Best Places to Visit Autumn Leaves in Sichuan

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Plan your Chengdu Tour or Sichuan tour in autumn? With Chengdu as its capital city, Sichuan Province is located approximately on the latitude of 30 degrees with a distinctive four seasons. The people in Sichuan are lucky to be able to appreciate the pleasant  visual stimuli brought by the change of the four seasons – flowery spring, green summer, colorful autumn and cold winter. Of all the the seasons, the short and glorious autumn is most intoxicating.

With huge different terrains and topographical features, Sichuan’s autumn is long in time and extended in space. Starting from the early October, Sichuan’s autumn colors morph from Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau to Chengdu plain. In the early part of October, the forests on the mountains at the altitude of 3500 m start to turn yellow, Daocheng’s red meadows, Xinduqiao’s poplar trees and the fall foliage in Jiuzhaigou.

In late October and early November, the mountains at the sea level of 2000 m gradually enter the colorful season – Heishui, Miyaluo, and Guangwushan; In November, with the fading of the plateau, Sichuan’s basin and its surrounding mountains usher in the magnificent season – yellow ginkgo trees blanket the streets in the cities .

Sichuan is absolutely one of the best provinces to see fall foliage in China. If you happen to visit Sichuan in autumn,  we are going to reveal you the best places to see autumn leaves in Sichuan.

1.  Autumn Colors in Jiuzhaigou 九寨沟秋色
Jiuzhaigou Valley enjoys its most beautiful appearance in fall. The sky is bright and clear. The colorful leaves are reflected on the bright and clear lakes and fallen leaves are floating on the surface of water. Your eyes are filled with the most beautiful view of the natural world. You will be surprised at the masterpiece by nature! By the way, The difference in temperature between day and night is bigger in autumn, take a thick coat with you.  Check out Jiuzhaigou Tour for more travel information.

Foliage Color Coverage in Jiuzhaigou:
Class No.01 (Oct 15 – 18): Foliage color Coverage 10%~35%,yellow color, a good time for viewing colorful leaves.
Class No.02(Oct 18 – 22 ): Foliage color Coverage 35%~60%,yellow and orange, a very good time for fall foliage.
Class No.03(Oct 22- Nov.02): Foliage color Coverage 60%~95%,red and purple colors, the best time for leaf peeping.
So Mid or the end of October is the best time for viewing colorful leaves.

Autumn Colors in Jiuzhaigou

Autumn Colors in Jiuzhaigou

2. Fall Foliage at Danba (Rongtrak )丹巴秋景
Danba County is located in the west of Sichuan and east of Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture. Danba town is about 137 km north of Kangding, 368 km west of Chengdu. Venture to east of Danba, you enter Siguniang Scenic Area and Jiuzhaigou National Park; to the south, you may enter Kangding and Hailuo Glacier Park.

The town itself is somewhat grubby and forgettable, the surrounding cluster of watching towers, Tibetan villages and Daduhe River Gorge are what you seek after. The ancient stone Qiang watchtowers are perched among the villages overlooking the Daduhe River ( Dadu River). There are quite some nice Tibetan villages around here.

The picturesque Tibetan village known as Jiaju Tibetan Village is the best place in Danba to enjoy the soul-recharging autumn colors – all kinds of maple trees, yellow birch trees, golden poplar trees and green pine trees, presenting a magnificent palette against blue sky and white clouds.

Visiting Time: suggested 2-3 day
Location:  368 km west of Chengdu
Best Time to go:  autumn ( Early October – Mid-November )
Opening time: all day
How to Get There
Take daily buses from Chengdu and Kangding

 Fall Foliage at Danba (Rongtrak )

Fall Foliage at Danba (Rongtrak )

3. Autumn Colors at Yading Nature Reserve  亚丁风景区
Yading Nature Reserve is located within Riwa Township, Dacheng County,  in the south of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan. Yading is oft-lauded as “The last piece of pure land in the water-blue planet”.  Yading  and Dacheng are often put together and known as the last Shangri-la.

The Yading  Nature Reserve mainly comprises three holy mountains known as Chenresig, Channa Dorje and Jampelyang which are all above the altitude of 6000 meters with Chenresig the highest at 6032 meters. Chenresig is often likened to the giant Buddha; Channa Dorjie as a young man and Jampelyang as a girl.  The three holy mountains are just like three sacred souls,  a pilgrimage place for Tibetans.

Besides the three holy mountains, the reserve is also dotted with high-plateau grasslands and green lakes, like Milk Lake, Five-color Lake, Luorong Grassland and Changgu Monastery. The 12-km koral around the 6032 m Chenresig is a huge rewarding experience. If you don’t have strong legs, you may stop overnight on camping and do it next day to continue your hike.

Yading Nature Reserve is a perfect natural eco-system formed by the featured geography and natural climate. When autumn comes, Yading and Daochange become a sea of colors, a birthplace for numerous picturesque landscape photos.

Visiting Time: suggested 1-2 Day
Entrance Fee:  RMB 150
Opening Hours: all day
Best Time to Visit: October
How to Get There
Hire a vehicle or hook up with other travelers to reach Yading Natural Reserve from Dacheng

Autumn Colors at Yading Nature Reserve

Autumn Colors at Yading Nature Reserve

4. Fall Foliage in Conch Ravine and Swallow Ravine at Gong Ga Mountain (Minya Konka) 贡嘎山海螺沟和燕子沟
The Highest peak in Sichuan, Gong Ga Mountain (Minya Konka) 7556 m is situated south of Kangding,  the main peak in Daxueshan Mountains, surrounded by 45 peaks at the altitude of over 6000 m. Gong Ga Mountain is composed of Granodiorite with snow line at the altitude between 4600 m and 4700 m,  rich in glaciers.

On the east slope of Gong Ga Mountain is the charming Conch Ravine with 14.3 km long glaciers. Swallow Ravine is located over 10 km to the northwest of Conch Ravine, circled by 15 peaks at the sea-level of over 5000 m. The ravines are heavily covered with forests with colorful leaves in autumn against the backdrop of snow mountains, glaciers, sometime accompanied with thin fogs, a stunning autumn hues.  The best time to visit: Late October – early November.

Fall Foliage in Conch Ravine and Swallow Ravine

Fall Foliage in Conch Ravine and Swallow Ravine

5. Autumn Hues in Siguniangshan 四姑娘山秋色
Mt. Siguniangshan, literally ” Four Girls Peaks”, is located on the middle of Qiong Lai Mountain Range at the confluence of Xiaojinxian County and Wenchuan County in Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture,  a part of UNESCO World Heritage crowned “Panda Habitat in Sichuan”  .

The Mt. Siguniangshan is composed of the four shoulder to shoulder peaks from north to south for a distance of 3-5 km with the sea-level at 6250m, 5355 m, 5279 m and 5038 m.  The 4 peaks are snow-shrouded all year round, like 4 elegant girls in  white muslin skirts. Mt.Siguniangshan is about 245 km to the northwest of Chengdu.

The autumn hues at Shuangqiao Ravine is impressive with a backdrop of snow mountains, glaciers, meadows, forests, lakes and Tibetan villages. The red-colored pine trees blanket the mountains. Best Time to visit: Mid-October – early November.

Autumn Hues in Siguniangshan

Autumn Hues in Siguniangshan

6. Red Leaves at Mt. Guangwushan 光雾山秋景
Mt. Guang Wu Shan is located 70 km in the north of Nanjiang County in Bazhong City, 460 km to the northeast of Chengdu. The main peak is at the altitude of 2500 m.

Mt. Guangwushan features flowing water and red leaves seldom seen in other provinces. When autumn comes, colorful leaves cover the ravines and mountains. The best time to go: late October – early November.

Red Leaves at Mt. Guangwushan

Red Leaves at Mt. Guangwushan

7. Autumn Hues at Yala Snow Mountain 亚拉雪山秋色
Yala Snow Mountain ( 5884m ) is located at the confluence of the three counties including Kanding, Daofu and Danba. It is a sacred mountain covered by snow all year round.

Yala Snow Mountain is peppered with over a dozen of ravines with a picturesque view. When autumn comes,  the magnificent golden needle pine trees are very photogenic. The best time to go: Mid-October to early November.

Autumn Hues at Yala Snow Mountain

Autumn Hues at Yala Snow Mountain

8. Autumn leaves at Xinduqiao 新都桥秋景
Xinduqio is a name of a small town at the sea-level of 3300 m.  It is located at the conjunction of National Highway 318 ,  81 km west of Kanding.

Xinduqiao is a paradise for photographers. The scenic driver along the highway near Xinduqiao is oft-lauded as ” “Photographer’s Corridor” with the combination of boundless meadows, winding streams, golden poplar trees  and undulating mountains dotted with Tibetan villages. The best time to go: October.

Fall Foliage at Heishui

Fall Foliage at Heishui

9. Fall Foliage at Heishui 黑水秋色
Hei Shui County is located in the heart of Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan. Heishui features plentiful mountains with average altitude at 3544 m and the seat of the Heishui County at 2350 m.

Heishui has a large area of colorful forests with its attractions scattered far away from each other. Visitors mainly go to the three places – Kalong Ravine, Naizi Ravine and Dagu Glacier. The colorful forests in the three places are more or less the same in terms of autumn hues. Comparatively Naizi Glacier area is more impressive with the backdrop of snow mountains and lakes; Kalong Ravine has multi-level waterfalls and colorful lakes.

Fall Foliage at Heishui

Fall Foliage at Heishui

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