Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong

Jiuzhaigou National Park is a part of the Min Mountains on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, north of Sichuan province, while Huanglong National Park is a northwest part of Sichuan, and also part of Min Mountains. The highest peak of Min Mountains is near Huanglong. The distance between Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong is 130 km.

The difference between Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong is that Jiuzhaigou is full of lakes, while in Huanglong calcite deposits create the very interesting cascade of crater shaped pools. The scenery is different and it’s worth visiting both parks. If you have to choose between Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong, then Jiuzhaigou should be your choice. Both National parks are declared a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in 1992.

Jiuzhaigou is bigger and in order to go around, you need to walk a lot. However, both can be visited in two days, although it would not be bad if you decide to spend two days in Jiuzhaigou alone. Huanglong can be visited as a day trip from Jiuzhaigou, but if you want to spend your night there, the best place for it is Songpan town, which is around 55 kilometers from Huanglong. If you are short on time, it is possible to take the shuttle bus from Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport to Jiuzhaigou via Huanglong, with 4 hours break for Huanglong sightseeing.

If you go early from Jiuzhaigou to Huanglong (or Songpan) it is possible to visit the Huanglong National Park in a day, since for the basic sightseeing, 4 or 5 hours is quite enough. However, it is not possible in a day to travel from Huanglong (or Songpan) and visit Jiuzhaigou, unless you go quite early and arrive in Jiuzhaigou the moment it opens.  Nevertheless, this option is quite demanding and not recommended, so if you can manage your time, you should leave more than a day for visiting Jiuzhaigou.

Click here to read about transportation between Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong.