The Mingyong Glacier is the largest and longest glacier in Yunnan Province. It is located in the northwest of Shangri-La county, Diqing Tibetan autonomous prefecture, Yunnan Province. The glacier derives from Mount Kawagebo, one of Tibetan Buddhism's eight sacred peaks, and the main peak of the Meli Snow Mountains. It is sacred place to local people.
At an elevation of about 2700 meters, the Mingyong Glacier is a tropical monsoon contemporary glacier at the lowest latitude and elevation of any glacier in China. Its top is covered with ice and snow all year round. It has a low snow line, high temperature, melts quickly and lives on rainfall; therefore, it has a high velocity of movement.
In winter, its glacier tongue can extends to an altitude of 2800 meters from 5500 meters, resembling a silver dragon rush to the Lantsang River. The Mingyong Glacier is one of the classical outdoors hiking routes in Lijiang.
The whole Mingyong Glacier extends 5 km from north to south and 3 km from east to west. It is an enormous ice and snow valley, which become a lake with melted water in summer sunny days. The lake has a 50-meter diameter, and black blue water, which refreeze to ice during night; it is the rare basin wonder in the transverse mountains.
Unfortunately, the Mingyong Glacier is receding at a very fast rate. It has since receded approximately 2.7 kilometers up the mountain. This is believed to be because of changes of the climate patterns.