Photo by Alden Anderson

Hike tiger leaping Gorge

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In the South-West of China you will find a beautiful gorge which is a must for your bucket list, the name of this gap is Tiger Leaping Gorge. The gorge itself is incredibly beautiful, but the highlight is perhaps the multifaceted landscape around it. You have different routes that run through the gap, each with their own level of difficulty. You will find several guest houses along the route where you can take a break and spend the night. Besides the snowy mountains you see many forests, waterfalls and valleys along the way. 
Because the landscape changes every hour, you can’t get bored at all. Along the way you encounter rice fields, you walk through villages in the mountains and suddenly you are part of a herd of goats. The beauty of this route is that there are no real paths. You walk over rocks, through waterfalls, sand paths and donkey / goat poop. The Tiger Leaping Gorge has existed for a long time and is mainly inhabited by the Naxi. It was only opened for tourists in 1993.

There are two routes that you can walk: the 'higher road' and the 'lower road'. The first is longer (22 kilometers) and more varied than the 'lower road'. 'The higher road' is more challenging.

How do you reach Tiger Leaping Gorge?

Most people stay overnight in Lijiang. A small place known for Chinese authenticity. Many hostels and hotels offer a place where you can leave your backpacks etc. From Lijiang in the morning a shuttle bus goes to the start of the route. There is also a public bus, but it is a bit slower and stops constantly. We recommend to take the shuttle bus. The journey towards the route is also worthwhile. Along the way you see beautiful views, villages and people. 

Where to stay?

If you want to have a comfortable stay before you start your hike and you are not on a budget we recommend the Walden Hotel. It has a superb location and is easy to find. Also the rooms were very spacious and clean. The staff was the best thing about this hotel. On they get an average rating of 8.9.

Best time to visit?

We recommend to visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge from March til May and from October til November. May is most spectacular when the hills are full of flowers and plants. It is just breathtaking. Click here for the average weather in Tiger leaping Gorge.

Written by our reporter and co-founder Jan:

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This article was last updated on February 09, 2022.