Beichuan (北川; Běichuān) is an ancient town in Sichuan.
Beichuan was located very close to the epicenter of the Sichuan Earthquake on May 12, 2008. The county suffered extreme damage in the earthquake. The old Beichuan county seat was located in Qushan Town (曲山镇) and it was also in the path of a massive landslide on September 24, which buried parts of the city under several stories worth of mud. After the earthquake, the government decided that Beichuan would never be rebuilt, or even excavated, but would remain in its current state as a memorial. The county seat was moved to Yongchang Town (永昌镇).
While most of the old city is closed off, there are a couple of areas for viewing the damage and paying respect. A museum opened in the old Beichuan high school in 2011.
There is a bus from Mianyang, leaving the bus station across from the train station. (As of December 2011 there were no buses leaving Mianyang's other major station, Pingzhen.) There may be other routes from other cities as well.
Beichuan Middle School was shown in newscasts around the country after it collapsed and killed all of the students in the lower two floors. The site is now sealed off and viewable by tourists.
There is a view point a little bit up the road where it's possible to see the remains of old Beichuan.
Better plan for a day trip.