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Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking in China 2024-2025

Explore one of the deepest gorges in the world!

Best time: October–May

Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking
Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking
Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking

The Tiger Leaping Gorge trek in Yunnan is one of the most beautiful treks China has to offer. The maximum depth of gorge is approximately 3,790 meters from the river to the mountain peak. The inhabitants of this area are primarily the aboriginal Naxi people, who live in small hamlets. Their primary livelihood is based on foreign and Chinese hikers and grain production.

The trail goes high on the northern side of the gorge passing through the shady forest, quiet villages, verdant terraced farmland and blustery precipice. The snow-covered peaks of Haba Snow Mountain and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain shadow both sides of the gorge.

There are two trails on the northern side of the gorge: the upper and the lower ones. The upper route goes up a few hundred meters from Qiaotou and ends near the Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge and Tina's GH. The lower route goes to the Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge viewing platform and continues to the Lower Tiger Leaping Gorge and the Walnut Grove. It is also frequented by tourist buses.

On average, the hike lasts for two days. You may also hike at a slower pace and unwind in the village quietude and take your time to appreciate natural beauty. On the other hand, experienced hikers can complete the hike in seven hours.

The best time to hike Tiger Leaping Gorge is winter, but also in spring and autumn. Summer (June to September) is not the safest time, for this is the rainy season, and the terrain gets too muddy and slippery. Moreover, in case of extremely heavy rains, some trails could be officially closed. So, better plan your adventures for the period between October and May.

Practical info

When is the best time to hike Tiger Leaping Gorge?

It is recommended to hike Tiger Leaping Gorge trek during winter, spring and autumn, which is between October and May. Hiking during summer from June to September is not advisable due to heavy rainfall which makes the terrain muddy and slippery, and poses risks to hikers. Show more

Where are the viewing platforms located along the trail?

To observe the Tiger Leaping Gorge, there are two trails: the upper and lower routes located on the northern side of the gorge. The lower route leads to the Tiger Leaping Gorge viewing platform and stretches to the Lower Tiger Leaping Gorge and the Walnut Grove. The upper path terminates near Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge and Tina's GH. The lower route is common among tour groups. Show more

What is the duration of the hike on average?

Usually, it takes two days to complete the hike. Those who love to take their time and enjoy the peaceful hamlets and nature may opt for a more leisurely pace, which can take longer. In contrast, seasoned hikers who want the challenge and the adrenaline rush may complete the hike in about seven hours. Show more

What are the primary livelihoods of the aboriginal Naxi people in the area?

The primary occupations of the aboriginal Naxi people in the area are grain production and providing services to foreign and Chinese tourists. These friendly people live in small villages and hamlets, and tourists looking to enrich their experience can mingle with them and get a glimpse of their way of life amidst natural beauty. Show more

Are there any safety concerns during the hike in the rainy season?

Hiking Tiger Leaping Gorge during rainy seasons can be dangerous, and one must take necessary precautions. The muddy and slippery terrain can lead to risks of falling, and blockages caused due to heavy rain can be hazardous. In extreme cases, some routes may be closed by authorities for safety reasons. Show more

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