Hailuogou Glacier National Park – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

hailuogou glacier national park

Hailuogou Glacier National Park (海螺沟冰川森林公园), situated in the Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province, is a significant component of the Gongga Mountain Scenic Area and a national-level natural reserve. Originating from the eastern slope of the “King of Shu Mountains,” Mount Gongga, Hailuogou spans approximately 30.7 kilometers with an area of around 220 square kilometers. The gorge features high mountain peaks, glaciers, icefalls, pristine forests, geothermal hot springs, a wildlife and plant park, a red stone park, and more.

The glacier in Hailuogou formed around 16 million years ago, classified by geologists as a modern maritime glacier. The name “Hailuogou” originates from the visual impression when explorers and mountaineers stand at 4,300 meters overlooking the glacier. The entire arched structure is clear, symmetrical, and resembles a huge snail due to its orderly and radiating fractures. Another legend suggests that the glacier’s early shape resembled a city gate, and the wind blowing through the gate produced a sound resembling the music of a conch shell, inspiring the name “Hailuogou” or Conch Valley Glacier.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of TourA day
Ticket PriceAdmission: 90 RMB
Shuttle Bus: 70 RMB
Cable Car: 150 RMB
Opening Hours8.00 – 18.00
Telephone Number0086-0836-3268893

Location and Transportation

Hailuogou Glacier National Park is situated in the western part of China’s Sichuan Province, specifically in Luding County, Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. The park is nestled in the southeastern section of the iconic Gongga Mountain range, which is part of the greater Hengduan Mountain Range.

The national park is bordered by the Dadu River to the east and encompasses a vast area of approximately 220 square kilometers. It is about 320 kilometers from the city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province. To get there, you can choose the following ways:

Airline: Take a plane from Chengdu to Kangding, and then transfer to a coach to Moxi Town, where Hailuogou is located. This option takes about 3 hours in total.

Coach: There are express coaches departing from Xinnanmen Bus Station (新南门车站) in Chengdu to Hailuogou. It normally coasts 120 RMB and takes about 7 hours.

Self-Drive: However, the most convenient and desirable way to get there is to drive yourself, which allows you to gradually adapt to the altitude and enjoy the marvellous views on the road. Even if you do not have a car, there are plenty of car rental companies in Chengdu, where you can easily get one.

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Highlights of Hailuogou

Majestic Glaciers

majestic glaciers in hailuogou glacier national park

The Hailuogou Glacier, primarily located at Campsite No. 3, unveils a mesmerizing ice and snow world. Embraced by lush primeval forests, the glacier forms a unique natural spectacle where silver-shining glacier torrents coexist with the vibrant greenery. Visitors can gaze upon the majestic Mount Gongga, the pinnacle of the Shu Mountains, an ideal spot to witness the golden sunrise. As the first rays of sunlight pierce the sky, brilliant hues illuminate the sacred Gongga Mountain, surrounded by swirling clouds and mist, creating an enchanting landscape that feels like a journey into a celestial realm.

Hot Springs

hot springs in hailuogou glacier national park

The hot springs in Hailuogou Glacier National Park are primarily located at Campsite No. 2, approximately 8 kilometers from the park entrance. Enveloped in misty vapors, these renowned hot springs continuously flow throughout the year. Campsite No. 2 features over 10 open-air hot spring pools and an outdoor hot spring swimming pool. Adjacent to the pools lies a dense, pristine forest, providing a beautiful backdrop for a relaxing soak while enjoying the scenery. During snowy weather, the hot springs offer a rare experience as guests can immerse themselves in the warm water while witnessing the enchanting spectacle of snowflakes gently falling from the sky.

Ice Waterfalls

ice waterfalls in hailuogou glacier national park

The ice waterfalls of Hailuogou Glacier National Park are an extraordinary sight that captivates visitors with their ethereal beauty. Formed by the melting glaciers, these frozen cascades create a mesmerizing spectacle of ice formations. The glistening curtains of ice, delicately carved and sparkling in the sunlight, create a surreal and enchanting landscape. As the water flows down the slopes and freezes, it forms intricate patterns and shapes, adding to the allure of these natural ice sculptures. The ice waterfalls of Hailuogou Glacier National Park offer a breathtaking display of nature’s artistry, leaving visitors in awe of their sheer magnificence.

Fauna and Flora

alpine meadows and forests in hailuogou glacier national park

Hailuogou Glacier National Park harbors over 2,500 species of alpine plants, ranging from subtropical to frigid zones, within a large canyon formed by a vertical elevation difference of over 6,500 meters in less than 30 kilometers. The landscape features lush bamboo groves, towering palm trees, low moss and lichen, and soaring pine and hemlock trees. The gorge is home to over 400 species of wildlife, including 28 precious species under national protection. Among them are the gentle giant panda, as well as other inhabitants like the Asiatic black bear and wild boar. The park’s diverse flora and fauna contribute to its ecological richness and biodiversity.

Trekking and Hiking

trekking and hiking in hailuogou glacier national park

Hailuogou Glacier National Park offers exhilarating opportunities for trekking and hiking, allowing adventurers to immerse themselves in its breathtaking landscapes. The park features a network of trails that cater to different skill levels, ranging from leisurely strolls to challenging mountain expeditions. Trekking through lush forests, ascending steep slopes, and crossing suspension bridges, hikers are rewarded with panoramic vistas of snow-capped peaks, cascading waterfalls, and rugged gorges. The park’s diverse terrain and awe-inspiring natural beauty make it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking thrilling adventures and unforgettable memories.

Vlog about Hailuogou Glacier National Park

Useful Tips from Genuine Reviews

Campsites Highlights:

Campsite One (Altitude: 1940m): Highlights: Sights include fragrant trees, Kanding magnolias, Tibetan snowcocks, butterflies, a hot spring at 56°C, and a distant view of the No. 2 Glacier.

Campsite Two (Altitude: 2660m): Highlights: Features like redwoods, birch trees, and wildlife such as takins and macaques, along with a 92.5°C glacial hot spring.

Campsite Three (Altitude: 2980m): Highlights: This is considered the starting point for the glacier. Visitors can spot Tibetan macaques, large-leaved rhododendrons, and explore the primeval forest.

Campsite Four (Altitude: 3600m): Highlights: Features include shrubbery, snow lotus flowers, a cable car, a panoramic view of the big ice waterfall, and a distant view of the main peak of Mount Gongga.

Accommodation Suggestion:

Stay in Moxi Town, which is roughly a 20-minute drive from the main entrance of the park. The town offers a variety of dining and lodging options. Mornings may provide the opportunity to witness the sunrise over the mountains.

Specialties of Moxi Town’s Cuisine:

Local specialties include cured meat, yak meat hotpot, roasted chicken, and mushroom hotpot.

Travel Tips:

Hiking Recommendation: Instead of taking the cable car, consider a 6-kilometer hike through the primitive forest. This hike, which takes about 3.5 hours round trip (excluding leisure and photography time), allows encounters with Tibetan macaques. It leads to the base of the big ice waterfall at Glacier One for a close encounter with the glacier.

Alternative Travel Option: If not keen on a long hike, you can take a 15-yuan electric vehicle from Campsite Three to Chengmendong, where a short walk will bring you to the glacier for a close-up experience.

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