New hike plan:
- Start the hike by going up Longyunshan, then down to the river.
- Hike up the river on the ice. We can go as far as the first part of the closed scenic area.
- Hike ⅓ of the way back down the river.
- Finish the hike with a steep climb up to a roadside lookout point. (250m up over about 1km of trail)
The White River hike is nearly all flat, aside from the long descent down to the riverside and a few small bumps along the way. For an extra challenge, we’re going to add on the steep climb up to the reservoir on Dragon Cloud Mountain, making this a scenic walk with a bit of a kick to finish.
In this winter visit to the river we’ll walk on the ice for part of the hike, with views of all the great winter scenery in the area.
We start at a small scenic area at the top of a long, rocky canyon that leads down to the river. We'll follow the park trails down to the riverside, a walk of around 45 minutes.
On the way down we’ll cross over icy sections and see streams that have frozen as they trickle over boulders and cliffs.
After arriving at the riverside we’ll start following the river as it winds down through a deep and wide canyon. In summer we need to take our shoes off to wade across, but in winter we'll be able to walk across the thick ice.
At times, the trail leads us through trees, but for most of the walk we'll follow the course of the river. It’s flat the whole way, and the only thing that might slow us down is slippery ice.
We’ll continue down the river to get to a bridge made of large stone blocks. If the river is frozen enough here we won’t need to use the bridge to cross over.
Crossing over gets us on to the Dragon Cloud Mountain side of the river, and it’s here we’ll find the steep trail that will take us up to the top.
The climb has about 150m of elevation gain over just about 500m of trail – it’s a steep one!
We’ll come out near the reservoir at the top of the mountain, with superb views back down to the river canyon.
The trail continues over to the lower bluffs of Dragon Cloud Mountain, bare rock that turns to sheer cliffs.
It’s a very picturesque location, and it’s often used in film sets. We’ll see if there’s been any recent film action; often prop houses are left behind. We’ve heard that filmed here recently were some of the scenes from the TV version of the Three Body Problem.
Past the bluffs and cliffs we’ll find the trail that takes us back down to the riverside—this time not so steep.
After we get back down to the river it’s a short walk out to finish the hike.