Situated in Heishui County of the Aba Tibet and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, Dagu Glacier is a modern mountain glacier rarely seen in the world, and it is the world’s largest and youngest glacier, with the lowest elevation. The scenic area is rich in glacier, snow-capped peaks, colorful forests, Tibetan customs, lakes and other resources.
The Dagu Glacier Scenic Area, part of the 632 sq km Sichuan Dagu Natural Reserve, has an altitude of 3,800-5,100 meters. In the Chinese language, Dagu means “entering the remote antiquity to explore the source”. In the Glacial epoch of the Quaternary period, it was a large flat-top ice-cap glacier. Over the past ten thousand years, its scale has been gradually shrunk by the global warming. Now the scenic area has 13 glaciers, which spread in an area of 210 sq km, including 119 sq km of the core area, and 6.04 sq km of the ice area. Three most spectacular glaciers, namely No.1, 2, and 3 Glacier, covering an area of about 8.25 square kilometers, are the soul of the whole area. The largest glacier is 1,600 meters long with a thickness of 60 meters, occupying an area of 1.1 sq km.
The glaciers are shaped in various forms, such as ‘U’-type valleys, glacier cirques, moraine lakes, glacier waterfalls and caves. The biggest moraine lake, Dongcuoriyuehai Lake, measures 1,800 meters long from west to east and expands 300 meters wide from north to south.
The Dagu Glacier Scenic Area contains diverse living beings which are vertically distributed. It is home to over 1,000 species of wild plants, and 153 species of wild animals of which over 10 species are rare, such as golden-haired monkeys, antelopes and argali, which are large in number and easily seen in the open air.
In the scenic area, you can appreciate mountain flowers in spring, ice in summer, red leaves in autumn and snow scenes in winter.
Within the area there are also three Tibetan villages, where you will find unique folk customs. The villages represent primitive simplicity at its finest and are worth seeing. Here, you can have a close taste of the villagers’ drinking culture, folk songs and dance, profound religious belief and dazzling native costumes. The glaciers, blockhouses, snow-capped peaks, green mountains and limpid waters set each other off, forming a pleasing contrast.
1.Dagu Glacier is about 280 kilometers (174 miles) from Chengdu. Buses from Chengdu Chandianzi Station take approximately 7 hours to arrive at Heishui (Black Water) County.
2.From the entrance of the park, you can take a 40-minute bus ride to the base of the cableway. This is the world’s highest glacier cableway.
3.By the cableway, you’ll rapidly ascend 1,200 meters to the top of the glacier, where the view from 4,860 meters is spectacular.
4.Wear layers, as at the top of the glacier you’ll be surrounded by ice and snow. Sunglasses and sunscreen are also advised. If needed, there is a medical station at the top of the glacier that provides oxygen.
5.Dagu Glacier Scenic Area is located in a convenient and accessible position. To its east and south are three world natural heritage sites, namely the Jiuzhaigou Valley, the Huanglong Valley, and the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries.