Huitengxile Grassland, whose Mongolian name means 'the cold plateau', is one of the world's three largest alpine meadows. Its magnificent steppe scenery, undulating hills, bouquets of wild yellow flowers, and wind farms make it distinctive from the other Inner Mongolia grasslands.
Scroll down to find key travel info and things to do on Huitengxile Grassland.
Basic Facts about Huitengxile Grassland
- Chinese: 辉腾锡勒草原 Huīténgxīlè Cǎoyuán /hway-tnng-sshee-ler tsao-ywen/ 'Huitengxile Grassland'
- Area: 600 sq km (232 sq mi)
- Recommended visit duration: 1–2 days
- Popular activities: horseback riding, seeing the biggest wind farm in Asia, riding the sightseeing train, bonfire parties
- Suited to: anyone, especially nature, culture, and geology lovers
The Features of Huitengxile Grassland
Huitengxile Grassland is a classic alpine meadow at an altitude of 2,100 meters (6,890 feet). There are 99 natural lakes interspersed throughout the grassland, called the Ninety-Nine Springs. The water in the lakes neither increases nor decreases with the weather, and it's always as peaceful as mirrors.
The flowers bloom from May to September, transforming the grassland into a magnificent sea of colors.
The biggest wind power plant in Asia was built on the grassland, producing a harmonized blend of natural and manmade renewable-energy wonders.
Best Times to Visit Huitengxile Grassland
The best time to visit Huitengxile Grassland is from June to September when the grassland is like a verdant carpet, dotted with yellow flowers.
The average temperature is around 18°C (64°F) during the summer period, but with a wide day/night temperature difference. It is advisable to take a light jacket for the night activities. And take sun block to protect your skin from the strong sunlight.
- 6-Day Huitengxile Grassland and Kubuqi Desert Tour
- 8-Day Hohhot, Baotou and Ordos Tour with Huitengxile Grassland
3 Featured Activities on Huitengxile Grassland
1. Experience Mongolian Culture
Various activities like horse racing, wrestling, archery, Mongolian weddings, the Aobao festival, and bonfire parties are held on the grassland and bring you insights into Mongolian culture and customs.
2. Explore the Natural Grassland
Take a horseback ride is the most common way to explore the vast grassland. However, on Huitengxile Grassland, you can also take a sightseeing train or cable cars to enjoy the green grassland in a more relaxing way.
Want something more exciting? Then choose grass skiing! The plentiful choices of fun activities won't disappoint you.
3. Admire Nature's Masterpieces
Huitengxile Grassland is a remnant of ancient glaciation, which was then elevated by a crust fracture. It is a geological museum with complex and diverse structures. You may find spectacular landforms like Double-Hump Peak, 'One-Mirror Sky', Five-Fingers Mountain, and Goddess Cave.
Cannot wait to visit Huitengxile Grassland? Contact us and we'll tailor-make an Inner Mongolia grassland tour for you.
5 Huitengxile Grassland Attractions
1. Yellow Flowers Valley
Located at the western end of Huitengxile Grassland, Yellow Flowers Valley is a winding valley 10 kilometers (6 miles) in length, about 300 meters (1,000 feet) deep, and 100–200 meters (300–700 feet) in width. It boasts a unique landscape and amazing natural scenery, especially in summer when the valley is covered by a blanket of yellow flowers, which is how it got its name.
Historically, many kingdoms strove for hegemony there due to its favorable location. While now, the green land, clear water, colorful flowers, and lovely animals of Huitengxile Grassland attract numerous tourists from home and abroad every year.
2. Shencong Ditch
In ancient times, fragrant shallots grew on the raised rocks by a ditch. Due to the favorable environmental conditions, the shallots grew bigger and bigger, until they finally grew huge. So, the local people called them "shencong" ('miraculous shallots') and called the ditch "Shencong Ditch". Some of those 'miraculous shallots' still remain there.
Standing at the top of Shencong Ditch, a mountain called Five-Fingers Mountain can be seen, which is composed of five hundred-meter-high rock pillars. It is said that the mountain represents God's five fingers.
3. One-Mirror Sky
Go down Shencong Ditch and you will see another scenic spot. Enter and look up at the sky. Only one small part of sky can be seen through the crowded rocky structure there — and it looks like a mirror. That's why it's called One-Mirror Sky.
4. Goddess Cave
Goddess Cave is a 3-meter-deep and 0.6-meter-wide (10-foot-deep and 2-foot-wide) cave in the center of a huge rock, just beside One-Mirror Sky. The cave bottom can't be directly seen from the cave mouth. The cold air emanating from it is refreshing on a hot day.
5. The Huitengxile Wind Power Plant
Huitengxile Grassland is on a highland with a high altitude and abundant wind, hence it is an ideal location to build a wind power plant.
Since it opened in 1996, over a thousand wind driven generators have been installed there, making it the biggest wind power plant in Asia.
Huitengxile Grassland Transportation
Huitengxile Grassland is located in the mid-south area of Chahar Right Middle Banner in Ulanqab Prefecture of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
It is 430 kilometers (270 miles) west of Beijing, 105 kilometers (65 miles) northeast of Hohhot, the capital city of Inner Mongolia, and 90 kilometers (56 miles) northwest of Jining District, where the government of Ulanqab Prefecture is located.
Bullet trains to Ulanqab are available if you are traveling from Beijing, Zhangjiakou, Datong, or Taiyuan, taking around 2 hours. Then, take a taxi from Ulanqab Railway Station to Huitengxile Grassland, which takes around 1½ hours. If coming from Hohhot, a direct drive is recommended as it takes only 2 hours.
For traveling to/around the grassland area, a private transfer and private transport with an English-speaking guide is highly recommend who can also assist you with the featured activities, especially as English is rarely used there.
Hotels on Huitengxile Grassland
Huitengxile Grassland offers plentiful choices of Mongolian-style accommodation: Mongolian yurts, log cabins, and container camps.
However, toiletry supplies are not provided, and you will need to bring your own. And due to the widespread use of solar energy water heaters, it is hard to get an ideal temperature of hot water for long. A quick wash is recommended.
Hotels can easily be overbooked in summer and an advanced reservation is recommended. Contact us if you are having problems booking a suitable hotel.
Mongolian Food on Huitengxile Grassland
Local specialties on Huitengxile Grassland offer you the original flavor of Mongolian food. The main recommended foods are roasted grains, milk tea, roasted mutton leg, roasted whole lamb, cheese, 'milk tofu', and kumis (fermented equine milk), all of which are green foods and pollution-free local products.
Touring Huitengxile Grassland with China Highlights
Need help organizing a Huitengxile Grassland tour, maybe combining other highlights of Inner Mongolia? We are here to assist you with a customized tour. All you need to do is: tell us your travel needs.
Here are our most popular Huitengxile Grassland tours for inspiration:
- 6-Day Inner Mongolia Wild Heartlands with Huitengxile Grassland
- 8-Day Hohhot–Ordos Tour with Huitengxile Grassland