When is the Best Time to Visit Jiuzhaigou National Park?

December,11 2019 0 COMMENTS

For first-timers to the Jiuzhaigou National Park, the best time to visit is from September to October, which covers most of the autumn season. Travelling to Jiuzhaigou in autumn offers the most fascinating landscapes with colorful red and gold leaves. Under a clear blue sky, everything in Jiuzhaigou Valley puts on its autumn colors, and red, yellow, and green interweave with each other and reflect in the turquoise lakes. This fascinating and intoxicating scenery makes Jiuzhaigou live up to its well-earned reputation as “a Fairy Land on Earth”.

five color pond
Picturesque five color pond of Jiuzhaigou in autumn

The stunning Jiuzhaigou Valley National Park is a fairyland that features multi-colored alpine lakes, stunning waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, and vibrant pristine forests. However, this enchanting valley takes on a unique beauty in every season, and there really is no reason why you cannot visit the area throughout the year. For many tourists to the area, the best time to go depends on what activities you intend to participate in whilst you are there.

Jiuzhaigou Weather in September and October (Best Season for Jiuzhaigou Tour)

September: Min 14°C Max 23°C
October: Min 10°C Max 18°C
Wind Speed: <12km/h
Precipitation: 5.18mm - 1.55mm

jiuzhaigou sept weather

jiuzhaigou oct weather

September and October are the main months of the autumn season in Jiuzhaigou, and are the best time to visit for trekking and sightseeing. The season sees very little rainfall, and the skies are bright and clear for most of the period. Winds are a lot lower than in the other seasons, and are often warm and comfortable. This is useful, since the temperatures are already dropping from the summer months. September sees average temperatures during the day of around 23°C, which can drop to a cool 14°C at night, while October sees highs of just 18°C, which can drop to around 10°C at night. - See the detailed information about Jiuzhaigou weather in autumn

Things to do While Visiting Jiuzhaigou in September and October

September and October are the best times of the year for trekking around the Jiuzhaigou Valley, as the weather is not too hot and is generally comfortable for hiking. The trails around the park are normally dry and not too hard to travel along, and the landscapes and scenery make for the most beautiful views whilst hiking the many trails of the park.

changhai jiuzhaigou
Enchanting view of Changhai in Jiuzhaigou in September

The autumn leaves and the changes of color are also ideal for anyone with a love of photography, and autumn is the best time for a photography tour of the valleys. With the stunning colors, the perfect lighting, and the clear blue skies, it is possible to get some of the best shots of the park in all its fiery glory.

What to Wear and Bring When Traveling to Jiuzhaigou in September and October

Since the huge temperature change is pretty common in Jiuzhaigou, it’s necessary to wear sweaters and warm coats and down jacket or vest. Normally, Jiuzhaigou temperature changes from 8°C to 18°C within a single day and it gets colder at night. The cozy Jiuzhaigou weather in September and October will guarantee you a wonderful Jiuzhaigou trip.

Other items: trekking boots, nylon or trekking pants, sunscreen and sun glasses, sunhat and lip balm, umbrella, toiletries, high-calorie snacks, medicines for altitude sickness (paracetamol or ibuprofen for the headaches and anti-nausea medication), and cold relief and anti-diarrhea medications.

Insider Tips:
It is not advisable to book a trip to Jiuzhaigou during the National Day Holiday in China, as much of the country heads off on holiday for the week from the 1st to the 7th of October. The park is normally pretty crowded at this time of year, so it is advisable to book either side of the national holiday.

nuorilang waterfalls jiuzhaigou
Must-visit Nuorilang Waterfalls in Jiuzhaigou

Never miss the following places to take stunning photos: Reed Lake, Sparkling Lake, and Tiger Lake, Rhino Lake and Mirror Lake and Nuorilang Waterfalls and Colorful Pond. And the best timing for photography would normally be around sunset and sunrise.

Jiuzhaigou Weather in November, December, January, and February (Winter Season)

November: Min 0°C Max 12°C
December: Min-5°C Max 7°C
January: Min-6°C Max 7°C
February: Min-3°C Max 9°C
Wind Speed: around 35 km/h
Snowfall: around 30mm

Winter in Jiuzhaigou starts in mid-November and ends around the end of February. Temperatures range drastically throughout the four months of winter, and can reach as low as -6°C in the coldest month of January. Nighttime lows range from around freezing in November to -5°C to -6°C in December and January, and warm up to around -3°C by February. Highs are generally around 7°C to 9°C during the day, reaching as high as 12°C in November, and rising again a little by February. Winds can be strong in the winter months, averaging speeds of around 35km/h, which can cause biting cold feelings in your extremities. And you can expect a couple of inches of snow at least throughout the winter months, turning the fairy tale land into a winter wonderland.

Things to do While Visiting Jiuzhaigou in Winter

Winter is the best time to travel to Jiuzhaigou to avoid the crowds of people that most of the other seasons bring. As the low season for tourism in the area, you get the most beautiful snowy scenery without the high cost, and your trip can be a little more relaxing and peaceful. The cost of entrance tickets, accommodation, and local transport is also lower, giving you a better value holiday.

winter jiuzhaigou scenery
Dreamy scenery of Jiuzhaigou in winter

The stunning snow-covered scenery is one of the highlights of Jiuzhaigou in the winter, and the unfrozen blue lakes contrast with the gentle white snowfall perfectly. And the snow-white ice falls, which can be found all over the park, are the main highlight of any winter trip to the park. Frozen solid from the cold, the splendid ice sculptures hang from the cliffs of the waterfalls to make the scene one of ultimate beauty.

What to Wear and Bring When Travelling to Jiuzhaigou in Winter

Jiuzhaigou Valley has an average temperature ranging from 0°C to 3°C in winter. So you need to keep yourself warm while exploring this exciting world of snow. The following outfits and gears are highly recommended: down/wind-proof jacket, pullover, thick pants, mittens, warm socks, insulated trekking boots, long jersey, necessary toiletries and medicine, skin-care products, sunglasses, sun balm, sunscreen, and thermal bottles.

Insider Tips:
For those who seek to avoid the large crowds, the late autumn and winter is a good time to go with less crowds and lower hotel costs. Since Huanglong Scenic Area would be closed in winter, tourists usually change their Jiuzhaigou Huanglong tour itinerary and go to the nearby Muni Valley instead of the Huanglong National Park. Some scenic spots at the highest attitudes are not open in the winter months, including the Fangcao Lake, Swan Lake and the Primeval Forest.

Jiuzhaigou Weather in March, April and May (Spring Season)

March: Min 5°C Max 15°C
April: Min 9°C Max 20°C
May: Min 13°C Max 23°C
Wind Speed: around 15 km/h
Rainfall: 0.81mm - 3.43mm

Jiuzhaigou has a typical plateau humid climate, and spring is a time when the weather begins to warm up, though temperatures can still be a little on the low side in early spring. March starts off warming up a little, with highs reaching up to around 15°C during the day, though it is still fairly cold at night. By April, you can see daytime temperatures rising to as high as 20°C, but a large difference in temperatures from morning to evening is still present. And the UV rays of the sun are getting stronger and harsher. By May, the weather is starting to warm up ready for summer, with highs that can get up to around 23°C, making the days nice and warm. However, the temperature difference by the evening is high, dropping to as low as 9°C and below at night. - See the detailed information about Jiuzhaigou weather in spring

Winds are less strong than in winter, ranging up to around 15km/h, and bringing a little shill to the days in more open areas. However, there is little in the way of rain for the whole season, with a maximum of only around 3-4 millimeters of rain each month.

Things to do While Visiting Jiuzhaigou in Spring

Spring at Jiuzhaigou is normally quieter, yet much more vibrant, as the spring buds form on the trees, bringing the new leaves as the season progresses. The whole valley has an aura of vitality and energy, and you can immerse yourself in the beauty of the blooming scenery.

shuzheng falls
Cascading Shuzheng Falls seen during the spring of Jiuzhaigou

Spring is a time for the first festivals of the year in China, and in Jiuzhaigou, the festivities continue. March is normally the time of the Tibetan New Year, though this can change depending on the Tibetan calendar. However, the area is a good place to see the festivities of the traditional Tibetan New Year. And the Mazi Festival, the religious festival of the Zharu Temple, is a time for the local people to dress up and gather in the temple courtyard to celebrate, eat, drink, and enjoy the Tibetan plays and dances.

What to Wear and Bring When Travelling to Jiuzhaigou in Spring

Jiuzhaigou temperature in spring varies greatly between day and night. The average temperature alters from 9 to 18 centigrade. You still need to pack light sweater and thick coats for touring Jiuzhaigou in April. T-shirt and light jacket are perfectly fine during the daytime, while as sun goes down and strong wind comes, do put on your down jacket. In addition, skin-care product for UV light and first aid medicine are also needed as mentioned above.

Insider Tips:
The dramatic temperature remains unchanged. Because of the remaining snow before April, do wear proper clothes. Try to arrive at Jiuzhaigou National Park earlier than its opening time to avoid many tour groups. And the ticket office is available from 8:30am from mid-November to March and 8:00am from April to mid-November.

Jiuzhaigou Weather in June, July, and August (Summer and Rainy Season)

June: Min 13°C Max 24°C
July: Min 15°C Max 26°C
August: Min 14°C Max 26°C
Wind Speed: around 20 km/h
Rainfall: 53mm - 95mm

In Jiuzhaigou, summer starts from June and ends in August, and green is the main theme color in a Jiuzhaigou summer. Green mountains, green trees and green lakes are everywhere. Jiuzhaigou is not that hot in summer, and the trees give welcome shade while the gentle breezes cool the air a little more. On average, high temperatures in the summer range from around 24°C to 26°C during the day, but the same large difference is still apparent between day and night. Nights can drop to around 13°C to 15°C, which while not cold, is still enough to warrant a light sweater in the cooler winds.

Summer in Jiuzhaigou is also the rainy season, and while you may not get the heavy monsoon of much of Asia, it does get a lot wetter than in the rest of the year. However, with rainfall ranging from around 53mm in June to as high as only 95mm throughout August, the rain fails to dampen spirits in the valley, and the trails and sights are still open for your enjoyment. And a simple rain mac kept in your pack is enough to keep you dry.

>> Further reading about Is it rainy and crowded in summer in Jiuzhaigou?

Things to do While Visiting Jiuzhaigou in Summer

Summer is the best time to make the most of the beautiful waterfalls and stunning blue lakes of the valley, and there are plenty for you to visit and see throughout the three valleys. The Five-Colored Pond may be the smallest lake in the park, but is definitely the most beautiful. And for those that missed out on the seasonal lakes in the winter, the summer is the ideal time to visit, as the lower, upper, and middle lakes are all filled with fascinating green waters throughout the summer.

mirror lake jiuzhaigou
Amazing reflection displayed by Mirror Lake in late August in Jiuzhaigou

Shuzheng Valley is the best place for seeing waterfalls, and is the location of both the Shuzheng Waterfall and the Nuorilang Waterfall. Located in front of the Shuzheng Village, between Tiger Lake and Wolong Lake, Shuzheng Waterfall is the first falls you come across after entering the park, and is around 62 meters wide and 15 meters high. The Nuorilang Waterfall has a width of almost 300 meters, and is a breathtaking sight. The widest highland waterfall in China, the waterfall is fed from a multitude of lakes and rivers, and the cascade is an unforgettable sight. The falls are best viewed in the morning, as a rainbow often appears above the falls in the bright sunlight.

What to Wear and Bring When Travelling to Jiuzhaigou in Summer

The average temperature in the summer of Jiuzhaigou is about 20 centigrade, making it as a paradise for tourists to escape hot summer. However, the ultraviolet radiation is so strong that you had better bring sun cream, a sun hat and a pair of sunglasses. Since the rain often happens sporadically in Jiuzhaigou from mid-June and July to August, you should not miss an umbrella and rain gears. Then necessary toiletries and first-aid medicines (for altitude sickness or anti-diarrhea, cold relief) should also be taken along with you.

Insider Tips:
Partly due to the high altitude, the rain often occurs during the nighttime in Jiuzhaigou National Park and even if it rains in the daytime, normally the sudden rain will not last for too long. It is advisable to closely follow the Jiuzhaigou weather forecast for around 10 days before your departure. The road condition around Jiuzhaigou is mostly asphalt road with good quality. Inside the Jiuzhaigou National Park, tourists can safely travel on well-maintained wooden paths.

Conclusion

Overall, the best time to visit Jiuzhaigou Valley depends on what you want to see, your budget plan and personal preference. For trekking, autumn is best, while for low cost and stunning snowy scenery, winter is the ideal time. Whichever time of year you choose to visit, you can be sure that your trip will be an amazing one. And with the valley being open throughout the year, you can choose to visit when it most suits you.

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