Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, also called Mount Satseto or Yulong Xueshan, rises over Tiger Leaping Gorge in southwest China. Both of the natural wonders are found close to Lijiang in the Yunnan Province. It’s a rare sight to see glaciers so far south—in fact, Jade Dragon and its peaks are the southernmost snow-capped mountains in the Northern Hemisphere. Known for its beauty and history, the mountain range is an interesting addition to any Lijiang tours. Those who love nature will also want to make sure to visit the equally alluring Black Dragon Lake.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

The Naxi People of China have lived in the shadow of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain for generations. For these people of China who live primarily on grain farming and leading treks, this is a place of legends. Each of the peaks—the highest of which is 5,600 meters (18,360 feet) tall—are shrouded in fog and covered in snow. From Lijiang Old Town, the peaks appear like a jade dragon lying down in the clouds. The legend says that the jade dragon drove away an evil interloper after using 13 swords. After his victory, the jade dragon continued to yield 13 swords to show his power, which eventually lead to the 13 peaks that continue to reach towards the skies.

Today, people come from all around the globe to add Lijiang to their China vacation plans. While the mountain peaks are too slippery and the conditions are too harsh to reach the summit, it doesn’t mean you can’t get close. Naxi guides and other tour companies are available to lead treks through the more accessible parts of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The natural diversity is stunning in the shadow of the dragon. Fully a quarter of all plant species found in China have a home here on and around the mountain. You’ll also have access to beautiful streams and pools formed by the snow melt, including Black Dragon Lake.

Many regard the views from Black Dragon as some of the best in China. As you take in the vista of lush green trees, a peaceful pagoda and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the background, you’ll be sure to agree.

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