Tiger Leaping Gorge, located in southwestern China’s Yunnan Province, is one of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the world. This majestic gorge, carved by the Jinsha River, offers spectacular views of the snow-capped peaks of the Haba Snow Mountain and the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The gorge is also famous for its hiking trails, which attract thousands of visitors each year. In this guide, we’ll explore two of the best outdoor activities, two must-see places, and one unusual tip for travelers to Tiger Leaping Gorge.
Hiking is undoubtedly the most popular activity in Tiger Leaping Gorge. The gorge offers two main hiking routes, the upper trail, and the lower trail. The upper trail is more challenging and takes approximately two days to complete, while the lower trail takes one day. Both trails offer stunning views of the gorge, the surrounding mountains, and the Jinsha River. The best time to go hiking in the gorge is from April to October, as the weather is mild, and the scenery is at its best.
One of the most popular hiking routes is the “28 Bends,” which is located on the upper trail. This section of the trail features 28 steep switchbacks, which are both challenging and rewarding. At the top of the 28 Bends, hikers can enjoy stunning views of the gorge and the surrounding mountains.
For those seeking an adrenaline rush, rafting in the Jinsha River is an excellent activity to consider. The Jinsha River, which runs through Tiger Leaping Gorge, offers some of the best rapids in China, ranging from class II to class V. Rafting is available year-round, but the best time to go is from May to October when the water levels are high.
One of the most popular rafting routes is the “Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge,” which starts at the Jinsha River Bridge and ends at Daju Town. This route takes approximately four hours and offers exciting rapids and stunning views of the gorge.
Tiger Leaping Rock is one of the most famous landmarks in Tiger Leaping Gorge. According to local legend, a tiger once leaped from the rock to the other side of the river, hence its name. The rock is located on the upper trail, and visitors can reach it by hiking for approximately two hours from the entrance of the gorge. The best time to visit Tiger Leaping Rock is in the morning, when the sun is shining on the rock, making it appear to glow.
The Middle Rapids are located on the lower trail of the gorge and are known for their beauty and power. The rapids are caused by the Jinsha River rushing through a narrow section of the gorge, creating a breathtaking sight. Visitors can reach the Middle Rapids by hiking for approximately three hours from the entrance of the gorge. The best time to visit the Middle Rapids is in the afternoon when the sun is shining on the rapids, making them shimmer.
While hiking and rafting are the most popular activities in Tiger Leaping Gorge, there is one unusual tip that many visitors are not aware of. If you are a fan of photography, consider visiting the gorge during the winter months, from December to February. During this time, the Haba Snow Mountain and the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain are covered in snow, creating a stunning winter wonderland. The snow-covered mountains and the clear blue sky make for a perfect backdrop for photography.
The Sky Stairway is a section of the upper trail of Tiger Leaping Gorge that is not for the faint of heart. The trail consists of a narrow path that winds along the side of the cliff face, with a sheer drop on one side. The path leads to a viewing platform that offers stunning views of the gorge and the surrounding mountains. The Sky Stairway is a challenging but rewarding hike, and is a must-visit for any adventurer.
Bendiwan Village is a small village located in the middle of Tiger Leaping Gorge. The village is home to the Naxi people, one of the ethnic minorities in China. The village is known for its traditional architecture and for its stunning views of the gorge. Visitors can explore the village’s narrow streets, visit the local market, and interact with the friendly locals. Bendiwan Village offers a glimpse into rural life in China and is a great place to learn about the country’s diverse cultures.
Tea Horse Guesthouse is a budget-friendly guesthouse located in Bendiwan Village. The guesthouse offers basic accommodation, including private rooms and dormitories. The rooms are clean and comfortable, and the guesthouse has a communal lounge and restaurant where guests can relax and enjoy local food. The guesthouse is a great option for budget-conscious travelers who want to experience authentic village life.
N’s Kitchen and Lodge is a mid-range lodge located on the upper trail of Tiger Leaping Gorge. The lodge offers a range of rooms, including private rooms and dormitories, all of which are clean and comfortable. The lodge has a restaurant that serves delicious Chinese and Western food, and a rooftop terrace that offers stunning views of the gorge. N’s Kitchen and Lodge is a great option for travelers who want to stay on the upper trail and enjoy easy access to the hiking trails.
Tiger Leaping Gorge Hotel is a luxury hotel located in Qiaotou Town, the entrance to Tiger Leaping Gorge. The hotel offers a range of luxurious rooms, including suites and villas, all of which are spacious and well-appointed. The hotel has a restaurant that serves delicious Chinese and Western food, a spa that offers a range of treatments, and a swimming pool that offers stunning views of the gorge. Tiger Leaping Gorge Hotel is a great option for travelers who want to indulge in luxury and comfort during their stay in the gorge.
Jane’s Tibetan Guesthouse is a mid-range guesthouse located in Walnut Garden, a scenic spot in Tiger Leaping Gorge. The guesthouse offers a range of rooms, from standard rooms to deluxe suites, all of which are decorated in traditional Tibetan style. The guesthouse has a restaurant that serves delicious Tibetan and Chinese food, and a rooftop terrace that offers stunning views of the gorge. Jane’s Tibetan Guesthouse is a great option for travelers who want comfortable accommodation with a touch of Tibetan culture.
In conclusion, Tiger Leaping Gorge is a must-visit destination for any traveler looking to experience the natural beauty and rich culture of China. From adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities to awe-inspiring views, there’s something for everyone in this stunning gorge. We hope that our comprehensive travel guide has provided you with all the information you need to plan an unforgettable trip to Tiger Leaping Gorge, including two top outdoor activities, two must-see places, and one unusual tip. With our recommendations for lodging options in various budgets, you’ll find the perfect place to rest your head after a long day of exploring. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime in Tiger Leaping Gorge!