Tiger Leaping Gorge is a scenic canyon on the Jinsha River (Golden Sands River), a primary tributary of the upper Yangtze River. It is located 60 kilometers 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
The river is naturally divided into three sections, the first section, which is the narrowest and uppermost section, is the mouth of the fast flowing Jinsha River. In the middle of the river’s mouth is a large rock that is positioned at the gorge’s narrowest section-only 30 meters (99 feet) wide. An ancient legend says that a tiger used this rock as its stepping stone so it could leap across from one side of the gorge to the other, which is how the gorge got its name.spectacular river canyons in the world. 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).
As the river enters the middle section, it drops another 100 meters (330 feet) and rushes through with incredible speed. Here the thunderous waters slam into sharp, large rocks and crash down into the river forming swirling whirlpools. Can it get more exciting? Yes, it can as the third and lowest section is acclaimed for being the wildest attraction of all!
The cliffs over-looking this section are even steeper and much more dangerous. Here, the river twists and turns and the river vigorously surges forward creating high waves and a frothy spew as it collides with the mountainsides. This is a view that inspires a sense of adventure and satisfies the deepest yearnings for magnificent scenery.
The gorge stretches about 15 kilometers (9 miles). For the experienced and adventurous, thrilling raft rides are available. The magnificent backdrop of the gorge, combined with the twisting white water will create an exhilarating and unforgettable white water rafting experience. For those who prefer a gentle ride, slow-speed drifting is available in the calmer sections of the gorge.
The area was officially opened to foreign tourists in 1993, 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.The gorge is not considered navigable. In the early 1980s, four rafters attempted to go down the gorge and were never seen again. In 1986, the first known successful attempt to sail through the gorge was made by the first expedition to float down the entire length of the Yangtze, starting at the river’s high source at the Gelandandong glacier lake.