It is known for its many multi-level waterfalls, colorful lakes, and snow-capped peaks. Its elevation ranges from 2,000 to 4,500 metres (6,600 to 14,800 ft).
Jiuzhaigou Valley was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1992 and a World Biosphere Reserve in 1997.
Jiuzhaigou (literally "Nine Village Valley") takes its name from the nine Tibetan villages along its length.
The remote region was inhabited by various Tibetan and Qiang peoples for centuries. Until 1975 this inaccessible area was little known.
Extensive logging took place until 1979, when the Chinese government banned such activity and made the area a national park in 1982.
An Administration Bureau was established and the site officially opened to tourism in 1984; layout of facilities and regulations were completed in 1987.