Winter is the off season for traveling in Jiuzhaigou mostly because of the lower temperature and less flight schedules. But the scenery is spectacular, created by the snow and ice. Many lakes and waterfall get frozen, and looks like crystals. Trees wear white sweaters of snow… Since winter is the low season, you can travel Jiuzhaigou at a lower cost. To help you better plan a Jiuzhaigou winter tour, here we have provided you with some useful information about Jiuzhaigou in winter, such as the weather, scenery, packing suggestions and travel tips.
Jiuzhaigou in winter is overall cold and dry. Most days are sunny or cloudy. There is not much rainfall and you will have a big chance seeing the snowscape. It has a large temperature difference, so on sunny days, you may feel warm at noon, but in the early morning and late afternoon, it is still cold.
According to the historic weather data in 2018 and 2019, the average temperature of Jiuzhaigou in December, 2018 is -1.4 ~ 7.5℃ (29.48 ~ 45.5℉), in January, 2019 is -1.6 ~ 6.6℃ (29.12 ~ 43.88℉), and in February, 2019 is 0.9 ~ 7.9℃ (33.62 ~ 46.22℉). The chart below is the specific temperature of Jiuzhaigou in these three months.
Jiuzhaigou Temperature in December, 2018 and January to February, 2019
In winter, Jiuzhaigou is less touristy and full of a poetic atmosphere with all its previous colors turn into silver. Mountains and trees are covered by snow. Waterfalls become a huge natural ice sculpture. At this time, Jiuzhai is quiet, gentle, and pure, as sweet as the ice and snow fairy tale world.
Long Lake in Zechawa Valley and Panda Lake in Rize Valley are likely to freeze in winter, while other lakes will form some ice blocks or ice flowers on the surface. The flying snow dances in the air and then gentle kisses the mountain, Haizi, and your cheek. Pure white snowflakes and blue ice are crystal clear in the sun with their color and shape changing with the sunshine. At that time, Jiuzhaigou seems to be a magic magician. Ice and snow are her props. When the wind blows, they spreads all over Jiuzhaigou.
In winter, the running waterfalls also begin to slow down, glittering in the sunlight. On some days, the waterfall will also freeze and form a wonder of Jiuzhaigou called ice cascade (frozen waterfall).
What to Wear: It is highly recommended to wear thermal underwear, sweater, thick coat, and gloves for a Jiuzhaigou winter trip. Wear a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sunshine reflected by the snow. In addition, wear a pair of warm anti-skid shoes.
What to Pack: Bring a backpack to take some hot water and snacks in case you get thirsty or hungry on the road. The weather of Jiuzhaigou in winter is a little dry, so you can pack some facial cream and hand cream to protect your skin.
1. Jiuzhaigou has a large temperature difference in winter, so even if on sunny days and it looks not that cold, you need to dress warmly.
2. Try to avoid visiting Jiuzhaigou on New Year’s Day (January 1) and during Spring Festival (usually a 7-day holiday in late January or early February).
The Y shape Jiuzhaigou consists of three main valleys (Shuzheng Valley, Rize Valley, Zechawa Valley) with a total length of over 50km. You will need at least 1-2 days to explore this beautiful place. Shuzheng Valley is near the entrance, so you can visit there at the beginning or ending of your trip. Pass Shuzheng Valley, you will meet the famous Nuorilang Waterfall, then you can either go to Rize Valley in the northeast or Zechawa Valley in the northwest.
If time permits, after visiting Jiuzhaigou, it is highly recommended to spend some time in the 150km away Huanglong Valley and Mounigou to appreciate the multi-colored terrace ponds and Karst caves.
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