Jinkou Grand Canyon
Jinkou Grand Canyon combines the charms of the Yi ethnic group’s beauty, the canyon floor, the stratum prehistoric lives, abrupt peaks, torrential streams, cultural relics, rare animals and plants. At the end of 2005, Jinkou Grand Canyon was ranked as the “Top 10 most beautiful grand canyons in China” by Chinese National Geography Magazine.
Jinkou Grand Canyon extends from the east of Ouse River to Jinkou River, covering Jinkouhe District of Leshan City, Hanyuan County of Yaan City, Ganluo County of Liangshan Prefecture in Sichuan Province. Originating from the Northwest Sichuan Plateau, Dadu River is famous for its torrential flow and turbulent fluid. It runs and roars, flowing down vigorously. The great river creates this grand canyon as well as the attractive natural scenery. Only in Jinkou Grand Canyon can tourists enjoy the most splendid scene.
Jinkou Grand Canyon is the longest, narrowest, deepest, rarest, quietest and most dangerous canyon in Sichuan Province, which is 300 meters deeper than the Grand Canyon in the US measuring 2,300 meters in depth. The narrowest part is even much narrower than the Tiger Leaping Gorge which was the original narrowest canyon in the world. Jinkou Grand Canyon is about 30 kilometers (about 18.64 miles) long and more than 2,600 meters deep in the deepest part. The mountains on both sides of the river are high and steep, with rare peaks and strangely-shaped rocks. Dadu River boasts torrential stream, precipitous landform and beautiful waterfalls. The trees around are verdant, and the resources of animals and plants are quite abundant.
Dawa Mountain is ranked as an important scenic spot in Jinkou Grand Canyon, with the altitude of about 3,236 meters. Embraced by cliffs in the four directions, a flat plateau is formed on the top of the mountain. Seen from a distance, Dawa Mountains looks like a castle in the air or a huge ship sailing in the vast forest. The relative altitude of the cliffs around Dawa Mountain is 1000 meters.The flat plateau on the top of the mountain covers an area of 1.6 square kilometers (or 160 hectares). Two small streams starting from the top of the mountain fall down from the cliff on the southeast, creating a 1000-meter-long waterfall.
Climbing onto the top of Dawa Mountain, tourists can appreciate the sunrise and the sea of clouds. In the south, tourists can enjoy the imposing and steep cliffs; in the north, tourists can enjoy the beautiful scenery of Jinding of Emei Mountain; in the west, tourists can see the snowy peaks of Minya Konka which is the king of the mountains in Sichuan. At the foot of Dawa Mountain, there are five rippling and clear natural lakes linked together.
The way to Dawa Mountain is very precipitous and steep, which is not easy for tourists. Due to the surrounding cliffs, in many parts of the way, only one person can manage to pass at one time. In spite of the dangerous and precipitous way, the scenery along the way is quite attractive, with waterfall falling down from heaven and verdant natural forests helping tourists to forget the difficulty on the way. While arriving at the top of the mountain, tourists can have a panoramic view of Emei Mountain and Minya Konka. In addition, the colorful sunrise glow and sunset glow, the beautiful sea of clouds and mist in the forests all help tourists feel that it is a rewarding trip.
Baixiong Valley (White Bear Valley)
Baixiong Valley, meaning White Bear Valley, got its name because it was an ideal habitat of pandas. Baixiong Valley is a branch of Dadu River, located on its northern bank. It is a famous tourist attraction in Jinkou Grand Canyon. Located on the juncture of Leshan City and Yaan City, Baixiong Valley is about 7 kilometers (about 4.35 miles) long and more than 2,000 meters deep. The most attractive scenery in Baixiong Valley is the “thread of the sky”. The distance between the two mountains on both sides of Baixiong Valley is only over 20 meters, making the sky look like a small piece of bamboo leaf.
The valley extends directly to the southern foot of Dawa Mountain. On both sides, the scenery is unique and beautiful. Among the cliffs which are nearly one thousand meters high, there are exuberant grass and trees, nearly blotting out the sky and covering the sun. The hanging springs are like white silk and the running waterfalls splashes spray jade beads. The carvings of the nature can be seen everywhere, such as Buddha, deities and animals. In autumn and winter, the valley covered with snow becomes a while world, while in spring and summer, mountain flowers are all in full bloom. Together with Dawa Mountain, which is also known as “Noah's Ark”, Baixiong Valley creates a natural but miraculous picture.
Best Time to Visit
Rainy season there lasts from June to August every year. The best time to visit Jinkou Grand Canyon is April, May, September and October. If tourists want to hike in the canyon, they should pay special attention to the potential safety hazard of collapse and rolling rocks in rainy season. They had better put on safety helmets.