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4 Days Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking Tour with Shangri-La Highlights

Stretching Legs & Releasing Heart

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A wild trekking with sweat streaming down your back can be somewhat the best medicine, while a trekking at Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest gorges in the world with a world-class trail, is the best of the best. With ascend and descend, a grand picture of soaring Snow Mountains, vertiginous cliffs, delicate waterfalls, roaring river, lush forest, barren and narrow rock trail will unfolding in front of your eyes. Plus the pure natural landscape and sacred monasteries of “the Garden of Eden” Shangri-La, your soul will certainly be healed in this tour.

Good to know: In fact, Tiger Leaping Gorge sits at where Lijiang meets Shangri-La. Compared with the distance to Shangri-La, Lijiang is half an hour closer. Plus Lijiang is more convenient to be reached by both flight and bullet train, it will be a better choice to start and end your hiking tour from Lijiang side. Check our hot 4 Days Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking Tour with Lijiang Highlights to get more travel ideas!

Highlights of this tour

  • Enjoy a two full days trekking along the world-class trail of Tiger Leaping Gorge to challenge yourself;
  • Experience the sheer drop of Tiger Leaping Gorge from the highest point and the bottom to know why it is one of the deepest gorge in the world;
  • Get the breathtaking visual feast of nature at Pudacuo National Park;
  • Get the breathtaking visual feast of nature at Pudacuo National Park; Visit Songzanlin Monastery, the Little Potala Palace and the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan;

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from request
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Shangri La / Tiger Leaping Gorge / Lijiang or Shangri-La
Travel Length:
4 Days and 3 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-SLTH-05
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
CultureHikingPhotograph
Departure:
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Shangri La Arrival

Welcome to Shangri-La (Zhongdian, altitude: 3459meters), the Garden of Eden! Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by our local guide at the arrival hall of the airport who is holding a sign on which says your name. Then the guide and driver will transfer you directly to your hotel in Shangri-La by our comfortable private car (non-smoking), and the guide will help you check in. The rest of the day is on your own to discover this earthly paradise.

Arrival Ideas: At present, Diqing Shangri-La Airport has direct flights from/to Kunming, Chengdu, Lhasa, Guangzhou, Chongqing, etc. It is about 6 kilometers (15mins’ transfer) to old town of Shangri-La.

Day 2 Shangri-La (B, L)

After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, you’ll be transferred with 7 kilometers’ driving to Songzanlin Monastery (Ganden Sumtseling Gompa), reputed as the “Little Potala Palace” for it was built according to the complex of Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. Established by the Fifth Dalai Lama in 1679, the monastery belongs to Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, and it is also the largest Buddhist monastery in Yunnan Province with around 700 monks and lamas. Walk 147 steps to get atop of the monastery and pay clockwise visit to the three main lamasery buildings where you can not only see the Buddhism treasures, but also enjoy large number of monks of all ages going about their daily routines, praying, chanting, cooking and resting. It should a nice trip to get in-depth understanding about Tibetan Buddhism. If time permits, take some quiet time to walk around the peaceful Lamuyangcuo Lake and shoot panorama view of Songzanlin Monastery with reflection in the clear water.

Then, drive to the first national park in China - Pudacuo National Park which is mainly comprised of Shudu Lake, Militang Grassland, Bita Lake. Shudu Lake is a famous pasture, herds of yak and goat grazing beside the lake. Militang Grassland is located between Shudu Lake and Bita Lake with lush grass in meadow. Bitahai Lake, regarded as a pearl of the Plateau, is an intact natural attraction with outstanding landscapes. (Note: Militang Pasture and Bita Lake are closed for tourists due to maintenance at present.)

Visit the spots by clockwise and throw yourselves into the lush green forest with diverse species of flora and fauna, walk along the plank road to catch the gorgeous scenery of Shudu Lake (hike 3.3 kilometers, about 1 hour). (Note: the altitude of Pudacuo is at 3500m-4150m that you should avoid strong activities. There’s no problem to hike in the park.)

After the merry time in the park, pay a visit to a local Tibetan family to experience the highly-praised hospitality of Tibetan people and taste some special Tibetan snacks and butter tea. (Optional Experience: If you are interested in the Tibetan people’s daily drinks, you can follow the locals to involve in the process of making butter tea.)

Last, drive back to Dukezong Old Town for further exploration. With a history over 1300 years, Dukezong Old Town is the largest and the best preserved Tibetan community in China. Climb up to the top of Guishan Hill (or Tortoise Hill) to have a panoramic view of both the endless snow-capped mountains surrounded the pure land and the large scale of the old town with countless Tibetan dwellings. Join in the tourists to turn the largest Prayer Wheel in the world in clockwise direction.

Nixi Tangdui Pottery Village Songzanlin Monastery Dukezong Old Town Pudacuo National Park
Day 3 Shangri-La - Tiger Leaping Gorge (B, L)

This day, get ready to start your breathtaking in-depth Tiger Leaping Gorge trekking tour!

After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. Then drive north for about 50km (1 hour) to Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyon in the world and a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site called Three Parallel of Yunnan Protected Areas. For the rest of the day, you will trek this great gorge along its Upper Trekking Route, one of the top 10 classic hiking trails in the world that famed among worldwide backpackers.

Your amazing trekking tour starts from paths near a local primary school of Qiaotou Town (Hutiaoxia Town). The following part of trails will lead you to several rural villages and farms of the Naxi minority people first. And then you will arrive at Naxi Family Guesthouse in the early afternoon. Treat yourself one cup of cold beer or coffee there if you like before continuing your tour for some trail miles in the warm afternoon sun. The walk will then wind through pine forests, past waterfalls and snaking along the cliff edge with spectacular views of the muddy churning Yangtze River below and the looming ridges above. Later you will pass by the famous 24 Bends, where trails ascend with 24 swirling twists await your challenge. With every step upwards, the rugged terrain will introduce you a new perspective of the depths that make up the Tiger Leaping Gorge. Once complete the 24 Bends, you will be rewarded with the broadest view of the gorge. Look up to see the awe-inspiring Haba Snow Mountain and Jade Snow Mountain, then down to see the lingering rays dancing on the rippling waters a thousand meters below, congratulations, you are embracing Tiger Leaping Gorge on the highest point of this route! Take plenty of breaks to enjoy the gorgeous views. And then continue on for an hour or so, you’ll descend a few hundred meters in altitude to Tea Horse Guesthouse for your night stay.

Today’s trekking ends. Before going to bed, you can share today’s memorable hiking trip with your partners while appreciating the beautiful sparkling starry sky.

Tiget Leaping Gorge Hike Tiger Leaping Gorge
Day 4 Tiger Leaping Gorge - Lijiang / Shangri-La (B, L)

After breakfast, you’ll set off for descend. For about 2 hours later, you will arrive at your first stop - Halfway Guesthouse, which marks the halfway point of the entire journey. Make a short stop at their top deck of “Star Lavatories”, where you will feast your eyes with an unbeatable view of surrounding towering snow-capped mountains. Next, wind the path hewed out of cliffs down while taking in the sensational vistas and hugging small waterfalls until you arrive at Tina’s Guesthouse on the main driving road. Then trek the main road for about 1.5km more to Teacher Zhang’s Guesthouse, the vital starting point of goat paths leading down to Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge at the bottom. As you approach the bottom, you will hear a loud sound of the Jinsha River relentlessly pounding giant boulders in its path. The churning river splits the mountain into two towering cliffs, forming a giant gate that seems to welcome you. And finally, you will stand just steps from the raging river with a huge rock in its center. According to legends, there was once a tiger leaping from one side of the gorge to the other side via this rock, thus the locals called it Tiger Leaping Rock and started to call the gorge Tiger Leaping Gorge.

After your Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge visit, trek back to Teacher Zhang’s Guesthouse, where you’ll met by your driver who will escort your to Lijiang or Shangri-La to catch your flight to next destination. Service ends!

Departure idea: Your trekking tour will be finished at about 15:00pm. However, considering the long drive from Tiger Leaping Gorge to the airports (at least 2 hours to Lijiang Sanyi International Airport and 2.5 hours to Diqing Shangri-La Airport), you are suggested to book a flight departing after 20:00pm.

Top Deck of Halfway Guesthouse “Star Lavatories” Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge
Most Important Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking Notes
1. Altitude Sickness & Physical Condition Requirements

Few people will get altitude sickness while trekking Tiger Leaping Gorge, because the elevation rises up and down between a moderate 1,600m and 2,650m. Therefore, all the hikers with physical condition slightly above average will be welcomed. However, you are suggested to get suggestions from your doctor before you go if you have heart problems or serious acrophobia.

2. Best Time for Tiger Leaping Gorge Trekking

Usually, April, May, June, September and October are the best time to trek Tiger Leaping Gorge. Try to avoid to rainy seasons from June to August, because the road will be extremely sloppy and there may be occasional dangerous falling rocks.

3. What to Pack

Usually, following items are suggested to pack with you when do Tiger Leaping Gorge trekking, including a light backpack, at least 2 litres of water, snacks like cookies, candy, dried fruits and nuts, toilet paper, toothbrush, sunscreen, comfortable walking boots, middle-sized backpack, trekking pole, outdoor jacket, fleece jackets, underwear, sun glasses, bataclave, sun-blocking cream, rainproof, enough snacks and food, some cash, vacuum cup, warm water, camera, backup battery, cellphone, power bank, anti-high altitude drugs, etc.

4. Trekking Trail Condition

All the trails are in traditional looks littered with slippery stones. Some parts are hidden in the forest and others are close to the edge of cliffs. There is no protective railing device and the trail can be very narrow and slippery at times so you do have to be extra vigilant with each step, especially in wet weather. The toughest part comes at the 28 Bends, where trails ascend with 28 swirling twists. On the last part down below the highway to the raging river, there are optional adventurous straight iron ladders. In general, trekking trails at Tiger Leaping Gorge are unique and challenging, but can all be pleasantly conquered.

Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking Trails Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking Map

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