75 kilometers (46 miles) south of Urumqi, in the Southern Mountain, the area at the northern foot of Karawuquntag Mountain, a spur of the Tianshan Mountains, lies Nanshan Grassland( South Mountain Grassland), also known as West White Poplar Gully. Traveling through this narrow verdant gully is a unique experience for sightseers who love natural scenery like snowcapped peaks, dragon-spruce trees and wild flowers to name just a few of the beautiful things to see.
It is also home to a 2,100 meters (6888 feet) wide waterfall which cascades down, above sea level. The valley has an annual precipitation of 500 to 600 millimeters. Screened by snow-capped peaks and dotted with tall and straight dragon spruce trees, it is an ideal place for an excursion. The Kazakhs usually spend summer here between May and October and graze their herds. This is great land for hiking with gushing valleys and waterfalls falling down the hillsides and the ginseng herb growing on the hillside. The Kasakh people like to spend their summers here and travlers can take a horseback tour with a Kasak guide, over the mountains and stay in a traditional yurt. Visitors can take a horseback tour guided by local Kazakhs. In a traditional yurt, the hospitable host will welcome you in with fragrant milk tea, mare's milk, cheese and roasted lamb. The horse-racing and traditional Kazakh dancing are equally amazing.
More spectacular landscape come at the far end of the valley, a 2 meters (6.6feet) wide waterfall cascades 40 meters (131 feet) down, roaring with mist. It makes you feel refreshed and relaxed.
It's landscape stretches into the distance and is painted with flocks of sheep and horses and yaks grazing among the wild flowers. Deep in the lush valley, a waterfall gently drops down and integrates with the peaceful surroundings.
Yurts are sprinkled over the pasture and are home to the local Kazakh people. Visitors can visit a local family if they wish. Many foreign tourists say that a visit to a local family was a highlight of the day. The Kazak people are hospitable and generous. They usually invite their guests to share dinner of roasted lamb, milk and their traditional food-rice taken with hands.
Sometimes it is possible to see colorful activities such as horse-racing, traditional singing and dancing presented by the Kazak people.
Yurt-style hotels you are available if you would like to stay a night. Warm clothing and flashlights are essential.
West Poplar Valley in Mt. Nanshan
West Poplar Valley in Nanshan Mountains is a well-known summer resort in southern suburb of Urumqi and about 30 km away from downtown area of Urumqi. When entering the valley, you can see the magnificent mountains under the blue sky, herds of sheep and cattle, thick forest and brooks. Here, as you like, you can see the picturesque view here, or you can rent a horse from a Kazakh herdsman for a gallop in the grassland, or ride horse to go into the thick forest.
There is a 2 meters wide waterfall drops from a a 10-odd m high natural cliff, which at the top of the valley, it makes lots of water mist. If you want to enjoy the evening view of the grassland, you can stay overnight here. There is a yurt hostel and restaurant run by the Nanshan Scenic Area Administration. At night, it is a little bit colder, so tourists must take thick clothes with you. In addition, it is better for you to have a flashlight.
China tours inclusive of visiting Southern Mountain Pastureland, Urumqi