Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡 – Hŭtiàoxiá) is one of the deepest canyons in the world. Its winding trails and vast cliffs lie only 60 kilometers outside of Lijiang. Apparently foreigners started hiking the gorge in the 1980s. Since then a well maintained trail complimented by numerous guesthouses have made Tiger Leaping Gorge a safe and fantastic place to hike.
We started the hike from the Qiáotóu (桥头) side of the gorge. If you want a comfortable hike, just drop your extra luggage off at Jane’s Guesthouse at the trail head. Once you’re done with the hike just make sure the transportation you take goes towards Qiaotou so you can stop and get your bags. The hardest part of the hike is on the first day of ascending the mountain.
You’ll eventually come to a point called the 28 Bends. This is the steepest part of the hike, so be strong. Forge on. The great part about this hike is that you’re never really waiting/hiking to the next beautiful view. When you’re tired just stop and enjoy the jaw-dropping view, which even looks good covered in clouds.
After about six hours of hiking (we took our time), we arrived and stayed overnight at the Tea Horse Guesthouse (see my other post).
The second day was much easier as the trail was mostly flat. Ultimately we descended the mountain to Tina’s Guesthouse. There we had a great meal and bought a bus ticket (purchase before 3pm) to Shangrila.