Tiger Leaping Gorge Trekking — Lijiang, Yunnan
China: Yunnan, Lijiang
IMPORTANT UPDATE: In response to the May 2021 Gansu ultra-marathon disaster, local authorities in Yunnan have limited access to some area trails. Contact us for up to date information about this trek and other options in the Lijiang area.
This classic 2-day trek through the Tiger Leaping Gorge should not be missed. With the peaks of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain towering above and the mighty Yangtze River roaring below, this amazing trek is one of the highlights of China. The trail is dotted with waterfalls and gives you spectacular views of the steep gorge that rises to some 10,000 ft. (3,000 m) above the river!
Day 1– Drive to the Tiger Leaping Gorge and start hiking. Lunch in one of the small Naxi villages along the trail. After lunch, scale the steepest section of the trail –the 28 bends– and arrive at the guesthouse towards the end of the afternoon.
Day 2. Hike the second part of the trail which runs fairly level for most of the time and drops towards the end. Lunch along the trail. At the end of the trail and depending on time and energy levels, an additional hike down to the river at Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge is possible. Drive back to Lijiang at the end of the afternoon.
Hikes in the Tiger Leaping Gorge can be done all year round. However, while everything is beautifully green in summer, the rainy season with its heavy rains, cooler temperatures and low hanging clouds is not our favorite season to go hiking or be in Lijiang. Rain is common from May to September, and especially heavy in June, July and August. This often causes landslides in the Tiger Leaping Gorge and on the road to Lake Lugu, which can become closed as a result.
The national holidays (first weeks of May and of October) and the summer holidays (especially July and August) can make for a very crowded experience due to the massive influx of domestic tourists.