The Tiger Leaping Gorge – The Most Adventurous Sightseeing in Lijiang
If you have a chance to visit Lijiang city, in southwest Yunnan province, most of the locals and the tour guides would recommend you to visit Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the most exciting spots close by the city. It is rumored that “Tiger Leaping Gorge is the deepest river canyon in the world”. It may be a fact. The George is measured more than 3,000 meters (approx. 9842 feet) deep between 5,596 meters (approx. 18360 feet) high Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and 5,396 meters (approx. 17703 feet) high Haba Snow Mountain, where Golden Sand River (a local name of the upper reaches of the Yangtze River) passes in a series of rapids under the steep cliffs. The gorge may be not only the deepest but also the narrowest and the most dangerous canyon in the world. The narrowest part is only 30 meters.
I guess you must be curious about the name of the gorge when you read here. In fact, there is a legend of the gorge going on since early dynastic China. Once upon a time, a tiger was attempting to escape from a hunter’s deadly pursuing, however, the Yangtze River cut its way. The tiger discover the narrowest point of the gorge and jumped across the river. So the gorge had its name from then on.
There are abundant reefs in the flume gorge. Moreover, it has 21 rapids, 7 places where the water of the Golden Sand River drops 10 meters with 10 waterfalls. The Tiger Leaping Georges consists of 3 segments. They are the upper gorge, middle gorge and lower gorge. Each part of the gorge has amazing sceneries. The upper gorge is famous for the scenic mouth of the gorge and tiger leaping pebble, you could see the narrowest gorge in this part. In the middle gorge you will see a number of hazardous spots, where are full of reefs and rapids. Chinese called it Mantianxing, which means (sky full of stars). The river’s water level drops 100 meters through the middle gorge. When the white water runs swiftly and flaps the reefs, the rapids go up and down between the reefs, and water splashes like the stars fallen down the Milky Way.
In the lower gorge you can enjoy the beautiful sceneries of the gorge, the highland lakes, and the Daju Mountain. With a vertical height of 3,790 meters, the lower gorge is the best place to appreciate the beauty of the Tiger Leaping Gorge. Besides the canyon sight, the mountain sight from the lower gorge is also spectacular. It is most rewarding for the real adventurists who are able to walk for long hours. There are two major hiking trails. One trail starts from Lijing Old Town heading to the Hutiaoxia Town or Tiger Leaping Towns. You can get into the upper gorge from there. Walk down along the east foot of the Haba Snow Mountain. It takes two days to walk through the gorge. Another trail starts from Ganhaizi (the Dry Sea) situated on the eastern slop of the Jade Snow Mountain, goes into the lower Tiger Leaping Gorge at Daju County, Lijing, up along the Jinsha River, and finally gets out of Tiger Leaping Gorge at the upper gorge.
The stunning beauty of the Tiger Leaping Gorge can not be described by simple words, but it sure is the amazing place for you to “dig up”. When you arrive at Tiger Leaping Gorge, you will always be impressed by its natural sceneries. All in all, when you come to Lijiang, the Tiger Leaping Gorge should not be missed, and you will get unbelievable sightseeing and adventure experience.