Tiger Leaping Gorge is 60kms away from Lijiang city with 18meter in length, located where the river passes between 5,596 meter Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and 5,396 m Haba Snow Mountain in a series of rapids under steep 2000 meter cliffs. It’s the deepest gorge all over the world. Divided into three segments with an aggregate fall of 210 meters and places where the canyon walls rise some 3,000 meters above the rapids, the gorge is so narrow at points that it’s not hard to imagine the namesake tiger making its leap. Legend says that in order to escape from a hunter, a tiger jumped across the river at the narrowest point (still 25 meters wide), hence the name.
Except getting a wonder view from Tiger Leaping Gorge, some of tourists are like hiking along the Tiger Leaping Gorge. The hiking trail runs along the base of the Haba Peak providing spectacular views of 7,000 foot cliffs yielding to the jagged pinnacles of Jade Dragon Mountain that rise another mile above them. Overall, it’s about 13,000 feet from the river to the top of Jade Dragon. The Gorge is only about ten miles in length if you were swimming, but by foot it’s a rigorous twenty-plus mile hike.
The best time to hiking at Tiger Leaping Gorge is either in spring or autumn. During in spring of autumn, though the weather is pleasant, the number of trekkers is still low. However, the high season of hiking in Tiger Leaping Gorge is summer that number of tourists rises to about a hundred a day in a section. There are several ways of doing the gorge trek. There are two trails, the high trail, and the low trail. The high trail is more difficult, more scenic, more solitary, and definitely not for the unfit. The lower trail, which, at the time of high season, in the process of being fully constructed into a road, which is conversely easier, less scenic, and faster. This transition from path to road is drawing a mixture of criticism and praise. There are towns at each end, Qiaotou to the west and Daju to the east. The distance between the two is about 27 miles. It’s difficult to say which the better way to go is: Qiaotou to Daju, or Daju to Qiaotou. Normally, away from Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge hiking needs three or four days, some of tourists just need two day, while some need a week. It depends on your own arrangement and the conditions.
Hiking along Tiger Leaping Gorge, except viewing the wonder and unique sceneries, you can also visit some local Naxi People’s family and stay overnight at some halfway lodge.
Hiking in Tiger Leaping Gorge is not so easy; even there is some good physical shape. The path is constricts and crumbles, therefore, you’d better take well prepare before you begin your hiking. The other thing should care about is raining. When it’s raining (especially in July and August), there are landslides, swollen waterfall which can block the paths. Therefore, before you go to hiking along Tiger Leaping Gorge, you need to learn well about the weathers of your hiking days.
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