’re doing this trip independently, leave early – there can be very long queues for the cable car.

Admission: ¥80.

Directions: Bus #7 from opposite the Mao statue on Xin Dajie will get you to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain for ¥10. Try to do the return journey as early as possible, as the bus can be erratic in the late afternoon and you could be stranded.