We drove along the western side of the Miyun reservoir to reach the mouth of Heilongtan Valley. Its name translates to “Black Dragon Pool.” As we walked up canyon, it became easy to see where the name comes from as we imagined the mythological creature snaking its way downstream.
The main attractions of this hike were the ice sculptures and formations. The artificial “enhancement” of some ice formations by the spraying of water earlier in the season did not detract at all from their beauty. On our way out of the canyon, we were able to enjoy a fun slide down a miniature luge course. A large, light-proof tent had been constructed as well, which allow the park to light up some of the ice sculptures even during the day.
After visiting Heilongtan, we drove a little further northward for a warm meal at a local restaurant. We had a chance to take a quick stroll along our “Heavenly Lake” route, up to some nearby cliffs that overlook the White River as it flows into the Miyun Reservoir. After taking in the view, we headed back to the city.