Why is Shu Zheng Valley special?
The Shu Zheng Valley is the northern branch of Jiuzhai Valley. From the Valley entrance to Nuorilang, about 14.5 kilometers, Shu Zheng Valley represents the trunk of the upside-down “Y” that describes Jiuzhai Valley’s main tri-valley system. You are attracted by one scenic spot after another along the stream valley. Totally about 20 sites include Nuorilang Waterfall, Reed Lake, Shu Zheng Lakes etc.
Shu Zheng Valley highlights
Of all the charming waterfalls in the Jiuzhai Valley, Nuorilang Waterfall is the most stunning. Nuorilang Waterfall is over 300 meters wide and spans a ridge, which is 20 meters high with a smooth top floor. Nuorilang means “grand and magnificent” in Tibetan. Indeed, it is often regarded as the symbol of the scenic area and it is cited as one of the six most beautiful waterfalls in China.
Nuorilang Waterfall is one of China’s major travertine waterfalls. Its rolling waters swoop down, stirring the whole valley. The top of the waterfall is very flat. Also called a “forest waterfall”, its waters flow out of the dense forest, the trees and waterfall both separate and yet combine into one, like a green loom ceaselessly weaving a cloth of white silk. In the far distance, rise steep snow-capped mountains, elegant green hills, limitless lush forests, peaceful lakes, blue sky and floating white clouds. When the sun shines in the morning, flowery rainbows can be seen in the sky, which make the waterfall more charming and splendid.
Being 2,140 meters above the sea level, Reed Lake is 22 kilometers in length and lies at the northern end of the cluster of lakes. As the name suggests, the Reed Lake is a semi-swamp lake with thick reeds throughout, which attract waterfowls because thick reeds provide cover for many aquatic insects. In the center of the lake can be seen a clear turquoise brook (known as the “Jade Ribbon”) zigzagging through it. The lake is at its prettiest in autumn when the shocks of reeds gradually change from a pale green to an eye-striking golden tan.
Shu Zheng Lakes
Stretching for several miles, with a drop of about 100 meters, Shu Zheng Lakes (Shu Zheng Qun Hai) are stepped series of 19 ribbon lakes formed by the passage of glaciers, then naturally dammed. Dense groves of willows, poplars, pines, spruces and other plants grow among these lakes. This wonderful scenery is considered by many to be the “epitome of Jiuzhai Valley” and it is one of most photographed sites in the park. Some of them have their own folkloric names, such as the Rhinoceros, and Tiger Lake.