In Tibetan language, "Gong" refers to "snow" and "Ga" means "white or white snow peaks". Gongga Mountains has the highest peak in transaction mountain ranges in China and one of the highest peaks well known in the world. The highest peak of Gongga Mountains is 7556 meters. Together with other peaks nearby, it is covered with white snow all through the year. When it is fine, Gongga Mountains twinkles with silver rays in the sunlight; when it is cloudy, they will be surrounded by mist and clouds of various shapes. Te wonderful scenery on the mountains is really spectacular. Gongga Mountains are located in one of the glacier areas which are retained completely from ancient times. The movement of glaciers gives birth to the rare landform and landscape of glacier. In the scenic area there are five glaciers, namely, Hailuo Dyke Glacier, Yanzi Dyke Glacier, Mozi Dyke Glacier, Gongba Glacier, and Bawang Glacier. Among them, the Hailuo Dyke Glacier is 2850 meters above the sea. Its ice waterfall is 1080 meters high and 1100 meters wide, widely known as the largest ice waterfall all over China. The level distance and the fall between Dadu Rive Valley and the tip of the highest peak are respectively 29 kilometers and 6556 kilometers. Such a geographical landform is therefore characterized by the diversified distribution of biological resources and climatic features, and the scenic spot thus boasts of the rare biological sight with clear perpendicular differences world widely.
Gongga Snow Mountain
Gongga Mountains are famous for the scenery of glaciers. There are 159 strips of modern glacier, accounting over 390 square kilometers. They are the most developed and well retained oceanic glaciers in the world. Among them, the most famous ones include No. 1 Glacier, Gongba Glacier, Bawang Glacier, Yanzi Glacier, and Mizi Dyke Glacier. The average thickness of ice layers can reach 150 to 300 meters, very spectacular and rare to see in other places. Due to the erosion of glacier, the precipitous mountain peaks are reduced into a pyramid shape, towering the clear and blue sky.
Gongga Mountains are also characterized by diversified hypsography. From the upper to the lower spreads seven climatic zones, namely, sub-tropical zone, warm-temperate zone, frigid-temperate zone, sub-frigid zone, cold snap zone, frigid zone, and ice-snow zone. Unique geographical location and climatic features give birth to the particular scenery of vegetation and animal belt. The peaks which are over 5000 meters in Gongga Mountains are covered with white snow all over the year; the desolate slopes at the foot of the mountains are at a low altitude and covered with lush trees. The environment here features that of primeval zoology. The forest in the mountains is affected little by human beings. It has a complete collection of vegetation involving almost all plant species of sub-tropical zone and cold snap zone in high mountains. There are over 4880 rare plants, as well as ancient animal and plant breeds reputed as "live fossils" in the east of the mountains. By now there are about 28 rare animals under protection and over 400 wild animals in Gongga Mountains. Therefore the mountains are reputed as the spectacular garden of wild animals and plants in the world.
There are many ice-mountain lakes and over ten plateau-lakes in the scenic area. Famous lakes include Mugecuo Lake
, Wuxu Lake, Renzhong Lake, and Bawang Lake. Some lie at the foot of ice mountains and others are cuddled by forest. The lake water is crystal like clear and transparent, displaying the primeval and elegant landscape. It can even compete with that in the Yaochi Fairyland in Chinese legendary. The scenic area has clear vertical distribution of vegetation belts with rich plant varieties and primeval natural environment. There are rich families and genus of plants, 4880 of which have been identified and over 20 have been identified as the first, second, and third rank of rare animals under protection. Moreover, there are ten hot springs, the water temperature of which varies from 40℃ to 80 ℃. Sometimes it can reach as high as 90℃. Famous hot springs in the scenic area include Kangding Erdao Bridge Hot Spring and Hailuo Dyke Hot Spring Swimming Pool.
Gongga Mountains collect glacier, precipitous peaks, clear lakes, lush forest, huge prairie, and rich varieties of animal and plants. The grotesque and unique landscapes in the scenic area have attracted many scientists, explorers, mountain climbers, and tourists at home and abroad. Average tourists are suggested not to reach the precipitous peaks or slide mountain roads.