Tiger Leaping Gorge – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

tiger leaping gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡), located in the upper reaches of the Jinsha River in Yunnan Province, China, is divided into three sections: Upper Tiger Leaping, Middle Tiger Leaping, and Lower Tiger Leaping. The gorge stretches for 17 kilometers, with a winding road of 25 kilometers. With a vertical drop of over 3,900 meters, it is one of the deepest gorges in the world. The width of the gorge narrows to just over 50 meters, with the narrowest point being 20-30 meters, where it is said that tigers and leopards could leap across, hence the name Tiger Leaping Gorge.

The geographical environment of Tiger Leaping Gorge is exceptionally unique. The southern bank is dominated by the towering peaks of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, with its main peak soaring to an altitude of 5,596 meters, forming nearly sheer cliffs. On the northern bank, Haba Snow Mountain reaches 5,386 meters, with gentler slopes and a simple gravel road running through the entire gorge, accompanied by a walking trail above the road.

The high road trekking route of Tiger Leaping Gorge is acclaimed as one of the “Top Ten Classic Trekking Routes in the World.” Starting from the village of Lengdu in Tiger Leaping Gorge Town, Shangri-La, the route passes through the majestic scenery of Haba and Jade Dragon Snow Mountains. Along the way, trekkers encounter high mountains, roaring rivers, rugged cliffs, and snow-capped peaks. They can also enjoy serene moments at mountain guesthouses and experience the unique cultural heritage of ethnic minorities in the region.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 day
Ticket Price45 RMB
Opening Hours8.30 – 17.30
Telephone Number0086-0887-8806980

Location and Transportation

Tiger Leaping Gorge is located in Hutiaoxia Town, Shangri-La City, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province. To get there:

  • From Lijiang, there are two daily buses directly to Hutiaoxia Town, departing at 08:00 and 08:30, with a fare of around 20 yuan.
  • Alternatively, you can take a train to Shangri-La City first. From there, numerous shuttles depart daily to Lijiang. Get off at Hutiaoxia Town, with a similar fare of around 20 yuan.

Highlights of Tiger Leaping Gorge

Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge

upper tiger leaping gorge

Upper Tiger Leaping, situated approximately 9 kilometers from Tiger Leaping Gorge Town, marks the narrowest section of the entire gorge. Near the observation deck, the width narrows to less than 30 meters. A triangular rock protrudes from the river, splitting the rushing waters into two, creating snow-like spray and thunderous roars. Legend has it that a tiger once leaped from one side of the gorge, from Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to Haba Snow Mountain, using this giant rock as a stepping stone, hence the name “Tiger Leaping Stone.” Upper Tiger Leaping was developed earlier, with a wooden walkway leading from the roadside down to the riverbank, a journey that can be completed in just 20 minutes for fast walkers. Due to its simple and accessible path, short distance, and low difficulty level, Upper Tiger Leaping is jokingly referred to as the “Senior Citizens Activity Center.”

Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge

middle tiger leaping gorge

Located below Upper Tiger Leaping, Middle Tiger Leaping is approximately 8 kilometers from the Upper Tiger Leaping observation deck. The gorge mouth is slightly wider here, with a relatively open river surface, but numerous dangerous reefs abound. The river flows through rocky areas, sparkling in the sunlight like a sky full of stars, hence the name “Star-studded River.” Following the winding “Teacher Zhang’s Path” downhill, which is narrow and rugged, it takes about 40 minutes to reach the riverbank. The riverbank is characterized by rugged rocks and turbulent waters, creating a misty spray and often a magnificent rainbow. Returning to the road, there are two mountain paths: the “108-step Hero Ladder” built by Zhang’s Guesthouse and the “Sky Ladder” constructed by Tianti Guesthouse. Climbing these steep paths, almost vertical at points, can be challenging, but the breathtaking views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the rushing Jinsha River, and the distant sky through the gorge make all the effort worthwhile.

Lower Tiger Leaping Gorge

lower tiger leaping gorge

Descending from Middle Tiger Leaping along the road, passing through the “slippery stone slabs”, suddenly, the landscape opens up. The river widens, the water becomes calmer, and the treacherousness of the gorge gradually fades away. It’s as if a huge reservoir has appeared in the gorge, and this is Lower Tiger Leaping. In the distance, there are crisscrossing fields and rising smoke, indicating the presence of Daju Township in Lijiang City.

Attractions near Tiger Leaping Gorge

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