China Guide

Tiger Leaping Gorge – Guide to Trekking Along the Gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge

The Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of those must see places that can characterise your China trip. The gorge was named after a legend that tells the story of a tiger that escaped from hunters after leaping over the gorge at its narrowest point. Believed to be China’s deepest gorge, it provides spectacular views and walking treks along its peaks for an unforgettable journey.

The gorge is a part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan and therefore a protected World Heritage Site. It has only been recently opened to the public and is a highlight of many tourist trips with continued improvements to the trails and roads allowing easier access to the Tiger Leaping Gorge.

The popular trek is well marked and most take two days to follow the 30km trail, admiring the beautiful countryside from heights of 200m.

The river below has many rapids, whirlpools, large waves and frothy splashes, making it the perfect adrenalin adventure. Rafting and drifting is made possible on certain stretches of the gorge if you are the adventurous type, otherwise keep to the walking tracks above.

En route you will pass the quiet village of Walnut Grove. This village is covered with terraced fields, planted with rows of walnut trees and incredible views of the gorge below being at the gorge’s narrowest point. Also look out and beyond the gorge for a glimpse at the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain peaks in the distance.

The best time to experience the Tiger Leaping Gorge is when the rains have left and the mist has lifted. You do not want to travel during the rains of July and August as landslides can make it hazardous and slippery. Remember that you need to be quite fit to enjoy this trip as getting to the top can be challenging. The beginning of the trail can be the most gruelling with some 24 switchbacks to reach the top.