Usually the locations we promote at Embark are the types of adventures that you can accomplish in a day. Jiuzhaigou is not your usual destination. Imagine a day long journey from cities like Xi'an or Chongqing or Lanzhou as the crow flies. Imagine if you had a crow to fly you. You'd need it, because there is no direct, paved route to Juizhaigou from these cities. Luckily, you don't have to resort to wizarding over animals; there is airport access.
Is it worth all the fuss, you may be asking? The easy answer is yes. Jiuzhaigou is untouched natural beauty personified. This Sichuan nature reserve has long been home to tiny Tibetan and Qiang communities, and for much longer, glacially carved lakes, rivers, and waterfalls rich with minerals that make them gleam blue, green, and turquoise. A large area comprising 3 valleys, there is plenty to explore here that would take a week of your time. The landscape also benefits from about 2500 meters (8200 feet) of elevation change and, to those who have been here, is the pinnacle of escape from restriction, routine, and the awning of smog that lingers over the metropolitan areas of the world. For those looking for knowledgeable eco-tourism guides, check out Zharou Valley, where a number of hiking groups frequently set out into the wild for day and multi-day hikes. There are also a number of elevation hikes and climbs in neighboring Qu Nae Valley, making this destination a feast for anyone who considers active, secluded, and off-the-beaten-path appropriate adjectives for their travels.