Yulong Karst Cave: A Wonderful Underground World

ByDing Huixiang August 17, 2021
Interior view of Yulong Karst Cave


Yulong Karst Cave National Geological Park is situated in Lichuan, in Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, in Central China's Hubei Province. Yulong Karst Cave is acclaimed, by geologists, as the Pearl of the Caves in the Wuling Mountains.

Lichuan, called Liangcheng (literally meaning Cool City) in ancient times, is a famous summer resort. The city is known as the kingdom of karst caves. Yulong Karst Cave is one of the four most-famous karst caves in Lichuan. The other three are Tenglong, Chaoyang and Shuilian karst caves.

Yulong Karst Cave National Geological Park, covering 26 square kilometers, is composed of three major scenic spots — Yulong Karst Cave, the stone forests and Xuezhao River canyon.

Yulong Karst Cave is one of the well-developed and best-preserved karst caves in China. The cave covers 12 hectares, and its length is seven kilometers, with a vertical height of 120 meters. About 1,300 meters above sea level, the cave has a constant temperature of 14 to 18 degrees Celsius all year.

The formation of the karst caves was the result of long-term groundwater dissolution in the limestone areas. Due to the varying amount of limestone in each part of the limestone layer, and the varying degree of erosion, the caves gradually dissolved and divided into non-dependent karst caves, with stalactites hanging over and stalagmites growing on the ground.

As a stalactite, as white as jade, was shaped like a flying dragon, the cave was named Yulong, or "jade dragon" in Chinese.

The various exquisitely shaped stalactites and stalagmites are masterpieces of the great nature. Walking in the fantastic underground world, visitors always marvel at the wonders of nature.

Interior view of Yulong Karst Cave


The water in Yulong Karst Cave always flows, whether in dry season or the rainy season. The cave was discovered in 1992 by locals who were looking for water during the dry summer.

Xuezhao River, one of the headstreams of Qingjiang River, a tributary of the Yangtze River, is situated outside the cave. The 12-kilometer river is surrounded by high mountains. The forest coverage rate of Xuezhao River canyon reaches 90 percent.

The valleys and forests are home to various species of precious plants and wild animals. The canyon, which drops about 1,000 meters, is a paradise for people who love tubing in rivers through the canyons.

With stunning caves, a beautiful landscape and moist climate, Yulong Karst Cave National Geological Park is an ideal place for tourists to enjoy summer.

Interior view of Yulong Karst Cave


Photos by Ding Huixiang

(Women of China English Monthly June 2021 issue)


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