Among the Henduan Mountains, there are four adjacent peaks that comprise the 450-square-km Four-Girl Mountain Range. It is combined with the-Shuangqiao, Haizi, and Changping gullies and the Four-Girl Mountain.
Four Girl Mountain gets its name from a famous local legend. It is said that the place was once hard-hit by chilling northern winds, which devastated the locals' livelihoods.
One day, four sisters from some remote southern region turned into four mountains to shield the place from the northerly attacks. The area then became warm and sunlit, with rich harvests of grains and fruits. In honor of the four sisters' great deed, local people named the mountains after them.
More than 10 snowy peaks surround the four mysterious peaks of the Four-Girl Mountain, among which, the 6,250-meter fourth peak is the highest, second only to the 7,556-meter Gonggar Mountain, which is "the King of Shu Mountains" in the Sichuan area. The elevations of the first, second, and third peaks are 5,355 meters, 5,454 meters, and 5,664 meters respectively.
Like four girls, the pretty and charming peaks are as white as ice and as pearly colored as jade. The precipice of the fourth peak is so high that nobody has ever climbed it.
Just some 10 years ago the Four-Girl Mountain was absolutely isolated from the world. On the mountain, some original ecological scenery is preserved, attracting people to appreciate its mysterious beauty.
Today, the Four-Girl Mountain consists of a group of scenic areas and is a multi-faceted tourist site where people can enjoy sightseeing, mountain climbing, exploration, scientific investigation, holidays, and outings.
Colorful Shuangqiao Gully
Shuangqiao Gully extends 34.8 km and covers an area of about 216.6 square km. This scenic area consists of three sections. In the gully, people can view more than 10 snow mountains over 4,000 meters above sea level each.
The lower section is the Yangliu Bridge with some mysterious scenes such as the Yinyang Gully, a poplar forestry strip, the Sun and Moon and Precious Mirror Mountain, and the Five-Color Mountain.
The middle section is the Nianyu Dam, including the Renshenguo Level Ground, a sand thorn forest, Jianshanzi, Jiujiahai, and other scenic sites.
The upper section is the Niupengzi Lawn and Changhe Beach, including the Hunter Peak, Niupengzi, the Changhe Dam, and other scenic sites.
Among the scenic sites, the Ape and Hunter peaks are very astonishing, and those mountains and stones with various mysterious legends such as the Five-Color and Plenilune mountains show their special spirit.
The highways winding through the Shuangqiao Gully string together all the mysterious and beautiful scenic sites like a dazzling brilliant necklace.
Steep overhanging cliffs flank the near the edge of the valley. The dismal darkness of the valley's inside poses a sharp contrast with the blinding brightness outside. The sepulchral silence is pierced intermittently by the splashing, cascading streamlets. No wonder this part of the valley is nicknamed as "The Valley of Spirits."
After walking for several kilometers along winding paths, the silent and dark narrowness gradually opens up, letting light slip through. The zigzags eventually lead to the valley's open area.
In October, nature lavishly unfolds its fall splendor. It mantles every bit, from the valley bottom all the way up to the summit, with a palette of crimson, orange yellow, deep brown, vivid purple, sapphire blue, and blackish green. All the peaks, trees, grasslands, streams, and water drops are completely bared in their natural being, untouched and unspoiled by man. Though only a few families inhabit the area, the architectural styles of their houses are in complete harmony with the surroundings.
Romantic Changping Gully
The Changping Gully was developed earlier and is comparatively mature. It mainly consists of forests, valleys, and snowy mountains towering over valleys. It extends 29 km and covers an area of some 100 square km. The Four-Girl Mountain lies 16 km inside the gully. Only part of the roads are open to traffic and the rest are only suitable for people to walk or ride horses on.
The alley to the Four-Girl Mountain through the Changping Gully is very narrow and winding. Coniferous forest, broadleaf forest, sub-forests, shrub wood, and weed clusters joggle together and exhibit their contrasting charms.
In the Changping Gully, there are ancient cypresses, lama monasteries, dried haizi and a waterfall scores of meters high, all of which make the gully a tourist favorite. When crossing Changping Gully on horseback, passing through original forests, bestriding brooks, and surmounting the snow-covered mountains, tourists can eventually camp after a trip of six or seven hours.
On the long trip, tourists can gradually adapt to the jolting of the horses and start to take more interest in the scenes along the gully. When tourists enter the forests, they step on soft and deep moss and fallen leaves, breathe the tangy fragrant and humid air, and hear birds singing. Negative oxygen is very abundant there and it is worthy of the name of a natural forest bathing place. The cypress forest along the mountain alleys hides the sky and sun, and it takes several people to surround each bulky trunk. At Erdaoping, the Four-Girl Mountain looms within the view of people.
Attractive Haizi Gully
The Haizi Gully derives its name from the fact that in the gully are a dozen alpine lakes including Huahaizi, Fohai, Baihai, Lanhai, and Huanghai. It extends 19.2 km and covers an area of 126.48 square km. Its entrance lies in Rilong Town, and is the most beautiful gully from the first to the third gullies of the Four-Girl Mountain. The scene there is completely different from that in Shuangqiao and Changping gullies.
Gozhuangping and Chaoshanping in the first half mainly consist of plateau lawns and are the best places to view the Four-Girl Mountain and take a photo of the "sunlight on the golden mountain." Every year, on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, people of the Tibetan ethnic group will hold a grand worship ceremony there facing Four-Girl Mountain.
The Haizi Gully contains a mysterious and beautiful group of plateau lakes. On the surrounding mountains, forests are thick and lush, water and soil are well preserved, and water sources are abundant. The water in the Haizi Gully is not polluted. There is a shady alley accessing the gully.
Along with various mountain postures more than 10 haizi scattering in valleys and forests present various colors. Trees shadows and sunlight fallen down from forest gaps can reflect sometimes on lakes, and sometimes the water overflows on some large moss-covered stones. A kind of ancient fish without scales moves about in the lakes and can be seen clearly in the pure water, adding to the feeling of natural quiet and beauty.
In the Four-Girl Mountain, it is rainy in summer, and the water run-off makes it hard to enter the Haizi Gully.