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 08:00 and 08:30 every morning and takes around 1.5 - 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 35;
Free for children under 1.2m (3.9ft).
Opening Hours 9:00 - 16:30
Recommended Time for a Visit 2 hours
Scenic of Tiger Leaping Gorge
Swift-flowing river in Hu Tiao Xia
Stream flows in the gorge
Mild Section of Hutiao Gorge
 Top 10 Things to Do in Yunnan
- Last modified on Apr. 24, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiao Gorge)
Asked by Robin from GERMANY | Jul. 22, 2019 11:08Reply
How to leave Tiger Leaping Gorge?
We want to visit Lijiang in 2 months and are also planning to see Tiger Leaping Gorge. We found buses running from Lijiang, where our hotel is located, to the gorge but we did not find any information about how to leave by bus. Is there any possibility - besides asking our hotel to arrange a driver - to come back to Lijiang?
Asked by Safira from MALAYSIA | Jul. 16, 2019 21:37Reply
Is there any direct bus that operated from Lijiang directly to Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge?
Answers (1)
Answered by Ralph from USA | Jul. 17, 2019 01:38

I'm afraid not. There are only direct buses from Lijiang Coach Station to tiger leaping gorge. They depart at 8:00 and 8:30.
Asked by Geoff from AUSTRALIA | Jul. 05, 2019 23:46Reply
Tiger Leaping Gorge short walk
Hi my wife and i want to walk from Halfway Inn to Tinas. Can the taxi get to halfway inn or do you have to walk a long way yo get there. We are doing the walk in middle of August
Thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Mia from CANADA | Jul. 15, 2019 01:24

Hi, you can take a taxi to the Half Inn.
Asked by Jake from USA | Jun. 25, 2019 06:49Reply
My wife and I want to hike Tiger Leaping Gorge in July. Are we likely to encounter rain?
Would rain make the trails significantly more dangerous? Would the trails close?
Answers (1)
Answered by Nicole from USA | Jun. 26, 2019 18:25

You will expect high chances of rainy days with sporadic showers in July. The best time to visit it is April – June and September & October due to the good weather condition. I think the trails won't close while some part of trails will become dangerous.
Asked by Valeria from ITALY | Jun. 21, 2019 00:16Reply
Do you know how to arrive to Jubeng village from Shangri La?
And do you know where to sleep in Shangri La near the Garden Sumtseling Gompa?
Answers (1)
Answered by Kelly from CANADA | Jun. 24, 2019 00:49

1. Sorry, I don't understand Jubeng Village.
2. Do you mean Ganden Sumtseling Gompa? If so, you can go to Shangri-La International Hotel.
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