Enormously Magnificent Spectacles of Three Gorges and Its Summit

Three Gorges is in the upper and middle reaches of Yangtze River, one of the two China's mightiest rivers. It starts from White Emperor City in Fengjie County, Chongqing in the west to Nanjinguan (南津关) in Yichang County, Hubei, at a total length of 193 kilometers, flanked by high mountains and precipitous cliffs. Three Gorges Summit is located at the peak of Chijia Mountain near Kui Gate, the door to Three Gorges, overlooking Baiyan Mountain in the south and White Emperor City in the west for around 10 kilometers long. At an altitude of 1388 kilometers, it's without doubt the optimum place to view the panorama of Three Gorges.

Picturesque Natural Scenery

Just as shown in a poem “Mount Chijia and Mount Baiyan pierce high into the sky, rows of houses stretch from foot to the Summit” written by the Chinese Poetry Sage Du Fu, when you ascend to the glass viewing platform of the summit, you will feel that the whole world is dwarfed and a beautiful scroll painting of countless mountains, steep cliffs, dense plants, jade-like river unfolds itself in front of you. Especially in November, if overlooking from the Three Gorges Summit, visitors will see red leaves all over the mountains glowing in the sunlight and the whole world is like being covered with flame.

Ancient Cultural Appreciation

Three Gorges Summit is also a place to know history and culture. From ancient times, scholars and poets such as Du Fu, Li Bai, Su Shi, etc. got inspired and have left essays and poems praising the charming sights of beautiful mountains and rivers. It's said that it is one of the birthplaces of ancient Kui Muisic over 4,000 years ago, giving birth to the founder of ancient Chinese Ya Music, Kui. Even Confucius used to be obsessed with the song Shao composed by Kui. There are lots of music - themed scenic spots including Si Wang Music Business (四望乐坛), Altar of Kui Drum (夔鼓神坛), Music Ancestor Sculpture (音祖雕像), Zhu Lv Ya Lan (竹律雅澜), Zhu Yin Corridor (竹音廊), Ethereal Drum Show (空灵鼓表演), etc.

Glass Viewing Platform Glass Viewing Platform Shot from Summit with Clouds Shot from Summit with Clouds Si Wang Music Business Si Wang Music Business

Yangtze River Cruise Trip with Three Gorges Summit

Three Gorges Summit is approximately 17 km (30 minutes by car) from White Emperor City, and around 27 km (40 minutes by car) from Fengjie Port. A shore excursion to the Three Gorges Summit typically takes 3.5 to 5 hours, including shuttle bus transfer. Taking a Yangtze River Cruise package to visit the site is the most convenient way, during which you don't need to worry about local transportation, sightseeing routes, English-speaking guides, and photography. The cruise would take care of everything. You just focus on enjoying the scenery and listening to intriguing local stories!

There are a few cruise ships that you can pick to travel to Three Gorges Summit.

Yangtze River Cruise Yangtze River Cruise
Cruise Route From To Arranged Excursion Optional Excursion
Yangtze Explorer 4N & 5D Yichang - Chongqing Karst Landscape Cruise (via Badong) Yichang Chongqing

Day 1: Yichang

Day 2: Badong in Enshi (or Shennongjia), Wu Gorge

Day 3: Qutang Gorge, White Emperor City, Three Gorges Summit

Day 4: Shibaozhai Pagoda (or Xituo Old Town)

Day 5: Chaotianmen

 
4N & 5D Yichang - Chongqing UNESCO Heritage Site Discovery Cruise (via Shennongjia) Yichang Chongqing

Day 1: Yichang

Day 2: Shennongjia Nature Reserve

Day 3: Qutang Gorge, White Emperor City, Three Gorges Summit

Day 4: Shibaozhai Pagoda (or Xituo Old Town)

Day 5: Chaotianmen

 
Victory Cruises 4N & 5D Yichang - Chongqing Cruise Yichang Chongqing

Day 1: Yichang

Day 2: Three Gorges Dam

Day 3: Shennong Stream, Wu Gorge, Qutang Gorge

Day 4: Fengdu Snow Jade Cave

Day 5: Chaotianmen

Day 2: Tribe of Three Gorges, Quyuan Birthplace, Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift

Day 3: White Emperor City, Three Gorges Summit

Day 4: Fengdu Gohst City, Mt. Wuling Great Rift Valley

Yangtze 3 3N & 4D Chongqing - Yichang Cruise Chongqing Yichang

Day 1: Chaotianmen

Day 2: Fengdu Ghost City, Feng Yan San Guo Show (depend on weather)

Day 3: Three Gorges Summit, Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, Shennv Stream

Day 4: Yichang, Three Dam


Three Gorges Summit Hiking

Besides, hiking is another excellent way to experience the Three Gorges Summit. Hiking lovers will be very pleased to climb a 1388 km-high mountain to release their energy while appreciating picturesque natural scenery at the same time.

There is a nice route for you to follow from the mountain root to the summit scenic area. Hike from Jiangxia Culture Center (江峡文化馆), past Chijia Tower (赤甲楼), White Salt Table Viewing Spot (白盐台), Qutang Terrace (瞿塘台) for around 4 km to Aokou (拗口) and go along Dangerous Stone Birdroad (危石鸟道) for 6 km to Three Gorges Summit. It will take you about 5 hours to follow this route.

Or if you want to hike to the Summit but still want to conserve more energy to leisurely admire the scenery and history there, you can choose to take a shuttle bus to Aokou and then hike up Dangerous Stone Birdroad (危石鸟道) to Three Gorges Summit for about 3 hours.

Location and Transportation of Three Gorges Summit

Located in Fengjie, in northeast of Chongqing and up and middle reach of the Yangtze River, the Three Gorges Summit is:

• 48 km (about 1 hour and 20 minutes' drive) away from Fengjie Railway Station

• 47 km (about 1 hour's drive) away from Wushan Railway Station

• 10 km (10 minutes' drive) away from Chongqing Wushan Airport

• 430 km away from Chongqing City

How to Get to Three Gorges

Chongqing to Three Gorges Summit:

For travelers already in Chongqing, taking a high-speed train is the most convenient way to reach Three Gorges Summit. There are over 15 daily high-speed trains with an about 2-hour tour f from Chongqing West Station or Chongqing North Station to Fengjie. Then from there, an about 1.5 hours' shuttle bus ride can take you to Aokou (拗口), which is located nearly at the halfway up Three Gorges Summit.

Wushan Airport to Three Gorges Summit:

If you travel by plane to get there, Wushan Airport is the nearest one. Situated at the border of Fengjie County and Wushan County, Wushan Airport has launched flights between Wushan and other 5 cities involving Guiyang, Yantai, Guangzhou, Chongqing and Shenzhen. It should be noted that the flights between Wushan and Guiyang and Yantai depart on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The Wushan - Guangzhou flights depart on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday while the Chongqing - Wushan flights and Shenzhen - Wushan flights run every two days from Monday.

After getting out of the airport, it's recommended to take a private car/tour bus for 50 minutes to get to Three Gorges Village Tourist Center where you can choose to take cable cars up to the summit.

Click to See Three Gorges Summit Location Click to See Three Gorges Summit Location

Inner Transportation

Cable Car:

If you don't want to spend too much time hiking and are just big on appreciating picturesque scenery and ancient buildings and relics, takig cable cars is a good choice. Go to Three Gorges Summit Scenic Area Tourist Center to take cable cars and you can go directly to the summit for 16 minutes. But remember to buy package tickets with cable cars included because it's cheaper than pay cable cars alone.

(Fees: 30 CNY round-trip shuttle buses, 20 CNY a single shuttle bus, 46 CNY for one admission ticket and round-trip shuttle cars, 38 CNY for one admission ticket and a single shuttle bus)

Shuttle Bus:

Shuttle buses are another choice to save your energy and strength to get to the summit. It's worth noting that you should go to Lanyue River Tourist Center (蓝月河游客中心) rather than Three Gorges Summit Scenic Area Tourist Center to take shuttle buses to the summit for 15 minutes.

(Fees: 30 CNY round-trip shuttle buses, 20 CNY a single shuttle bus, 46 CNY for one admission ticket and round-trip shuttle cars, 38 CNY for one admission ticket and a single shuttle bus)

Notice: Ticket prices listed above are for reference only and are subject to change based on the scenic area's rules and policies.

Three Gorges Summit Weather & Best Time

It must be mentioned that the weather in Three Gorges Summit is typical humid subtropical monsoon climate. The average temperature in the hottest month is from 26℃ ~ 39℃ while the average temperature in the coldest month is from 4℃ ~ 8℃. It can be extremely hot and damp with lots of rainfall in Summer. Consequently, you're recommended to wear sunscreen when you go there in Summer and bring an umbrella with you in case of frequent rainfall or as a shield against the sun. You'd better go there on sunny days to view a panorama of Three Gorges in case that on foggy or rainy days distant mountains and river downward will be invisible and it will be not safe to climb to the summit.

Shot from Three Gorges Summit in Summer Shot from Three Gorges Summit in Summer

The scenery of Three Gorges varies from season to season. Each season has its own flavor. It's recommended to travel there in Spring, Summer, or Autumn.

In Spring, the river water flows past luxuriantly green trees and ancient buildings on either side. Be surrounded with lofty mountain ranges and clear green river water with birds tweeting and a few insects called. You can see the reflections of the beautiful landscape on the water clearly and you can embrace a gentle breeze and take a fresh breath. If stepping on the Three Gorges Summit, you'll see a marvelous scroll of landscape painting unfolds itself.

In Summer, torrents of Yangtze water surge forward, up and down against grotesque stones and rugged cliffs and wind along with the course. The way of ascending to Three Gorges Summit will be like walking into a wonderland which is lush with grass and trees. The sky at Summer's nights is peculiarly bright and you'll see stars sparkling as if in a fairy tale world.

Three Gorges are peculiarly loved by visitors and photographers in Autumn, especially in November when Three Gorges are like a paradise of colors. The dark brown mountains and cliffs on both sides are dotted with diversely splendid colors including yellow, golden, red, and dark green leaves against clear blue sky overhead with clouds drifting slowly. Especially at dusk, the water, the leaves — the whole world is ablaze with golden rays of the setting sun.

Flamming Red Leaves and Green River Flamming Red Leaves and Green River Early Evening of Three Gorges Summit Early Evening of Three Gorges Summit

Packing Ideas to Three Gorges Summit

• Wear comfortable slip-resistant sports shoes.

• Wear breathable clothes.

• Wear sunscreen in Summer and bring an umbrella with you in case of frequent rainfall or as a shield against the sun.

• Take two to three bottles of water and a few foods rather than carry heavy package with you to conserve your energy.

Where to Stay around Three Gorges Summit

After hours of flight or train journey, tourists would like to take a rest first for one night and go climbing the summit the next day. Though Three Gorges Summit is a newly developing tourist area far from Chongqing City and there are not so many kinds of hotels to pick, there are some comfortable and well-served ones from economy class to luxury class that won't let you down.

Most hotels there are not far from Fengjie Station, so it's convenient for tourists to find transports to travel around and to experience local lives.

But if you want to view natural scenery in the early morning and late at night, you're suggested to live close by Three Gorges Summit. Since it is far from downtown city, there are few high-star hotels, but it doesn't matter for there are lots of river-view hotels and hostels for visitors to admire fascinating riverside scenery.

We China Discovery will help pick hotels with attentive service and well-equipped facilities in a good position which will definitely let you enjoy comfortable and relaxing nights. Please feel free to contact us if you want to learn more about hotels!

Three Gorges Summit Nearby Attractions

If you decide to travel to Three Gorges Summit Scenic Area, you should not miss the nearby White Emperor City-Qutang Gorge Scenic Area.

White Emperor City–Qutang Gorge Scenic Area

(admission time: 8:30 - 17:00; close time: 19:00: tour for 3 to 4 hours; 100 CNY)

White Emperor City–Qutang Gorge Scenic Area as the western starting point of Three Gorges of Yangtze River is in the ranks of China's National AAAAA Tourist Attraction. It's filled with plenty of heritage sites and relics, and it is a complex of nature, civilization, poetic quality, and war.

White Emperor City-Qutang Gorge Scenic Area White Emperor City - Qutang Gorge Scenic Area

White Emperor City is situated at the gate of Qutang Gorge and is surrounded by the Yangtze River water. Historically, White Emperor City plays an important role in the Three kingdoms Period, the most attractive historical stage in Chinese people's heart when countless gallant heroes came forth and fought to control the Chinese land. At the end of the Western Han Dynasty about 2000 years ago, Gong Sunshu settled down at this place and claimed to be the king called White Emperor. Thus, the city he built as a capital was known as White Emperor City. You will see lots of preeminent calligraphy works and ancient architectures such as White Emperor Temple, Tuogu Hall (托孤堂), Mingliang Palace (明良殿), etc. Learn more about White Emperor City >>

Gate of White Emperor City Gate of White Emperor City

Qutang Gorge, about 8 kilometers long, is the first of the three gorges in Three Gorges of Yangtze River in the west. As the narrowest and shortest gorge of the three, Qutang Gorge is towering and precipitous, magnificent and beautiful. At the west of Qutang Gorge, there is Kui Gate (夔门), the mouth of the Three Gorges of Yangtze, and its most attractive part. Kui Gate gains reputation as “Kui Gate is the mightiest under heaven”. Qutang scenery is even printed on the backside of the fifth set of 10-yuan notes.

On a steep cliff nearby, there is a 180-meter-long stone inscription of a total area of around 600 square meters covering 13 cave works created from the Southern Song Dynasty to 1950s and including different calligraphy styles from ancient times. There, you will be thrilled by the ingeniousness and power of human beings and have genuine love for nature. Learn more about the Three Gorges >>

Both Sides of Qutang Gorge Both Sides of Qutang Gorge

How to travel from White Emperor City to Three Gorges Summit

In the early morning, you are recommended to travel first to nearby White Emperor City–Qutang Gorge Scenic Area to visit all scenic spots there and then take a ferry, which is included in the White Emperor City – Qutang Gorge Scenic Area ticket, to Three Gorges Summit Scenic Area. The ferry will go straight from Zhongyi crossing point (忠义渡口) to Jiangxia crossing point (江峡渡口) for every two minutes. It starts at 8:00 and remember not to miss the last ferry back at Jiangxia crossing point to White Emperor City at 17:30.

If you want to admire more on-ferry scenery, you are recommended to take a deep-tour ferry to admire the Qutang Gorge scenery. When sailing through Qutang Gorge, look down you will see clear water surrounding your little ship and look up you will see precipitous cliffs and mountains on both sides rising to the sky. You will feel a sense of tranquility in your heart. It should be noted that the ferry casts off only at 10:30, 12:30, and 14:30 for 50 CNY per head.

Sailing into Qutang Gorge Sailing into Qutang Gorge

How to Plan a Tour with Three Gorges Summit

Travel with Nearby Attractions

It will spend you about half day in Three Gorges Summit or one day if you want to hike the whole way up to the summit. As mentioned above White Emperor City - Qutang Gorge scenic area is a ggod choice. And there are other beautiful tourist attractions nearby that deserve your visit. If you have more free time, you can spare another 2 days travelling the surrounding area.

Lesser Three Gorges (小三峡) is a good place to visit in Wushan County, Chongqing just adjoined Fengjie County at a length of 60 kilometers. Formed by the Longmen Gorge, Bawu Gorge and Dicui Gorge with different features, it is a to recommended place to savor the outstanding sightseeing of beautiful water, emerald mountains and other interesting culture and local history. Learn more about Lesser Three Gorges >>

Shennv Scenic Area (神女景区) is another excellent place that you should not miss. Located in Wushan County, it consists of Shennv Peak (神女峰), Shennv Stream (神女溪) and Shennv Sky Road (神女天路), one of the two rising stars of viewing platforms to enjoy the panoramic view of the Three Gorges. As its name Shennv, which means goddess, shows, Shennv Scenic Area is similar to a wonderland full of extraordinary natural scenery. Learn more about Shennv Stream >>

Travel along Yangtze River

Taking Yangtze River Cruise is the best and most efficient way to visit Three Gorges Summit. In this way, you can travel to many other wonderful attractions along the river such as Fengdu Ghost City where you can get to know what the traditional Chinese ghosts look like, Three Gorges Summit, Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, Shennv Stream that has nearly 10 km untraversed primitive gorges, and Three Gorges Dam to witness spectacular and mighty flood discharging scene.

Downstream (from Fengjie to Yichang):

3N & 4D Chongqing - Yichang Cruise (Yangtze 3)

Upstream (from Yichang to Fengjie):

4N & 5D Yichang - Chongqing Cruise (Victory Cruises)

4N & 5D Yichang - Chongqing Karst Landscape Cruise (via Badong) (Yangtze Explorer)

4N & 5D Yichang - Chongqing UNESCO Heritage Site Discovery Cruise (via Shennongjia) (Yangtze Explorer)

Scenery shot from White Emperor City Scenery shot from White Emperor City Shennv Peak in Shennv Stream Shennv Peak in Shennv Stream Three Gorges Dam Three Gorges Dam

Travel in Chongqing City

Besides Three Gorges Summit, if you still want to stay in Chongqing City to experience charms of this 8D magic city which is reputed as “Little Hong Kong”, you can spend one or two days travelling in top attractions there such as Hongya Cave, Ciqikou Ancient Town, Three Gorges Museum, Liziba Station, etc.

1 Day Chongqing City Highlights Discovery

2 Days Chongqing & Wulong Karst Landscape Exploration Tour

2 Days Chongqing Tour with Dazu, Dazu Rock Carvings Tour

Travel with China Discovery

Have your own ideas of where and what to discover before, during and after the Yangtze River cruise tour? We China Discovery offers many popular and valuable private China tour packages with Yangtze River Cruise vacation taking you to enjoy wonderful exploration of the best highlights of Three Gorges, Chongqing, Yichang, Zhangjiajie, Chengdu, Xian, Guilin, Wuhan, etc. And our professional travel team with experienced travel expert, local English-speaking travel guide and driver and non-smoking comfortable licensed private vehicle will help you throughout the trip from the planning, navigation, hotel arrangement and scenic spot visiting. So, you will have the much better travel experience on and around the extensive Yangtze River. You can check our tour packages to get some inspiration. All tours can be tailor-made according to your group size, time, physical condition, plan, interests, budget, and any other special need! Please feel free to contact us to customize your own China Yangtze River Cruise trip or if you need any help!

See Our Delighted Customers on Their Yangtze Cruise Trips See Our Delighted Customers on Their Yangtze Cruise Trips

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