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Tiger Leaping Gorge

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Tiger Leaping Gorge

Terraces part way up the sides of the Tiger Leaping Gorge
Tiger Leaping Gorge
A close up view of the gorge.
A bridge opposite the gorge.
View of the gorge from the high path, showing Jade Dragon Snow Mountain on the left, and Haba Xueshan on the right.
View of the gorge from above.

Tiger Leaping Gorge (simplified Chinese: 虎跳峡; traditional Chinese: 虎跳峽; pinyin: Hǔtiào Xiá) is a scenic canyon on the Jinsha River (Golden Sands River; 金沙江; Jīnshā Jiāng), a primary tributary of the upper Yangtze River. It is located 60 kilometres (37 mi) north of Lijiang City, Yunnan in southwestern China. It is part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas World Heritage Site.

At a maximum depth of approximately 3790 meters (12434 feet) from river to mountain peak, Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyons in the world.[1] The inhabitants of the gorge are primarily the indigenous Naxi people, who live in a handful of small hamlets. Their primary subsistence comes from grain production and foreign hikers (as well as Chinese).


  • Geography 1
  • Roads and trails 2
  • Environmental concerns 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Around 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) in length, the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the 5,396 metres (17,703 ft) Haba Snow Mountain in a series of rapids under steep 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) cliffs. Legend says that in order to escape from a hunter, a tiger jumped across the river at the narrowest point (still 25 metres (82 ft) wide), hence the name.

Administratively, the river in this area forms the border between Yulong Naxi Autonomous County of Lijiang City (right bank) and Shangri-La County of Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (left bank).

The gorge is not considered

  • Three Parallel Rivers Protected Area
  • Historic photo (1937) at the end of the gorge looking down from Daju to the north, by Charles Patrick Fitzgerald
  • Waking the Green Tiger documentary [4]

External links

  1. ^ [3]
  2. ^ a b Frank Langfitt, "China tourism: mixed blessing", Baltimore Sun, July 2, 2000.
  3. ^ Tiger Leaping Gorge: Day 3. Tiger Leaping Stone, the Middle Rapids, and the Sky Ladder.
  4. ^ Tiger Leaping Gorge: Day 1. From Qiaotou through the 28 Bends.
  5. ^ a b China abandons plans for huge dam on Yangtze
  6. ^ a b Greed for energy threatens to dam legendary gorge -Times Online
  7. ^ China: Another dammed gorge -Asia Times
  8. ^ Tiger Leaping Gorge in Danger! - People's Daily (in Chinese)
  9. ^ a b Tiger Leaping Gorge Emergency - Nanfang Daily (in Chinese)


See also

The project would displace up to 100,000 people to the north, mainly the South-North Water Transfer Project, which would cause massive environmental damage and the destruction of thousands of cultural sites.[9]

Details of the scrapped project follow:[6][7] Construction had begun on the other 12 dams of the same project which lie just outside the boundaries of the heritage area, even though it had not been approved by the State Council.[8] Media reports suggested that the Lijiang city government waived standard procedures in order to facilitate the project.[9]

Although Tiger Leaping Gorge is an essential part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan, a World Heritage Site since 2003, the Chinese government floated proposals for a hydroelectric dam on the Jinsha River in 2004. The Yunnan provincial government scrapped the project in 2007.[5]

Environmental concerns

[4] The lower road, stretching about 195 km (121 mi) from Qiaotou through the Gorge, is a stretch of pavement (until recently a simple mule track) crossed by several waterfalls, and frequently beset by

waterfalls, and a fair number of guesthouses for trekkers. These guesthouses are not well heated, which combined with the unpredictable nature of high mountain weather makes this trek unadvisable during the rainy season, although in recent years the raining periods got shorter and it got possible to hike there again.

Roads and trails

Natural crystals are mined from areas in and surrounding the Tiger Leaping Gorge.

[2] but had attracted adventurous backpackers already in the 1980s. Officials plan to improve the existing trails and roads, bringing tour buses and more development. These plans arouse highly varied reactions among the local population, from strong opposition to strong support.[2]

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