Jiuzhaigou, known as “fairyland” or “wonderland” , is located in the upper reaches of the Baishui River in central and southern Jiuzhaigou County and on the north slope of the Gaerna Peak of the Minshan Mountains. Named “Zhongyangtong” or “Cuihai” in ancient times, it is a tributary valley of the Jialing River of the Yangtze River system and is 2,000 – 4,300 meters above sea level. The scenic area has a core zone of 720 square kilometers and a surrounding protection zone of 600 square kilometers. The whole area spans 59 kilometers and measures 19 kilometers from east to west. 400 kilometers from Chengdu, the provincial capital, Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area is made up of carbonate barrier lake landforms of high mountains and deep valleys. The scenic area enjoys a pleasant climate with warm winters and cool summers, as well as beautiful sceneries throughout the year. Jiuzhaigou is a tourism project of priority and one of the five best scenic areas in Sichuan Province. It represents the Grand Jiuzhai Tourist Region, and is one of the world's best tourism destinations.
A kilometer down Changhai is Wucaichi. Wucaichi is world famous for its graceful rich colors and pureness. Covering an area of 5,646 square meters, it is 2,995 meters above the sea level and 6.6 meters in depth. In icy winter, the water in the lake still flows with a gentle ripple even with the land frozen. And although rain and drought seasons alternate, the volume of the lake's water does not change. The water in the lake is supplied through underground channels from Changhai, which is higher than itself. Because the soil deep under the ground maintains normal temperature all year round, the volume of the water remains steady throughout the year. In Wucaichi, the grain of the rocks on the lake floor can be seen clearly thanks to the transparency of the blue gem-like water.
Wucaichi is the essence of Jiuzhaigou's lakes. In the lake, there are water plants, such as Spirogyra, Chlorophyta and water ferns. There are also Herbaceous plants, such as Reeds, Equisetum Ramosissimum, and water Juncus Effuses. Because the plants contain different amount of chlorophylls, they display different colors in the water rich in calcium carbonate. Additionally, different areas in the same lake may be blue, green, yellow, and light blue-purple. The color of the later varies to make it even more beautiful. When the sun is high in the sky, red, golden and blue ripples may appear on the water surface after the wind blows or a stone is thrown into the water.
Although Wucaichi is the smallest among numerous lakes in Jiuzhaigou, it is the richest in color. Thanks to the different colored deposits on the lake floor and the plants on the shore, the lake's surface, originally blue, dazzles in gorgeous varying colors.
Wuhuahai is 2,472 meters above sea level and 5 meters in depth. Renowned as a fabulous spectacle and essence of Jiuzhaigou, it is the pride of the whole scenic area. In the lake, the same body of water can display different splendid colors created by nature that is both bold and strong.
Wuhuahai is the most magnificent scenic spot in Jiuzhaigou. When autumn comes, the slopes are enveloped by gorgeous colors that outshine other scenic spots in Jiuzhaigou. In Wuhuahai, water plants with colorful leaves mostly converge near the outlet of the lake and shine like raging flames. The reflection of the red, yellow and greens trees and bushes on the shore and the wood and plant underneath the water also help set off each other. In fact, Wuhuahai was named for its extraordinary beauty. Locals say Wuhuahai is a divine lake; wherever its water flows, there will be flowers and plants, as well as beautiful scenery and prosperity.