Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area
Huanglong (Yellow Dragon) Scenic and Historic Interest Area is located at the south section of Mt. Minsha range, Songpan County, Aba Tibetan and Qiang Peoples Autonomous Prefecture, northern Sichuan Province, which is a geological transition from the eastern edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau towards Sichuan Basin.
The scenic area covers about 700 square kilometers, of which the Huanglong Valley takes up 600 square kilometers, while the subdivision Mouni Valley occupies the other 100 square kilometers. The area has well preserved tectonic zones, glacial remains, and river source topography. It is well known for the “four wonders” of colorful ponds, snow mountains, alpine gorges, and forests. The huge travertine formation is like a golden dragon winding among the virgin forests, cliffs, and snowclad peaks , constituting the amazing, precipitous, majestic, and wild environmental features of Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area.
The altitude of the area is over 3,000 meters above the sea level, with snowclad peaks like a forest, of which 7 are over 5,000 meters high, while the highest Snow Treasure Peak (Xuebaoding) is 5,588m above the sea level, which is the summit of Mt. Minshan and capped with snow all year round. In the area are also preserved a wealth of rare plants and animals, including 1,500 species of higher plants, most of which are only found in China and 11 of them are under ClassⅠto Class Ⅲ state protection. As for the rare animals, there are giant panda, golden snub-nosed monkey, takin, cloud leopard, white-lipped deer, brown-eared pheasant, and white-eared pheasant, all under state protection as ClassⅠto Class Ⅲ endangered animals.
Here are landscapes comparable to the snow-white mountains in Canada, Great Canyon of Wyoming, virgin forests in Colorado, and travertine colored ponds of the Yellowstone Park. This area gathers all the best landscapes which make it a rare scenic beauty in the world.
In October of 1982, it was listed as a key scenic area of the nation, and in December of 1992 UNESCO inscribed it on its World Heritage List as a natural heritage of the human world.