Altai Powder Snow Park, Xinjiang – Where you can find Powder Snow in China from October to June

Overview

Altai Powder Snow Park is locating at the northern part of Xinjiang, very close to China-Russia borders.

There is no chairlift in Altai Powder Snow Park at all, Riders can choose to go to different parts of the Mountain by Snowmobile, Snowcat or Helicopter.

This is a place for powder lovers and preferable – intermediate to advanced riders only.

If you have never been to China before, do read this article, it helps you a lot for planning your China Skiing Trip.

Basic Information of Altai Powder Snow Park

Location

Altai Powder Snow Park is locating at Altay Prefecture of China, it takes around 2 hours to drive there from the Altay City and is within the northern area of Xinjiang (an autonomous territory in northwest China).

Map

There are no fixed trials in Altai Powder Snow Park, it’s more likely you would be riding the whole mountain though. Still, “Home of the wolves”, “Secrets Gardens”, “Snowcats area” and “Heli-ski area” are the most popular areas.

Depend on your ability levels and preferences, the guard of the park will take you to different areas.

Snowmobile and snowcat in Altai Powder Snow Park

Weather and Snow Conditions

Powder snow, fresh snow is pretty much you can find inside the park.

It’s could be quite sunny when it is not snowing though, so honestly, great pictures are what you can expect!

Operating Dates and Time

Depending on the weather of the year, Altai Powder Snow Park would open from October/ November to May/ June.

Going to Altai Powder Snow Park (The Park) for skiing and snowboarding is totally different from going to all other ordinary ski resorts, riders need to register and approved before they can ride in the park. Therefore, there is no fix opening/ closing time of the park, it all depends on what time you arrived in the park.

Trip Planning Advice

It is highly recommended you to book via a specialist to Altai Powder Snow Park, simply because:

  • Altai Power Snow Park is located in a restricted area, only those who are registered and approved could enter that area, even mainland Chinese (or even local Xinjiang people) have to go through the same process.
  • It’s difficult to go to the park if you are not prepared. 4WD Jeep, Snow Tires, Ability to drive on undeveloped mountain road covered with snow and ice… these are the basic requirement to drive to Altai Snow Park
  • Language Barrier, honestly, although the situation is improving, there are still not that many people speak English in China, Xinjiang, even less… Altai, being the very northern tip of Xinjiang, well, hum… let’s talk about something else.
  • Politics problem. Depending on the politic environment, for example, if there is any special meetings are running, the relationship between China and other countries… China will adjust their policies frequently. It is not unusual that they reject foreigners application to Altai (even Hong Kong and Macau citizen got rejected!!!) due to safety reason, therefore it is a good idea for you to have someone knowing what is going on there to keep an eye for you.

Adding up all these factors, I would conclude that it really is a good idea for you to go with some specialist who can arrange everything for you, booking hotels, arrange transportation, sightseeing… getting permissions… there are already loads of peoples you have to deal with! Cultural difference, food… Just treat it like you are going to the South Pole!

There is no need for you to arrange your whole Xinjiang journey via a specialist, but then at least just for going to Altai, please book via an agent.

Transportation

There are several ways to go to Altai Powder Snow Park, but then no matter what you have to go to the Altay city first.

  • Take a train to Altay from Urumqi, it takes around 10 – 11 hours long, therefore I would say taking a night train is always the best ideas, coz the soft beds are really comfortable (there are soft beds, hard beds and seats are available)
  • There are direct flights to Altay from Urumqi or Xi An (just started by 2017/18), but honestly, I won’t recommend this method since it is very likely the flights will be canceled if there are too many snows there
Over night train from Urumqi to Altay, soft bed cabin
Hard beds Cabin, the guy standing there is the officer checking passengers ticket.

Then from the Altay train station or airport, take a taxi to Altay city center, (I paid 50 CNY for one way by January 2018. It takes around 10 to 15 mins to get to city center.

From Altay city center it takes around 2 hours to go to Altai Powder Snow Park by bus or 90 mins by Jeep.

Accommodation

There are accommodations available both in the Powder Snow Park and in Altay city.

I didn’t stay in the Altai Powder Snow Park’s accommodation coz by the time I arrived, it’s just newly built and they hadn’t installed the boiler yet.

No matter you choose to stay in the park or the city, it is very likely you are going to spend your first night in Altay coz you can only apply for the permission to enter the restricted area after you can provide the certification of staying in the hotel of Altay.

And do bear in mind that for foreigners, Hong Kong, and Macau citizen, i.e. non-Chinese ID holder, you can only stay in specific hotels that can host “guest from foreign countries”. I remember there were only 3 hotels in Altay city can accommodate non-Chinese citizen though.

The hotels are fine, not like you can find something meeting Grand Hyatt standard there but it’s clean, bright and everything’s working fine.

Altay City Hotel Room

Package

Normally you can book everything at one stop for Altai Powder Snow Park, feel free to drop us an email at ultimateskitourguide@gmail.com and we can introduce to you a local partner there for arranging everything.

Food

I would say if you eat lamb, you may find Xinjiang a very nice place for dining out. Unlike some other areas in China, Xinjiang food includes a lot of BBQ meat, milk, cheese in their cuisine, no much spicy component. (Probably very good news for quite a bit of English speaking skiers and snowboarders!)

O yeah, I love their noodles very much too, freshly made, if you head into a restaurant that you can see their kitchen, you can see the chef started to do that “Chinese noodle making show” which you can see only in those very expensive Chinese restaurants in Western countries.

Yummy freshly made noodles, taken by Lorraine Lam from SnowboardHow.com

Additional useful tips for planning your trip:

  • It is always a good idea for you to rent the powder boards/ skis in the park, makes a lot of difference for your rides.
  • For beginners or warming up, starts from the area right in front of the base camp first.
  • Make sure you have purchased travel insurance, and make sure skiing/ snowboarding are covered!
  • Go for a massage after riding for whole day, you can always get a very good priced full body massage in China

Conclusion

Altai Powder Snow Park is really a place all skiers and snowboarders should go there for at least once in their life. Better asap coz it’s still not that popular in China yet.

It’s somewhere you would be impressed and get a rough idea of how amazing China could be.

Just feel free to drop me a message if you are planning to go! I will reply you asap!! Cheers!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *