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  • Tiger Leaping Gorge

  • Area: Shangrila Scenic Spots
  • Location: 95 kilometres southwestern of Shangrila city
  • Tiger Leaping Gorge (simplified Chinese: 虎跳峡; traditional Chinese: 虎跳峽; pinyin: Hǔtiào Xiá) is a canyon on the Yangtze River – locally called the Golden Sands River (金沙江; Jīnshā Jiāng) – located 60 km north of Lijiang City, Yunnan in southwestern China. It is part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas World Heritage Site.

  • Tiger Leaping Gorge

  • Area: Shangrila Scenic Spots
  • Location: 95 kilometres southwestern of Shangrila city
  • Tiger Leaping Gorge (simplified Chinese: 虎跳峡; traditional Chinese: 虎跳峽; pinyin: Hǔtiào Xiá) is a canyon on the Yangtze River – locally called the Golden Sands River (金沙江; Jīnshā Jiāng) – located 60 km north of Lijiang City, Yunnan in southwestern China. It is part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas World Heritage Site.

Brief Introduction

About 90 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of Lijiang Old Town and 110 kilometers south of  Shangrila lying between Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yulong Xueshan) and Haba Snow Mountain (Haba Xueshan) is Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiao Gorge), which is believed to be the deepest gorge in the world. From the top of the gorge you look down the steeply angled (70-90 degrees) mountain sides to the rushing Golden Sands (Jingsha) River with its 18 frothing rapids more than 200 meters (about 700 feet) below.

Naturally divided into three sections, the first section, which is the narrowest and uppermost section, is the mouth of the fast flowing Jingsha River. In the midst of the river's mouth is a large rock that is positioned at the gorge's narrowest section-only 30 meters (33 yards) wide. An ancient legend says that a tiger used this rock as its stepping stone so it could leap across from one side of the gorge to the other, which is how the gorge got its name.

As the river enters the middle section, it drops another 100 meters (330 feet) and its flow rate increases to an amazing speed. Here the thunderous rushing waters slam into sharp, large rocks and crash down into the river forming swirling whirlpools. Can it get more exciting? Yes, it can as the third and lowest section is acclaimed for being the wildest attraction of all!

The cliffs over-looking this section are even steeper and much more dangerous. Here, the river twists and turns and the river vigorously surges  forward creating high waves and a frothy spew as it collides with the mountainsides. This is a view that inspires a sense of adventure and satisfies the deepest yearnings for magnificent scenery.
 

Brief Introduction

About 90 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of Lijiang Old Town and 110 kilometers south of  Shangrila lying between Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yulong Xueshan) and Haba Snow Mountain (Haba Xueshan) is Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiao Gorge), which is believed to be the deepest gorge in the world. From the top of the gorge you look down the steeply angled (70-90 degrees) mountain sides to the rushing Golden Sands (Jingsha) River with its 18 frothing rapids more than 200 meters (about 700 feet) below.

Naturally divided into three sections, the first section, which is the narrowest and uppermost section, is the mouth of the fast flowing Jingsha River. In the midst of the river's mouth is a large rock that is positioned at the gorge's narrowest section-only 30 meters (33 yards) wide. An ancient legend says that a tiger used this rock as its stepping stone so it could leap across from one side of the gorge to the other, which is how the gorge got its name.

As the river enters the middle section, it drops another 100 meters (330 feet) and its flow rate increases to an amazing speed. Here the thunderous rushing waters slam into sharp, large rocks and crash down into the river forming swirling whirlpools. Can it get more exciting? Yes, it can as the third and lowest section is acclaimed for being the wildest attraction of all!

The cliffs over-looking this section are even steeper and much more dangerous. Here, the river twists and turns and the river vigorously surges  forward creating high waves and a frothy spew as it collides with the mountainsides. This is a view that inspires a sense of adventure and satisfies the deepest yearnings for magnificent scenery.
 

Roads and trails

Hiking the length of the gorge is possible. The hiking path ("the high road") is well-maintained and marked, although sometimes narrow, and is used by the Naxi as part of everyday life. This trail is longer than the lower road, approximately 22 kilometres (14 mi), but more varied. It features a variety of micro-ecosystems, waterfalls, and a fair number of guesthouses for trekkers. These guesthouses are not well heated, which combined with the unpredictable nature of high mountain weather makes this trek unadvisable during the rainy season, although in recent years the raining periods got shorter and it got possible to hike there again.

The lower road, stretching about 195 km (121 mi) from Qiaotou through the Gorge, is a stretch of pavement (until recently a simple mule track) crossed by several waterfalls, and frequently beset by rockslides. Some portions of the road have been known to disappear into the river below. The road follows the Yangtze, so there are more views of the river, and a stronger sense of being in a gorge than on the upper trail. Where the high road descends to meet the lower road, one can climb down to the river near the Tiger Leaping Stone, the point at which the tiger is said to have leaped. At the time being (July 2010) the gorge is closed, because a new lower road is being built. But individuals are allowed to use the upper trail. Some busses go through the gorge.

Roads and trails

Hiking the length of the gorge is possible. The hiking path ("the high road") is well-maintained and marked, although sometimes narrow, and is used by the Naxi as part of everyday life. This trail is longer than the lower road, approximately 22 kilometres (14 mi), but more varied. It features a variety of micro-ecosystems, waterfalls, and a fair number of guesthouses for trekkers. These guesthouses are not well heated, which combined with the unpredictable nature of high mountain weather makes this trek unadvisable during the rainy season, although in recent years the raining periods got shorter and it got possible to hike there again.

The lower road, stretching about 195 km (121 mi) from Qiaotou through the Gorge, is a stretch of pavement (until recently a simple mule track) crossed by several waterfalls, and frequently beset by rockslides. Some portions of the road have been known to disappear into the river below. The road follows the Yangtze, so there are more views of the river, and a stronger sense of being in a gorge than on the upper trail. Where the high road descends to meet the lower road, one can climb down to the river near the Tiger Leaping Stone, the point at which the tiger is said to have leaped. At the time being (July 2010) the gorge is closed, because a new lower road is being built. But individuals are allowed to use the upper trail. Some busses go through the gorge.