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Hiking photos - Heilongtan Valley Ice Festival, 2011/02/19

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.

Icefall, Beijing Hikers Heilongtan hike, February 09, 2011

A large icefall.

By a bridge, Beijing Hikers Heilongtan hike, February 09, 2011

Dramatic ice formations by a bridge.

An ice cave, Beijing Hikers Heilongtan hike, February 09, 2011

An ice cave.

Interesting ice formations, Beijing Hikers Heilongtan hike, February 09, 2011

This hike takes place in a developed park, but the interesting ice formations keep it interesting.

Our hikers, Beijing Hikers Heilongtan hike, February 09, 2011

Our hikers!

 Flowing water freezes, Beijing Hikers Heilongtan hike, February 09, 2011

As flowing water freezes on top of itself, the size of the stream expands. This river is probably much smaller when it is flowing in the summer.

Ice encru plant life, Beijing Hikers Heilongtan hike, February 09, 2011

Ice encrusted plant life.

In front of an ice fall, Beijing Hikers Heilongtan hike, February 09, 2011

Our group in front of an ice fall.

Ice slide, Beijing Hikers Heilongtan hike, February 09, 2011

The end of the ice slide.

The top of the ice slide, Beijing Hikers Heilongtan hike, February 09, 2011

The top of the ice slide.

One section, Beijing Hikers Heilongtan hike, February 09, 2011

One section of Heilongtan was enclosed, allowing the ice sculptures to be dramatically lit.

A high icefall, Beijing Hikers Heilongtan hike, February 09, 2011

Two of our hikers, and a high icefall in the distance.

“Heavenly Lake” hike, Beijing Hikers Heilongtan hike, February 09, 2011

A view of our “Heavenly Lake” hike.

Spring Festival decorations, Beijing Hikers Heilongtan hike, February 09, 2011

A rural doorway with Spring Festival decorations. Happy Year of the Rabbit!

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