The Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area is located in Songpan County of the Aba Zang and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, in the northwest part of Sichuan Province and encompasses the Huanglong and Muni Valley. It covers an area of 700 square kilometers, within its main scenic spots being scattered in a 8 km long valley - Huanglong valley. Huanglong was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1992.
The Huanglong valley is made up of snow-capped peaks and the easternmost of all the Chinese glaciers. In addition to its mountain landscape, diverse forest ecosystems can be found, as well as spectacular limestone formations, waterfalls and hot springs. The area also has a population of endangered animals, including the giant panda and the Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkey.
The most remarkable scene in the area is the Huanglong Valley noted for its unique karst landscape. The main eye-catching spot is the 3.6-kilometer-long and 30 to 70-meter-wide pale yellow calcareous deposits. At the end of the valley, water from melting snow mixes with limestone water from underground, then flows down the mountain terraces, depositing the calcium carbonate from the limestone water on the rocks, stones, and fallen branches in its path. The calcium carbonate, in turn, develops into solid, low travertine banks and reacts chemically with organic and inorganic substances, resulting in various kinds of calcareous deposits that reflect a golden color in the sunlight in the water that flows down the slopes just like a huge yellow dragon flying down the snow mountain. When water flows into two separate streams, it naturally turns into more colorful lakes and waterfalls, forming a ladder-shaped lake group. The water is crystal clear. The mineral deposits at the lake bottom look like jadeite and agate ¨C magnificent and beautiful.