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Published on Mar 4, 2011
Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡) is one of the deepest canyons in the world. Formed by the Yangtze River slicing between the 5600m Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the 5500m Haba mountain, Tiger Leaping Gorge is between 2000 - 3000m deep. It takes several hours to reach Tiger Leaping Gorge from Lijiang, even though it is only 60 KM away. Hiking the length of Tiger Leaping Gorge (25KM) can be done in 7 - 8 hours at a very brisk pace, but it is wiser to spread the hike out over several days because of the altitude, occasionally unfavourable weather, and spectacular scenery that demands reflection.
On Day 1 of our hike through Tiger Leaping Gorge, we walk from the town of Qiatou to the Naxi Family Guesthouse and then on through the 28 Bends to the Tea Horse Guesthouse where we stayed the night. The 28 Bends, a series of switchbacks that elevate the trail 700 - 900m very quickly, are challenging but doable for anyone moderately in shape.