Tiger Leaping Gorge is a canyon on the Yangtze River or the Golden Sands River, located 60 km away from Lijiang Naxi Autonomous County, Lijiang City. It is 16 km long at the upstream of Jinsha River. The Tiger Leaping Gorge can be divided in to upper, middle and lower sections, winding 25 km. It has Jade Dragon Snow Mountain at east, Haba Snow Mountain at west. The vertical elevation difference of the gorge is 3790 m which is one of the deepest valley in the world. The narrowest part of the gorge was just 30 m, which is so narrow that a tiger can jump over the gorge, hence the name. Along the gorge, there are 21 dangerous shoals and 10 waterfalls.
The altitude of the entrance of the Tiger Leaping Gorge is 1800 m. The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain at the south bank is 5596 m above the sea level, while the Haba Snow Mountian at the north bank is 5386 above the sea level.
Three sections of the Tiger Leaping Gorge
Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge, 9 km away from Tiger Leaping Township, is the narrowest part of the whole gorge. There is a giant stone in the middle of the river. It is said that once a tiger jump on the giant stone and then jump to the opposite bank.
Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge is 5 km from the upper section. “Mantianxing”reef area is the most dangerous area in this section.
Passing by the “Huashiban” which is also an dangerous area the Lower Tiger Leaping Gorge. There is a 1 km deep gully nearing the exit of the gorge, which is the best place to appriciate scenery here.
The inhabitants of the gorge are primarily the indigenous Naxi people, who live in a handful of small hamlets. Their primary subsistence comes from grain production and foreign hikers. The gorge is not considered navigable. In the early 1980s, four rafters attempted to go down the gorge and were never seen again. In 1986, the first known successful attempt to sail through the gorge was made by the first expedition to float down the entire length of the Yangtze, starting at the river's high source at the Gelandandong glacier lake.
Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking Tips:
1. It usually hot in day time, you can bring shorts and T-shirt. As hiking will consume lots of physical strength, you could take some high calorie food such as chocolate, malted milk, sliced dried beef and so on.
2. When you hiking to the Shenzhou Waterfall located between Walnut Garden and Zhongxia Hotel, you must be very carefull, as it may fall stone with the waterfall which is very dangerous.
3. Each year from June to September is the rainy season of the Diqing Plateau. You’d better avoid this period as it may occurs debris flow and mountain rock fall.
4. Located at the high altitude area, surrounded by Hengduan Montains, the climmate in Tiger Leaping Gorge is complicate and changable. The temperature difference between day and night is big. Take think coat, down jacket, gloves, anti-skidding boots with you.