A day trip from either Lijiang or Zhongdian to the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge in the Yunnan Province, one of the deepest canyons in the world. The difference in height from the Yangtze River to the highest peak of Jade Dragon Mountain measures almost 4,000 meters. Along a high trail, you hike high above the Yangtze River and enjoy the most breathtaking views the Yunnan Province has to offer. The ideal family tour suitable for kids of 6 years or more.

Your host, Adrian Stalder

Adrian Stalder

A Swiss National, passionate traveler and outdoor expert. He graduated from the Swiss business school of commerce and was supposed to start a banking career soon after. More out of curiosity he took an interim job as a tour guide for one of the leading tour operators in Switzerland and that is when he discovered his love and affection for foreign countries and their fascinating cultures and history. In between his assignments he shouldered his backpack and started to explore the remotest corners of the Asian continent. After one year in Thailand he then moved to neighboring Myanmar where he worked as the country manager for a German tour operator for almost 5 years.

He then decided to move on to Kunming, where he realized a long time dream by starting his own travel company, and to share with others his extensive travel experience and profound knowledge about China and South-East Asia. Chinese is just one of 5 languages he speaks fluently. In his spare time he is practicing Tai Ji and studies the Chinese history.

Tour Information

The Tiger Leaping Gorge, Yunnan Province, China

The famous Tiger Leaping Gorge is located about 80km north of Lijiang. The driving time is about 1.5 hours.

Entrance to the Tiger Leaping Gorge, Yunnan Province, China

Wedged between the Jade Dragon Mountain in the East and the Haba Mountain in the West, the Tiger Leaping Gorge ranks amongst the deepest gorges in the world! According to legend, a tiger once escaped from his hunters here by leaping across the Yangtze River in one bound to the other side. Hence the name “Tiger Leaping Gorge”. The world's third-longest river, the Yangtze River, or Jin Sha Jiang (“Golden Sand River”) as it is known at this point, surges between steep, narrow rock faces that rise abruptly for almost 4000m to the summits of the Jade Dragon Mountain east (5596m) and Haba Snow Mountain in the west (5396m).

The easiest way to travel from Lijiang to Tiger Leaping Gorge is either by a private car or by public bus. There are two buses per day running between Lijiang main bus terminal and the Tiger Leaping Gorge. In case tickets for both these buses are sold out you can always buy a ticket for one of the many buses that go all the way from Lijiang to Zhongdian and then simply ask the bus driver to drop you off at Qiaotou, the village at the entrance of the Tiger Leaping Gorge.

The Tiger Leaping Gorge "Lijiang side"

The easiest way to access the Tiger Leaping Gorge itself is from the eastern side or the Lijiang side.

One of the most scenic hikes in China: The Tiger Leaping Gorge, north of Lijiang

You can leave your car at the parking lot and walk from there along a concrete path for about 2km to the rock, where the tiger supposedly jumped over the Yangtze River. The path is flat, easy to walk and accessible by wheel chair.

Rickshaws are available for people who do not like to walk. The entrance fee for the Lijiang side is 50 RMB.

The Tiger Leaping Gorge "Zhongdian side"

Another option is to travel from Lijiang to Qiaotou, a village located on the western side of the gorge. This side of the Tiger Leaping Gorge is also often referred to as the “Zhongdian side”. From Qiaotou you can hire a local taxi and continue your journey into the gorge for another 5km or so to the modern viewing platform. From the parking lot of the viewing platform there are stairs leading down into the gorge to the big rock, where, according to legend, the tiger leaped across the gorge to escape its hunters. It takes about 10 Minutes to walk down the stairs and about 30 Minutes to climb back up to the parking lot. The RMB 65 entrance fee to the Zhongdian side has to be paid in Qiaotou before entering the gorge.

Hike the Tiger Leaping Gorge, Yunnan Province

Arguably the best way to truly experience the dimensions of the Tiger Leaping Gorge is by walking along a great hiking trail on the Zhongdian side high above the Yangtze River.

Hiking along the high trail through the Tiger Leaping Gorge, Yunnan Province, China

Many publications have named this 24-kilometer trek one of the best in the China. Winding its way beneath waterfalls and through pine and bamboo forests, the High Trail clings precariously to exposed cliffs that fall breathlessly away into river rapids far below.

The hike through the Tiger Leaping Gorge along the high trail offers unforgettable views of the Yangtze River, the gorge and the snow-topped peaks of the Jade Dragon Mountain.

The hike through the Tiger Leaping Gorge starts in Qiaotou.

On this day trip to the Tiger Leaping Gorge you will walk along parts of this magnificent high trail.  

Customer Reviews

"...everything was well organised. Pick-up at the hotel was very punctual..."

Alice from France


"...a great escape from the busy streets of Lijiang..."

Marc from Switzerland

Tour Map


Tour Itinerary

One day hike in the Tiger Leaping Gorge, Yunnan Province

Pick up at your Yunnan Hotel in either Lijiang or Zhongdian. Scenic drive (ca. 1.5 hrs.) to Qiaotou. Qiaotou is located at the entrance of the Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiao Xia).

One of the best sceneries the Yunnan Province has to offer: The Tiger Leaping Gorge, China

Reputedly the deepest canyon in the world, the Tiger Leaping Gorge measures 16km long and a staggering 3900m from the waters of the Jinsha (Yangtze) River to the snow-capped mountain tips of the Haba Mountain Range to the West and the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the East. It got its name from a story describing how a tiger escaped its hunters by leaping across the Yangtze River in one go.

Our driver will drop you on the road that leads up to the Tea Horse Guesthouse. You walk uphill along a small road for about 1,5 hours. Along the way you will enjoy spectacular views of the Tiger Leaping Gorge and the “5 Fingers” of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

You reach the Tea Horse Guesthouse around lunch time. Lunch at the guesthouse.

In the afternoon you continue walk on a high trail for another 2 hours until you reach the Half Way House where you can have a short rest. Once again your efforts are rewarded with magnificent views of the Jade Dragon Mountain.

After that, continue for another two hours downhill to Tina’s Guesthouse. From here your driver will drive you back to your hotel in Lijiang.

(Total walking time ca. 4.5 hours. Easy walking)

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Some of our tours can contain light hikes of varying legths, please choose whether you are interested.



Prices from*
  • price per person in a party of 2 persons
  • includes private car and driver, guide and entrance fee

Day Trip to the Tiger Leaping Gorge Yunnan Province

3-5 days
Day Hike in the Tiger Leaping Gorge, Yunnan Province
Tour Type:
Active Tours