Suyukou National Forest Park


This park is a good place to start exploring Helan Shan. The 5km northbound trail is quite challenging in parts and takes you to the highest point in the park (just under 3000m above sea level). There are shorter and easier routes or you can combine hiking with a ride on the cable car (up/down ¥50/30) straight up to cool pine-covered hills.

The forest park can be glorious in winter. It's also home to the Suyukou Ski Resort, northwest China's largest ski resort. The downhill action gets going in mid-December. Bus Y2 (游二路; ¥15, 1½ hours) goes to the Suyukou National Forest Park from Xinyue Sq (新月广场, Xīnyuè Guǎngchǎng) in Yinchuan; get off at the second-last stop. The last bus back to town is at 3.30pm.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ningxia attractions

1. Helan Shan Rock Carvings

2.19 MILES

The most significant sight in Helan Shan is these ancient rock carvings dating from 1000 to 10,000 years ago. Over 2000 pictographs depict animals, faces,…

2. Twin Pagodas of Baisikou


About 10km west of the Helan Shan rock carvings are these pagodas. You can’t climb them, but they’re an impressive sight against the backdrop of the…

3. Western Film Studios

8.96 MILES

This wacky film studio is where famed Chinese movies like Red Sorghum and many Hong Kong classics by Stephen Chow, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung and Tsui Hark…

4. Guǎngzōng Sì

11.51 MILES

Once one of the most magnificent monasteries in Inner Mongolia, Guǎngzōng Sì has a stunning setting in the Helanshan mountain foothills 38km south of…

5. Alashan Museum

16.48 MILES

This superb museum affords a fascinating insight into Alashan and Mongolian culture. English captions are sporadic, which is a shame, but there's a wealth…

6. St Joseph Catholic Church

17.34 MILES

Detached and alone, this twin-spired, brick-built church is quite a sight as you head towards town from the long-distance bus station. Of recent…

7. Yingpanshan Ecological Park

18.3 MILES

Half of town decamps to this high point at sunset for some astonishing views (if the weather obliges) and spectacular evening fountain shows. Beyond the…

8. Qīnwáng Fǔ

18.42 MILES

This fabulous courtyard palace is the former home of the local prince, the Alashan Qin Wang. A well-restored, Qing-era complex of buildings and courtyards…