Day 33: August 24th
We decided to head back to the park for a second day..and this time to avoid the crowds at the upper sections of the valley, we decided to walk the lower trail..equally stunning but we didn’t have the time to do it yesterday. The park is huge..almost 50 km long.
Walking from the entrance of the park on the lower trail to the middle of the park was mostly uphill but the path was well laid out and the incline mostly just gradual. The path was almost entirely just boardwalk lining the sides of the forest(with the gushing river beneath) and the lakes.
One of the reasons we wanted to walk earlier in the day were to avoid the crowds but we were in for a complete surprise! We didn’t see a soul for at least 3 hours. The first person we saw on the trail was a park employee cleaning the leaves off the boardwalk! Given that the park would have close to 10,000 visitors today(Saturday), we were just amazed that no one thinks to walk the lower section. I suppose most people head to the upper sections of the valley like we did yesterday…and most people don’t come back for a second day!
It certainly didn’t feel like we were in China. I have nothing but praise for Jiuzhaigou Valley National Park. The Chinese authorities have done an outstanding job in maintaining the park. The trails are superbly marked with trash cans every km and toilets every few km. We all have come away very impressed, not just with the beauty…which was beyond anything we’ve ever seen but also with the park management.
After a lovely last night in the valley( we had Tibetan food for dinner), we were on a nine hour bus ride to Chengdu tomorrow!