The Jiuhuang Airport, just northeast of Jiuzhaigou, has greatly increased the park's accessibility, putting the park within striking distance of tourists from all neighboring provinces. However, the most convenient launching point is still likely to be Chengdu, and ¥1,500 will get you a round-trip ticket for the 45-minute flight. From the airport, you can take a bus to Jiuzhaigou (1 1/2 hr.; ¥30).
Several air-conditioned buses (¥140) depart Chengdu around 8am from the Xin Nan Men Bus Station and arrive approximately 12 hours later in Zhangzha Zhen at the Long-Distance Bus Station (Changtu Qiche Keyun Zhan) behind the Jiutong Binguan -- leaving you the evening to check into a hotel and have dinner. Four return buses leave at 6:20am, 7am, 8am, and 1pm. Buy tickets at least a day in advance. Buses also leave Chengdu from the less convenient Chadianzi Keyun Zhan west of the city center, dropping passengers near the Jiuzhaigou entrance for ¥125.
Though the route from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou has reopened after the Sichuan earthquake, the road is still quite rough at press time. Also, be aware that you may get stuck on the road for a couple of hours if reconstruction of the road is in progress.
Jiuzhaigou's five designated scenic zones run along a Y-shaped route. Over 200 shuttle buses travel the 58km (36-mile) route from 7am until 6pm. The best sights and most of the plank paths are along the right branch, so if you haven't time to trace the entire route, go to the right first. If you're tempted to walk the full length, bear in mind that the distance from the entrance to the last scenic spot on this route -- Yuanshi Senlin (Primeval Forest) -- is about 32km (20 miles). For the best views, take the bus to the end and walk back. You can reboard at bus stops along the way. Very useful bilingual tourist maps are available for ¥5 at the Tourist's Center (Youke Zhongxin) near the ticket office.
Note: Carry Cash -- Be sure to carry Chinese currency. Only the five-star hotels accept credit cards. None accept traveler's checks, and only a few change U.S. dollars.