Abstract. Snow is one of the most important components of the cryosphere. Remote sensing of snow focuses on the retrieval of snow parameters and monitoring of variations in snow using satellite data. These parameters are key inputs for hydrological and atmospheric models. Over the past 30 years, the field of snow remote sensing has grown dramatically in China. The 30-year achievements of research in different aspects of snow remote sensing in China, especially in (1) methods of retrieving snow cover, snow depth/snow water equivalent, and grain size and (2) applications to snowmelt runoff modeling, snow response on climate change, and remote sensing monitoring of snow-caused disasters are reviewed/summarized. The importance of the first remote sensing experiment on snow parameters at the upper reaches of the Heihe River Basin, in 2008, is also highlighted. A series of experiments, referred to as the Cooperative Observation Series for Snow (COSS), focus on some key topics on remote sensing of snow. COSS has been implemented for 3 years and will continue in different snow pattern regions of China. The snow assimilation system has been established in some regions using advanced ensemble Kalman filters. Finally, an outlook for the future of remote sensing of snow in China is given.