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Siguniangshan National Park

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Dec 15, 2021

Siguniangshan National Park (四姑娘山国家公园 – Four Maidens Mountain National Park) is in Aba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan province.

The Third and Fourth Girls of Mount Siguniang

. . . Siguniangshan National Park . . .

Mount Siguniang National Park lies 220 km west of Chengdu, in the Qionglai Mountains of western Sichuan in China. The park is comprised of Mount Siguniang itself and the three most accessible valleys surrounding it. The nearest town is Rilong (日隆镇). The three valleys are called Changping Valley (长坪沟), Haizi Valley (海子沟) and Shuangqiao Valley (双桥沟). The first two lie adjacent to Siguniangshan, whilst the Shuangqiao Valley is 7 km west of Rilong. The Changping and Haizi Valleys are accessible only by non-motorized transport while the third valley has a paved road and is where most of the tourists visit. The Shuangqiao Valley also has 28 km of boardwalk extending to the valley’s end, whilst the first 3 km of the Changping Valley is equipped with a boardwalk.

Mount Siguniang National Park was approved for establishment in 1994 by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. An application for World Heritage status as part of the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuary: Wolong, Mt. Siguniang and Jiajin Mountains was submitted to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), leading to its inscription as a World Heritage site in 2006. The National Park is a category II national park under the IUCN’s Management Categories of Protected Areas.

Because of its geographical location and diversified landforms, Siguniang Mountain is home to a diversity of animals, many of which are rated in China as first-class protected species. Its mammals include the Sichuan golden monkey, white-lipped deer, clouded leopard, snow leopard and occasional giant panda. It is also home to a number of iconic birds, such as the Chinese monal pheasant, Chinese hazel grouse, bearded vulture, Sichuan pheasant partridge, Tibetan snow-cock, and blood pheasant.

Over 1000 plant species have been recorded in the national park.

Winter in Mount Siguniang is cold and relatively dry, with night-time temperatures dropping to as low as -15˚C regularly in Rilong, and to even colder temperatures in the mountains. Daytime temperatures hover around 0˚C, however the conditions are often sunny, with little snowfall.

Spring brings milder temperatures, with both snow and rain becoming more frequent. Summer’s weather is unpredictable, but can get as high as 30˚C during the day. Night time is generally cool, however, regardless of the daytime heat. Thunderstorms are also common.

Autumn sees less precipitation, with sunnier weather and lower night-time temperatures that often drop below freezing.

There are three routes to Mount Siguniang National park from Chengdu, varying in distance and scenery.

The most direct route is to come from Chengdu through Dujiangyan and Wolong, and over Mount Balang pass, which, at over 4500 m above sea level, affords some spectacular views. A taxi or van can be arranged from Chengdu. These should cost around ¥150.

A better road exists between the city of Ya’an and Rilong, via the towns of Baoxing, Yaoji and Dawei. This road is in much better condition than the road through Dujiangyan and Wolong. Ya’an is approximately 2 hours south west of Chengdu via bus, and buses go directly from Chengdu to Ya’an or Baoxing. Travellers can get a taxi or van from Baoxing to Rilong for ¥500-600, or a cheaper option is to take a bus from Baoxing to Yaoji, and take a taxi to Rilong from there. The road crosses Mount Jiajin pass, which is around 4100 m asl, and also has some excellent views. Expect this route to take a full day.

The least direct way to get to Rilong is to catch a bus to the city of Xiaojin from Chengdu, and then pay ¥20 for a seat in a van for the final 55km to Rilong. This route passes through Ya’an and the cities of Luding and Danba, and has excellent views. There is only one stop along the way, however, and the total travel time on the bus is around 14 hours.

. . . Siguniangshan National Park . . .

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