About ten miles north of Lijiang town is Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. It is also call Yulongxueshan. Its landscape includes one of the southernmost glaciers in the modern world. Shanzidou, the main peak of the mountain at 18,360 feet above sea level, looks like a gigantic dragon clad in white snow all year round. The view of the massif from the gardens at the Black Dragon Pool (Heilong Tan) in Lijiang is noted as one of China's finest views. Access to the mountain is provided by a chairlift to Dragon Spruce Meadow, halfway to the glacier peak.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is a sanctuary for rare animals and wild plants. In fact, one fourth of all plant species in China can be found here and 20 primeval forest communities shelter a big family of 400 types of trees and 30 kinds of animals which are protected by the state. These species live in different temperature levels and create different kinds of views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The 13 peaks, which have the altitudes of at least 4,000 meters, are covered by snow all year round; the mountain is called the 'Natural Glacier Museum' for it has all types of glacier.
Shanzidou has been climbed only once, on May 8, 1987, by an American expedition. The summit team comprised Phil Peralta-Ramos and Eric Perlman. They climbed snow gullies and limestone headwalls, and encountered high avalanche danger and sparse opportunities for protection.