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Tiger  Leaping  Gorge


Situated to the northwest of the town of Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge with a splendid view of the swift turbulent current of the Golden River is created through constant cutting by the waters between Jade Dragon Mountain and Haba Mountain.  It is on the Jinsha River of the upper reaches of the Yangtze) is located 105 kilometers south of Zhongdian County. The gorge is 17 kilometers long with a drop of 213 meters.  The name of the gorge is attributed to the legend that a tiger had once jumped across the gorge at its narrowest section 30 metres in width.

You are walking on a trail cut into the side of an ever- steepening mountain. The Yangtze River flows beneath you, an immense torrent of swirling mud-colored water just burst out from between two rocky cliffs. The sun is milky white, the air sparkling clear, and distances deceiving. As you approach the mouth of Tiger Leaping Gorge, you will hear a distant, thunderous roar. That sound marks the beginning of 17 kilometers of almost continuous white-water rapids with a total drop of 210 meters in elevation, a stretch so violent and dangerous that experts have doubted that it will ever be rafted. For the next two days, that sound will be your constant companion.

There are many grand and spectacular hikes in China, but Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the best. It's along the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, third longest river in the world. The Yangtze begins as an icy spring far away on "the Roof of the World." On its way down, the river flows through some rugged and remote terrain, especially in the northern part of Yunnan Province, in the foothills of the Tibetan plateau.

Tiger Leaping Gorge is the world's famous Grand Canyon, and it is famous with its odd risk magnificent. From the Tiger Leaping Gorge town along the river Haba snow-capped mountains overshoots the foothills of with a river enter the canyon. The upper river is 9 km from the town of Tiger Leaping Gorge, highways direct, the whole valley in the narrowest section of Gap Kuanfu more than 30 meters, the river is a 13-metre-high boulder - Tiger Leaping Stone, Legend has it had to Tigers Stone and cleared the Gap. Stonehenge of the river and flying bombers Gu Ming Shan issued the surf. Weng Sun opened poet well written. At this point, the golden sand River in the north, just like walk in the stone gate. Tiger Leaping Gorge Yongsheng northward along the village will reach Tiger Leaping gate. This section is of Central lock Jiang'an cliffs, the cliffs on weekends singular. The river is less than 5 km distance or 100 meters. LIN Li Jiang in the reef, this section referred to as "Gypsophila." Nu-Tao reef in the tempestuous left-right clash between Jiang surfaces of a chlorine fog kept empty. Here in the golden sand River into a three strands of Toronto. Passing the "Gypsophila," walking along the rugged path, FIRST-blasting Haba hoisted in the mountain, known locally as the "Goddess of Mercy waterfall," Guanyin mountain in the 1shape of a towering waterfalls in the next-to Qiongjiang Qingfengdian flying, flutter people cheek, full of masculine gas and the Gap add a bit charming.
      Near to Kuanyin (Goddess of Mercy) waterfall, there is a small village called walnut garden which located on a gentle slope Formation. Around the house the large walnut tree will be set in deep green houses, the housing here more to the stone roofing. Tiger Leaping Gorge to the visitors, and often in this unique style Village. Jin Jiang, accompanied by strong winds and Jiang Tao voice, there is a very exciting feeling.
      The walnut garden Formation of a village along the road before Chehu wide trip less than three kilometers can be arrived at the tiger jumped. Stop here, to balconies Yulong Haba mountain, we saw a peak edge peaks, snow, set-silver heap.
      Under the tiger jumped out near the rugged mountains in a straight, smooth-stone World, and this is the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge dangerous path "Talc board." The stone width of more than 300 meters, a 85 ° angle from the Gap Haba stretched its end of the mountain, smooth stone surface, grassless, a pedestrian falls slightly, will slide into the river. The past people regarded this as ghost Road.
      Early 1930s, a famous scholar of human culture Wei Fu Luke had three travels Tiger Leaping Gorge, he was crazy about the canyon and leased aircraft for aerial Tiger Leaping Gorge, the flu satisfied. After 1949, General Zhang Chong seven personally Tiger Leaping Gorge, Tiger Leaping Gorge for the development of water resources has made immortal contributions. Finally, the remains will be squandering all Tiger Leaping Gorge; Tiger Leaping Gorge in the tragic added a lot of pride.

17 kilometers long, the gorge drops about 300 meters in a series of 18 rapids, and is divided into the Upper Gorge, the Middle Gorge and the Lower Gorge. The Lower Gorge is the most awe - inspiring part of all. The gorge, in which the Golden Sand River pounds furiously at its rocky shores in an awesome fashion, sending up skyfuls of white froth, is a dream place for adventurers.

The gorge is divided into three sections: Upper, Middle and Lower Hutiao. At the narrowest spot the river is only 30 meters wide. The mouth of the gorge is 1,800 meters above sea level. The river is flanked by Yulong and Haba snow mountains, with a height difference of 3,900 meters. It is one of the deepest gorges in the world.

Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge
Flowing through Shigu Town, the Jinsha River is flanked by the Yulong Snow Mountain to the east and the Haba Snow Mountain to the west. From the top of the Yulong Snow Mountain to the bottom of the gully is a drop of 3,700 meters, making it 1,800 meters deeper than the Colorado Grand Canyon, while the Haba Snow Mountain slopes gradually in its upper regions and is steeper further down. The mountain is 5,396 meters above sea level and the lowest point on the bank of the Jinsha River is 1,550 meters above sea level. The two mountains flanking the Jinsha River form a 15-km Gorge -- Tiger Leaping Gorge, further classified into the upper, middle and lower Tiger Leaping Gorge.

The Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge is the narrowest section, and in the center of the river is a huge rock called Tiger Leaping Rock. It is said that a tiger once leapt from the east bank, clearing the rock, to land on the west bank, hence its name.

Upper Tiger Leaping Stone: It is not worth a visit If you have already seen the Middle Tiger Leaping Stone.
This sight can be reached from both sides of the river.

On the Low Road, the sight is located 9 km from Qiaotou. From Lijiang, there is a bus leaving Main bus station at 8:30 for Tiger leaping Stone, terminating in front of this site.
On the east bank, the road is frequented only by tour groups, but not accessible by any
public bus.

Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge
The most perilous section is the Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge, which features a huge drop in water level. Six km away from the upper gorge is a waterfall where the river crashes down over 100 meters hitting the rocks in the river bed and creating violent currents.

In one 100-meter section are numerous reefs, and the current is torrential. The gorge is rarely traversed by humans, but on the slope between the Middle and Lower Tiger Leaping Gorge there is a small village -- Hetaoyuan Village, which has little contact with the outside, and where villagers lead a simple and natural life, dwelling in stone-plate houses.

Worth a visit.
This sight is located more than 500 meters vertically down from Tina's Guesthouse. A round trip from Tina's Guesthouse takes 3 hours, not including the time you will spend at Sandy's House beside astonishing roaring rapids. There are two routes:

Route 1: a sheer footpath descending directly in the Middle Gorge near Tina's Guesthouse to the river bank. I happened to meet several aggressive young men who had just come back from this footpath and said it was extremely slippery and steep. So I took the second route.
Route 2: walk along the main road to Zhang's Guesthouse and take a narrow footpath descending to the gorge. Zhang recommends visitors to hire a guide for Y30.-. It is absolutely not necessary. Before reaching Sandy's house, you have to pass a wooden bridge over a roaring cascade, a breathtaking crossing.

Lower Tiger Leaping Gorge
The most important sight in the lower gorge is the Feixing Rapids, from which people can look down on the unconstrained Jinshajiang River. A 32 km long road from the Haba Mountain to Jiangbian Village has been opened to traffic, but traveling on foot is much more interesting.

From Wlanut Grove to Haba, via Jiangbian, it is seven to eight hours. From here to the Yi village of Sanba is about the same, following trails. You could just follow the road and hitch with the occasional truck or tracker but this way is longer and less scenic. Some hardy mountain bikers have followed the trails but this is really only fun from north to south, elevations being what they are. The best way would be to hire a guide.

Walnut Grove along the Low Road, once a peaceful village where hikers used to spend a night on the way to Daju or Haba. While terminating the High Trail at Tina's Guesthouse, hikers can find a bus or taxi easily to go to Baishuitai or the ferry for Daju. No more need to walk along the Low Road to Walnut Grove.

In Haba most people stay at Haba Snow Mountain Inn; In Sanba the Shanzhuangluguan. From Sanba there is an 8 am bus to Zhongdian (five hours), or you could get off at the turn-off to Emerald Pagoda Lake (Bita Lake, 25 km east of Zhongdia) and hike there.
Trekking Routes in Tiger Leaping Gorge
There are three routes. One can start from Hutiaoxia Town along the river to Daju in Lijiang County, or go upstream from Daju. The third route sets out from Hutiaoxia Town to Hetao-yuan and is 28 km in length.

An adventurous add-on to the gorge trek is to continue north all the way to Haba village and the limestone terraces of Baishuitai, making it a four-day trek from Qiaotou. From here you will travel on to Zhongdian.

Carrying a bag, walking among people in different colors of skin and speaking different languages, you are not on Champs Elysees Avenue in Paris but Tiger-leaping orge, the world famous place for people to ravel on foot. You can begin from the upper or lower part of the gorge and finish the trip in three days. It will be a safe trip. However, the dangerousness of the gorge itself will make it more difficult for ordinary travelers.

Useful Tips: This is a great sightseeing stop with enormous photo opportunities. Bring your camera, wear skidproof shoes, and be prepared to be astonished.

Recommended Hiking Tour
At present, there is one main trail that runs the length of the valley called the High Trail. Here is a recommend two day hiking tour.

Day 1: Hike from Qiaotou to Halfway Guesthouse

On the first day, hike from Qiaotou to Halfway Guesthouse. The whole distance covered on the first day is about 17 kilometers, and you’ll hike for about six hours in total. Halfway Guest House really is at the halfway point on the High Trail. First, hike for two hours to Naxi Family Guesthouse and have lunch. Then continue to hike another 2 hours up the steep switchback called 28-bends before the next break. The views are unforgettable. After a break, hike another one or two hours, and then we will arrive at Halfway Guesthouse which has a great view of Yulong Snow Mountain and overlooks the Jinsha (Golden Sands) River Valley. You can sit out on a deck facing the mountain, and there are hot showers and clean beds.

Day 2: Hike from Halfway Guesthouse to Lower Tiger Leaping Gorge

Hike down to Tina's Guesthouse (about 2 hours) and pass through some pretty waterfalls and canyons on the way. And then walk for 1 hour down a side trail on the steep cliff to the bank of Jinsha River to see the Mantianxing Reefs. This is a another narrow part of the gorge. Continue along the road to the Lower Gorge (about 1.5 or 2 hours) where there is a ferry across the River to Daju. If you are interested in traveling to Tiger Leaping Gorge, we can design your own Hiking tour.

Travel Essentials
The hiking is based on the very popular but the most highlighted route. The whole hiking is very easy except for the section called the "28 Bends" which you would pass on Day 1. This track starts winding steeply upward. So for about an hour, you are really using your hamstrings and calf muscles. As to the accommodations, only simple local guest house is available.
Two new cafes providing western style food and internet access for foreign tourists and hikers have sprung up at Tiger Leaping Gorge Town.
While trekking in Tiger Leaping Gorge, watch out for the slippery stone paths. Skid-resistant shoes are recommended to avoid accidents.
Best Time to Visit: The rainy season from June to September is the most dangerous time to hike. At an elevation of about 2,700 meters or about 8,800 feet, the trail may be too cold for a comfortable hike in the winter. So the best time to hike may be in the months of October, November and May.
You can travel lightly. Meals, drinks and accommodations are available. The inns may not provide clean sheets, so you might want to take sheets. Be sure to have rain gear of some kind and a canteen or water bottle.
Dress for the mountain weather.
Safety Warning: Though the trail is well used, it is safer not to hike it alone. It might be best to travel with a partner or in a group. If you get hurt, a partner can help. Hospitals and clinics in the area may not have someone who speaks English. There may be no English speakers to help you. It is easier to get lost if you are alone, and you may be more susceptible to some sort of scam or crime.

Touring Activities

  • See the sights.
  • Ride a tour bus to see the canyon. If you want, you can hike in and ride back or vice-versa. The view along the bottom near the river is spectacular.
  • Hike, stay in inns and enjoy the food and accommodations.
  • Semi-wilderness experience in China.

Nearby Attractions
There are easily accessible high-mountain scenic areas on the western side of Yulong Snow Mountain closer to Lijiang. There is a stairway at the 4,600 meter (about 15,000 feet) level that reaches close to the summit of a peak at Glacier Park. Lugu Lake and the First Bend of the Yangtze River are also scenic areas

Tips for Hiking the Tiger Leaping Gorge
Supplies: Only take with you what you will need for the trek. There are guesthouses at the beginning of the trek where you can leave your luggage and carry just a day pack of supplies. There are plenty of guesthouses along the way for food so take with you only bottles of water. Wear good hiking shoes!
Warnings: Try not to go when the weather is bad. June/July are meant to be the best months. Wear really good hiking shoes, and take care on the narrow trails, especially those that run close to the edge.
Getting there and back: You can get buses from Lijiang (2 hrs) or Zhingdian. From the middle rapids you can get taxis back instead of walking as we did. Check that the roads will be passable for your return journey and arrange for a pick up from Walnut Grove before you leave on your trek or phone Jane's Guesthouse on the trail. Cost for a 6 car van is approx 150 RMB
Accommodation: Naxi Family Guest House—Tea & Horse Guesthouse—Halfway Guesthouse—Tina’s Guesthouse—Sean’s Guest House—Woody’s Rooms approx 80 RMB and food 15 RMB. Signs are clearly marked along the way letting you know distances to each place.

Admission Fee: CNY 50
Time for a Visit:
Two hours
Opening Hours: 08:30 to 18:00

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