Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking Tour
Best Hikes, Tea Horse Road Sites & China's Best Secret Getaways
Are you passionate about hiking and climbing, and looking for an ultimate Tiger Leaping Gorge hiking tour in 3 days? Our guided TLG hike tour program is carefully designed for active travelers and nature lovers to explore the most of this hike trail and trace the horse caravans' footsteps on the legendary Tea Horse Road.
It is an all-inclusive tour, so we'll arranged you the accommodations, dinning, private transport and local guide with lots of Tiger Leaping Gorge hiking experience and knowledge.
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Travel Style: original, private tour, hiking, trekking, adventure
Best Time to Travel: September - June
Destinations: Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge
Itinerary Expand All
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner
Your private guide and driver of Yunnan Discovery will meet you at your hotel in Lijiang and drive about 1.5 hours to get to Qiaotou Town, a small natural town connecting the Tiger Leaping Gorge with the outside world. Dating back 1200 years ago in the Tang dynasty, the town was already an important stop of the Ancient Tea-horse Road, being the start for the route to Tibetan highland from Yunnan.
From here, start your 3-day Tiger Leaping Gorge hiking tour. Tiger Leaping Gorge, famed as one of the ten best hikes in the world, was formed as the Jinsha River was cut off by two huge snow mountains stretching parallelly from the south to north.
The narrow hiking trails rise alternating from forests, cliffs, waterfalls and cultivated farmlands. After 2 hours hiking and climbing, we arrive at Naxi Family Guesthouse for lunch.
Keep on moving, come to the most challenging part of the trek as the trail rises steeply with "28 bends" to the top of the 'high path' (the hiking path, not the road for vehicle). As you continually hiking along the 'high path', breathtaking views can come into view – the lush highlands, the roaring rivershore down the gorge bottom, the majestic Jade Dragon Mountain and Haba Snow Mountain shimmering in the sunlight.
After 4 hours hiking in the afternoon, we arrive at Old Tea Horse Guesthouse, which is your accommodation for the night. This family-run guesthouse offers simple clean room with attached shower and toilet.
Total Hiking Time on the First Day: 6 hours
Hiking Length: approximately 16km
Physical Grading: medium
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner
Get up early if you would like to take some photos of Tiger Leaping Gorge and the natural surrounding by sunrise. After breakfast, hike for about 2 hours along the canyon and enjoy even more beautiful sceneries than yesterday, until we get to the Half-way Guesthouse.
From here, trek for another 2 hours through small primitive villages and vast rural farmlands where all kinds of crops are growing. Have a general understanding of local villagers' life. After getting to the Tina Guesthouse, enjoy a local lunch.
In the afternoon walk for 1.5hours down to the Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge, where you can have a good rest before going through the Yixiantian (only a narrow line of sky can be seen) on a steep narrow path to get to Walnut Garden Village (after 2.5 hours hiking).
Enjoy a delicious dinner and the beautiful evening there. Fall asleep with the murmuring of the river and perhaps under a starry sky.
Total Hiking Time on the Second Day: 8 hours
Hiking Length: approximately 20km
Physical Grading: light
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
For the last day of the hiking tour, most of the trails are highway of tiger leaping gorge. After breakfast, your guide will lead you to have a visit around Walnut Garden Village.
And then hike for about 2.5 hours to get to the ferry, that is, the Lower Tiger Leaping Gorge. There is the lookout for the best views of Tiger Leaping Gorge.
From the ferry meet your driver and transfer to Shangri-La. Or alternatively cross the river and hike 2.5 hours to Daju, from here, transfer back to Lijiang via Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Scenic area.
Total Hiking Time on the Third Day: 2.5 to 5 hours
Hiking Length: approximately 8 to12km
Physical Grading: easy
Similar Tour Packages
Useful things to know before you go
The maximum depth of Tiger Leaping Gorge is approximately 3,790m (12,434ft) from the bottom river to mountain peak. But when hiking TLG, you won't climb up to its peak, but hike along the trails at between 1700m (5577ft) and 2700m (8858ft).
- Qiaotou Town, the starting point of TLG, is at around 1900m (6234ft)
- The highest point the 28 bends is at around 2700m
- Bendiwan Village, where the Half Way Guesthouse is located, is at around 2400m (7874ft)
- Walnut Garden Village, connecting middle and lower gorge, is at around 1950 m (6398ft)
According to the Tiger Leaping Gorge hiking elevation mentioned above, a normal healthy person won't have altitude sickness when hiking.
October to the next June is the best time to visit Tiger Leaping Gorge, with stable weather conditions and breathtaking views all along. TLG's rainy season falls on July to August, when it may be dangerous to hike on the mountain trails.
To know when to visit Tiger Leaping Gorge, you'd better have a general idea of Tiger Leaping Gorge weather.
- In winter (December, January, February): daily average temperature of 3-17°C, mostly sunny days;
- In spring and early summer (March, April, May and June): daily average temperature of 10-20°C, mostly sunny or cloudy days;
- In summer (July, August): daily average temperature of 14-22°C, mostly rainy days;
- In autumn (September, October, November): daily average temperature of 8-17°C, mostly sunny days.
From our detailed tour itinerary listed above, you can see that you need to walk for about 6 hours on each day. To hike TLG is a challenge but can be done by most travelers. For senior travelers, if you are healthy and in good condition, you can finish and enjoy the hike too. When there are sharp climbs, hike slowly and take time for rest.
It depends on the ages and trekking experience of your children. Normally the Tiger Leaping Gorge is not difficult for teenagers, but not recommended for kids under the age of 10. If you travel with kids, you may plan an adventurous themed tour to the upper Tiger Leaping Gorge for 2 hours sightseeing, with a short walk on 400 stairs (sedan chair available).
The Tiger Leaping Gorge, comprised of the upper part, middle part and lower part, is approximately 50km long for hiking. It takes about 16 to 19 hours in total to do the hike.
Yes, we can also arrange 1 day or 2 days private TLG hiking tour under the instruction of experienced local guide. Please contact us for the detailed itinerary.
It is possible to visit Tiger Leaping Gorge without hiking, but take a vehicle for a sightseeing tour with a flexible hiking experience.
As for Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge and Shangri-La tour package, you may check our tour samples, which are exclusively designed and can be customized according to your needs.
- You're not suggested to hike Tiger Leaping Gorge in July or August, since it is dangerous to hike during the rainy season.
- The restaurants and guesthouses along Tiger Leaping Gorge are very basic, so it is better for you to lower expectations on accommodation and dinning.
- It is wise to dress adequately for hiking and bring with your alpenstock.
- Listen to your guide's suggestions.