Jiuzhaigou, a Chinese nature preserve and natural park, is in southwestern China. It is among the most striking and beautiful mountain areas I have seen, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site, protected from development. Jiuzhaigou is in the Tibetan region, Sichuan Province, and is part of the Min Mountain range. The park spans snow-capped peaks that are reminiscent of Colorado and Switzerland, to colorful lakes and wide waterfalls. My wife and I hiked there for two days with our generous host, Dr. Lingfei Luo from Chongching University.
People are shuttled into various areas uphill by bus, and you walk downhill on various paths to return. While the paths can get crowded with Chinese tourists, it keeps the natural spaces devoid of people, allowing for great vistas and photography. It was strange that very few westerners were seen there and many China tour books barely mention the place. A bit out of the way to get to, but highly recommended.
One of the unusual aspects of the lakes is that they are rich in carbonate, with particles that precipitate to the bottom. The precipitate leads to very clear water and a crystalline coating on the tree limbs and branches that fall into the lake, over the years. Many of the lake and water photos in this gallery look over-saturated, but most are right out of the camera with minimal processing.