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4 Days Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking Tour with Lijiang Highlights

Breathtaking In-depth Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking Plus Lijiang Highlights

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When asking a hiking lover for a list of best places to do trek in China, Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the world’s deepest gorges with a world-class trail, will always come up. In this tour, the breathtaking Tiger Leaping Gorge hiking is included. Instead of only a glimpse of the Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge, you will spend 2 days to trek from the upper side to Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge! Besides, the highlights of Lijiang won’t be missed!

Why start and end your Tiger Leaping Gorge hiking tour in Lijiang? In fact, the 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.

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;
  • Discover all the highlights of Lijiang, including the must-visits like Lijiang Old Town and Shuhe Ancient Town, the sacred UNESCO World Heritage sites;
  • Have a dramatic view of the First Bend of Yangtze River with 180-degree-turn like a magnificent landscape painting unfolding before you.

Recent News: Tiger Leaping Gorge Tourist Area is going to be closed from November 1st, 2020 to April 30th 2021 due to the road construction. Please plan your trip accordingly or contact us to help you plan your Lijiang and Shangri-La trip properly!

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from $584
  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:
Lijiang / Tiger Leaping Gorge / Lijiang
Travel Length:
4 Days & 3 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-LTHT-05
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
CultureHikingPhotograph
Departure:
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Lijiang Arrival (L)

Ni Hao! Welcome to Lijiang, a very impressive ancient city! Upon arrival at the airport or railway station, your guide and driver will meet you at the arrival hall and transfer you to the hotel in ancient town area with a private car which is comfortable, air-conditioned and non-smoking.

Arrival Ideas: There’re direct flights from Kunming, Chengdu, Chongqing, Lhasa, Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Guiyang, etc to Lijiang Sanyi Airport. Trains are available from Kunming (about 3-3.5 hours), Dali (about 2-3 hours) to Lijiang Railway Station.

After a short rest, you’ll start a memorable tour in Lijiang Ancient Town (Dayan Ancient Town). Established in the Ming dynasty as a commercial center, Lijiang Old Town is a well-preserved 800-year-old town for Naxi ethnic group, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Walk to the central area of the old town and visit Mufu Palace. A saying goes “there is Forbidden City in the North, Mu’s Residence in the South”. Mu’s Residence was called the miniature Forbidden City. Looked from a far distance, it likes a grand imperial palace and it is famous for the grandness and architectural buildings. Getting into the palace, you can know Tusi’s ruling history and appreciate Naxi people’s brilliant culture and fine arts. Then, wander through the old alleys, old bridges, featured shops and bars to Sifang Street Square, a mingling ground to enjoy lively atmosphere and unwind yourself. If time permits, join the Naxi people and tourists to dance happily in a round. (Optional Activity: Take a leisure walk up to the Lion Hill and climb up the 33-meter-tall Wanggu Tower - the landmark building of Lijiang to enjoy a panoramic view of the whole old town and overlook the magnificent Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the distance.)

Wanggu Tower Mufu Palace, the “Forbidden City” of Lijiang Lijiang Ancient City Night
Day 2 Lijiang (B, L)

After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, you’ll be transferred out of Lijiang Old Town to Yuhu Village which is located at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Walking into this authentic Naxi Village, you’ll see unique stone houses, Naxi ladies dressing in traditional clothes, kids playing, a tranquil Yuhu Lake…explore leisurely around the village and then go to explore the Former Residence of Joseph Rock, who was an Austrian-American Botanist came to Lijiang and stayed in Yuhu Village for 27 years and made huge research work on Naxi minority.

Later, head to Baisha Village and appreciate the ancient Baisha Mural Paintings. Houses here are arranged on a north-south axis around a central, terraced square. Visit Dabaoji Palace and Liuli Temple to view murals painted over 1000 years ago which depict subjects relating to Buddhism, Taoism and the life of the Naxi people, incorporating cultural elements of the Bai people. (Optional experience: You can have in-depth cultural experience to learn how to make Baisha embroidery instructed by the local masters in Baisha Village.)

Then, it is followed by a relaxing trip to Shuhe Ancient Town - one of the earliest settlements of Naxi people as well as the well-preserved stop of the Ancient Tea Horse Route. This ancient town is less crowded than Lijiang Dayan Old Town. Take a nice stroll here to explore local cultures, folk customs and traditions over several centuries.

After that, transfer to Dongba Culture Museum where more than 10,000 Dongba cultural relics show mysterious Dongba culture of the Naxi people. Take a gentle walk to Black Dragon Pool Park to enjoy gorgeous view and peaceful surroundings. If weather permits, get to the best spot to overlook the snow-capped Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and shoot some amazing pictures.

Black Dragon Pool Park Former Residence of Joseph Rock Baisha Mural Paintings
Day 3 Lijiang - Tiger Leaping Gorge (B)

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. First, drive about 52 kilometers from Lijiang to view the First Bend of Yangtze River. The upper reach of the Yangtze River is Jinsha River coming down from Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and when it arrives at Shigu Town, it is obstructed by Hailuo Mountain and forms a V-shape turn. Then it changes the direction and goes to the northeast. You’ll reach the observation deck to catch a panoramic view of the bend, an extraordinary turn nearly about 180 degrees with beautiful and marvelous views like a wonderful landscape painting unfolding before your eyes. You’ll have a look at local market and Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument in Shigu Town.

Then drive further 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 First Bend of Yangtze River Tiger Leaping Gorge
Day 4 Tiger Leaping Gorge - Lijiang (B)

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 to catch your flight or bullet train 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 airport (at least 2 hours to Lijiang Sanyi International 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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