Shuzheng Valley is a main tourist route of Jiuzhaigou Valley. It is about 14 kilometers (about nine miles) in length with over 40 lakes, representing 40% of all the lakes in Jiuzhaigou. The major scenic spots here are Double-Dragon Lake, Bonsai Beach, Reed Lake, Spark Lake, Tiger Lake, Shuzheng Waterfall, Rhinoceros Lake, and Nuorilang Waterfall, etc.
Double-Dragon Lake (Shuanglong Lake)
Double-Dragon Lake lies below Spark Lake Waterfall, and it got its name from the two zonary calc-sinter reefs hidden in the bottom of the lake, which are just like two dragons. It is said that in ancient times, two evil dragons always brought disasters by making hailstones or rainstorms to the Tibetan people in Jiuzhaigou. Afterwards, they were faced down by King Gesar (a figure in a Tibetan hero epic) and were locked with chains in the lake. From then on, the lake was peaceful and tranquil. Now there are many beautiful swans and mandarin ducks inhabiting the lake. Sometimes, you can appreciate the sight of wild duck groups roaming in the lake and swans flying in the sky above, and this really adds more pleasure to your visits.
Reed Lake (Luwei Lake)
Reed Lake is 2,140 meters (about 7,021 feet) above the sea level and is 22 kilometers (about 14 miles) in length. There are reeds grow thickly in the lake. Clear streams wind through the reeds and aquatic birds fly above the lake. In spring and summer, the water is as verdurous as flourishing reeds, overflowing with vigor. In autumn and winter, golden reeds greet the eye everywhere. While during the florescence season, downy reed catkins joggle tenderly in the breeze, just like water waves. Egrets and widgeons sport in groups on the lake, presenting picturesque views.
Spark Lake (Huohua Lake)
Spark Lake is located between Double-Dragon Lake and Lying Dragon Lake. It is nine meters (about 30 feet) deep, and covers an area of 36,352 square meters (about 43,477 square yards). The azure and wide lake is hidden by surrounding luxuriant woods, like a glittering emerald plate or a jade mirror. When the first sunrays of dawn shine on the surface of the lake, the crystalline waters waves ripple, ring upon ring, resembling millions of burning and dancing sparks. In summer, bouquets of wild flowers with dewdrops glisten on the lakesides, making a phantasm with ‘sparks’ in the lake; and the whole vista is totally ablaze with color.
Rhinoceros Lake (Xiniu Lake)
Rhinoceros Lake is the largest lake in Shuzheng Valley. The story goes that in olden days, a lama came here on a rhinoceros. He was seriously ill and was on the verge of death. After he drank some water of the lake, he recovered unexpectedly! Then the lama drank the lake water day and night and was reluctant to leave. Therefore, he came into the lake riding on the rhinoceros and dwelled in the lake forever. That is why the lake is called Rhinoceros Lake. It is one of the most changeable lakes in Jiuzhaigou. Every morning the inverted images of clouds and mists are of enchanting beauty and people just cannot distinguish the sky from the lake. To the south of Rhinoceros Lake is a bridge where you can take in the beautiful scenery. To the north of the lake visitors can view Semo Mountain. Rhinoceros Lake is the only site that provides yachts for tourists to enjoy themselves, both for sport, sightseeing and life’s simple pleasures.
Tiger Lake (Laohu Lake)
Tiger Lake, lying further up towards Shuzheng Waterfall, is 2,298 meters (about 7,539 feet) above the sea level. It is peaceful and tranquil, yet the vigor and enthusiasm cannot be hidden in the silence. The rushing water that is like falling snow of Shuzheng Waterfall is just too reminiscent of the lake’s burst. There are three sayings concerning the source of its name. One is that the sound of Shuzheng Waterfall is as the tigers’ roaring; the second is that in late autumn, the reflections of Five-Colored Pond forests shine upon the lake which look like the lines of tigers; the third saying is that the tigers in the mountain are fond of this lake and used to drinking the water of the lake.
It offers one of the main accommodation centers in Jiuzhaigou Valley. In front of the village stands a golden dagoba where the Tibetans worship Buddha and incant observances. Hotels of Tibetan style and Prayer Flags can be found all over the village. Meanwhile, you can get a good view of Shuzheng Lake Cluster whilst looking down upon the village.
It is the first waterfall you will encounter in the valley. It is 62 meters (about 203 feet) wide and 15 meters (about 49 feet) tall. Though it is the smallest of the four main waterfalls in Jiuzhaigou, it will bring heart quakes to first time visitors. The green forests surround nineteen lakes of different sizes and levels. The lake water in the upper reaches flows slowly along the shoal and is divided into countless streams by the groves in the lake. Then the streams join on the top of Shuzheng Waterfall and suddenly drop down to the lower lakes. The sprays fly in the air, creating an elegant screen.
It is 32 meters (about 105 feet) wide and 25 meters (about 82 feet) tall, and it is the widest waterfall in Jiuzhaigou. Nuorilang means ‘grand and magnificent’ in Tibetan, so it is a gorgeous waterfall. The top of the waterfall is very flat. It is said that originally there was no waterfall but a platform here long ago. Then a monk brought a spinning wheel when he returned to this place. A Tibetan girl learnt the skill of spinning very soon, so she carried the wheel to the platform and showed her sisters how to spin. The cruel man Roza considered that she was doing something evil and kicked her, as well as the spinning wheel off the cliff. In no time, torrents rushed Roza and his accomplices down the mountain, so the platform had turned into the waterfall. When the sun shines in the morning, flowery rainbows can be seen in the sky, which make the waterfall more charming and splendid.
Walking south forward from the Nuorilang Waterfall, Jiuzhaigou Valley is divided into two main routes: to the due south is Zechawa Valley and to the southwest is Rize Valley.