'Edge of the Earth' closed down indefinitely

Han Jing
Sichuan Province's Longtoushan Cliffs have been closed down indefinitely due to the surging number of visits in recent years that threaten their grassy surface.
Han Jing
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'Edge of the Earth' closed down indefinitely
Xinhua

An aerial view of Longtoushan Cliffs

Located in southwest China's Sichuan Province, the Longtoushan Cliffs, dubbed the "Edge of the Earth" by Chinese National Geography in 2018, have been closed down indefinitely by local authorities due to the surging number of visits in recent years that threaten their grassy surface, Chengdu Media Group's Hongxing News reported.

'Edge of the Earth' closed down indefinitely
Hongxing News

Vehicles leave ruts along the Longtoushan Cliffs.

'Edge of the Earth' closed down indefinitely
Hongxing News

The surging number of vehicles threaten the cliffs' environment.

Several government bodies in Leibo County where the cliffs are located, including the public security bureau, ecology and environment bureau, and tourism and forestry administration, jointly released an order on Saturday to announce a "permanent closure" of the undeveloped cliffs governed by the Sichuan Mamize Nature Reserve in order to prevent further damage to the environment.

They also clarified that those who want to enter the protected area for scientific research purposes must receive approvals from the nature reserve's local administrative department.

Local village officials told Hongxing News on Sunday that private cars are no longer allowed to enter the cliffs, and they have set up checkpoints in the village to prevent drivers from doing so.

Self-driving tours to the cliffs, about dozens of kilometers away from Leibo County's downtown area, took off since images of the cliffs went viral online last year. Locals witnessed vehicles from other provinces flooding in, a villager told Hongxing News. Even more cars have come this year.

"Sometimes dozens in a day, and the grasslands on the mountains are run over," the villager said.

'Edge of the Earth' closed down indefinitely
Xinhua

The cliffs have a spectacular section with an almost vertical precipice on their southwest side.

The grass-covered cliffs on the edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau lie east-west on the junction of three counties – Leibo, Meigu and Zhaojue – in the province's Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture. The highest cliff is 3,724 meters high while the lowest is 960 meters.

'Edge of the Earth' closed down indefinitely
Xinhua

The cliffs are known for their spectacular view of green grass on one side and a sea of clouds on the other.

'Edge of the Earth' closed down indefinitely
Xinhua

The cliffs have a spectacular section with an almost vertical precipice on their southwest side that extends 10 kilometers along the Meigu River.

They have become a highly coveted destination for road trip enthusiasts and off-road travelers due to their unique geological features – green grass on one side and a sea of clouds on the other.

'Edge of the Earth' closed down indefinitely

The Longtoushan Cliffs are featured in the cover of Chinese National Geography's June 2018 issue.

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