Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiao Gorge)

Map of Tiger Leaping Gorge
Map of Tiger Leaping Gorge
(Click to enlarge it)

About 100 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of Lijiang Old Town lying between Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yulong Xueshan) and Haba Snow Mountain (Haba Xueshan) is Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiao Gorge), which is one of the deepest gorges in the world. From the top of the gorge you look down the steeply angled (70-90 degrees) mountain sides to the rushing Golden Sands (Jinsha) River with its 18 frothing rapids more than 200 meters (about 700 feet) below.

Naturally divided into three sections, the first section, which is the narrowest and uppermost section, is the mouth of the fast flowing Jingsha River. In the midst of the river's mouth is a large rock that is positioned at the gorge's narrowest section-only 30 meters (33 yards) wide. The altitude of the mouth of the Tiger Leaping Gorge is 1,800m (984 fathoms).

An ancient legend says that a tiger used this rock as its stepping stone so it could leap across from one side of the gorge to the other, which is how the place got its name.

As the river enters the middle section, it drops another 100 meters (330 feet) and its flow rate increases to an amazing speed. Here the thunderous rushing waters slam into sharp, large rocks and crash down into the river forming swirling whirlpools. Can it get more exciting? Yes, it can as the third and lowest section is acclaimed for being the wildest attraction of all!

The cliffs over-looking this section are even steeper and much more dangerous. Here, the river twists and turns and the river vigorously surges  forward creating high waves and a frothy spew as it collides with the mountainsides. This is a view that inspires a sense of adventure and satisfies the deepest yearnings for magnificent scenery.

The Tiger Leaping Gorge stretches about 15 kilometers (nine miles) and also affords people the possibility of rafting and drifting peacefully in its large quiet sections, for the gentler folks among us and an exciting rafting adventure for the more experienced. Do not want to raft?
Tiger Leaping Gorge, Lijiang
Entrance to Tiger Leaping Gorge

Hiking Tips

1. It’s quite popular to hike along the gorge, and you can follow the signs made by other visitors along the way.
2. This is a great sightseeing stop with enormous photo opportunities. But the Tiger Leaping Gorge tour is long, so you are not suggested to bring many bags. Bring your camera, wear skidproof shoes, and be prepared to be astonished. Besides, 1-2 bottles of water are necessary.
3. Some difficulties may occur in the hiking along Tiger Leaping Gorge, you can choose to ride the local horse on the way.
4. The best time to visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge is April – June and September & October due to the good weather condition.

How to get to Tiger Leaping Gorge

1.Take bus from Lijiang Transport Service Center Bus Station to Tiger Leaping Gorge. It departs at 08:30 every morning and takes 1.5 to 2 hours to reach there.
2. Charter a car from Lijiang. It costs around CNY 300 to 400 per day.
3. The Gorge is located between Lijiang and Shangri-La, so visitors can take the inter-city buses of the two and ask the driver to drop you off at the gorge.


Visitors can also catch a bus passing by Tiger Leaping Gorge to Shangri-La.

Entrance Fee CNY 65 for entry from Lijiang; CNY 45 for entry from Shangri-La
Free for children under 1.2 m (3.9 ft).
Opening Hours 8:00 - 18:00
Recommended Time for a Visit 3 to 4 hours
Scenic of Tiger Leaping Gorge
Swift-flowing river in Hu Tiao Xia
Stream flows in the gorge
Mild Section of Hutiao Gorge

 Further Reading:
Top 10 Things to Do in Lijiang
Top 10 Things to Do in Yunnan
In-depth Guide to Top 10 Yunnan Destinations
- Last updated on Nov. 15, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiao Gorge)
Asked by Franz from AUSTRIA | Apr. 06, 2021 17:47Reply
Reopening of the Tiger Leaping Gorge?
The gorge has now been closed for a wile due to distruction of the road by havy waters. Do you know when it will reopen again?
Answers (1)
Answered by Madison | Apr. 06, 2021 18:54

According to the latest news, the scenic area will reopen in May, 2021.
Asked by Sam from SWITZERLAND | Dec. 09, 2019 00:09Reply
I would like to cover Tiger Leaping Gorge when travelling from Lijiang to Shangri-La.
There are two obstacles though:
- Can I take a bus from Tiger Leaping Gorge to Lijiang. Will the inter-city buses stop there?
- I am travelling with a luggage. Is there a way to store the luggage at the Tiger Leaping Gorge entrance?

Thank you for your support!
Answers (1)
Answered by Ada from USA | Dec. 11, 2019 19:15

1. Generally speaking, people will rent a car to Lijiang or share a car with other tourists. Or you can take taxi to Tiger Leaping Gorge town, then wait the bus from Shangri-la to Lijiang.
2. I heard people can store luggage at Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge entrance.
Asked by Vincent from SINGAPORE | Dec. 03, 2019 16:26Reply
I would like to depart Lijiang early morning to visit tiger gorge,
After that i will continue to shangri-la to stay there for the night. I have luggage with me.

Can you advise if there are any possible ways of doing it? Thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Vicky from MALAYSIA | Dec. 05, 2019 18:44

Usually, people will take bus from Lijiang Coach Station to Qiaotouzhen station, then hire a car to Tiger gorge. Then go back to Qiaotouzhen and share a car with other tourists to Shangri-la.
Asked by Birgit from GERMANY | Nov. 13, 2019 18:46Reply
upper Tiger Leaping Gorge section closed at the moment?
my hotel in Lijiang informed me that at that moment it is not possible to visit the Upper section as there is a renovation going on of the wooden platform by the river,
is that correct?
Answers (1)
Answered by Kimmy from AUSTRALIA | Nov. 17, 2019 19:09

Sorry, I didn't find related news. But I think you can trust the hotel staff.
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)