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Weather: December is freezing (almost the coldest month), and the mountains are covered with beautiful snow. The average temperature is about 0 °C (32 °F), and it will be quite cold when you go out at night. Average daily low and high temperatures are -5 °C (23 °F) and 7 °C (45 °F) in December. There is almost no precipitation. There is only about 2 mm of total snowfall each December, and precipitation falls on about a couple of days of the month. Some mountains are closed because of the cold weather.
The road to nearby Huanglong Scenic Area that is also a major national park and popular scenic area is often closed in December. It is a kilometer higher than Jiuzhai Valley National Park, and we suggest the weather conditions are too harsh to enjoy during the winter unless you are used to high altitude hikes up mountains in the snow. The conditions are harsh: low temperatures are -16 °C (3 °F) at night, and daily high temperatures are about 1 °C (34 °F) around noon.
Clothing: You must wear a thick coat or layers undergarments to stay warm. A thick hat and gloves will help. If you plan to walk a lot, wear a pair of snow glasses to protect your eyes from the solar reflection.
Altitude Sickness: You'll probably experience some altitude sickness during an extended stay in Jiuzhai Valley because most of the park is between 2,000 meters (6,561 feet) and 3,000 meters (9,800 feet). The nearby airport is at an unusually high elevation of 3,500 meters. Take precautions if you have high blood pressure, heart disease or other medical problems.
Tourists who come in the winter can admire the stark winter scenery and the alpine solitude. The big crowds are gone by the middle of November, and you can enjoy the natural ice sculptures of the waterfalls and the ponds. Some of the ponds such as Five-Colored Lake in Zechawa Valley don't freeze in December.
Nuorilang Waterfall: You can hike down Rize Valley to Norilang Waterfall at the junction of Shuzheng Valley and Rize Valley. It is considered the most beautiful waterfall in Jiuzhaigou, and it is the widest waterfall (300 meters wide), and it is 80 feet high. It is regarded as a symbol of Jiuzhaigou. In winter, it is a spectacular frozen waterfall that hangs on the rocks.
The winter months are the low tourist months in Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong. Flights and hotel room rates are cheaper than usual. Enjoy an economical journey to Jiuzhaigou in December.
If you're interested in visiting the fairyland in person, why not browse our popular tours below for inspiration?
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