For years we have been hearing about this place.  Besides having a great name, Tiger Leaping Gorge, we’ve heard that it is possibly the best hiking in all of China and even ranks up there as one of the great hikes in the world.  Located in the Yunnan province of southeast China, this area is known for being one of the most beautiful parts of China – with clear skies, gorgeous mountains, lakes, rivers, and ancient towns such as Dali and Lijiang

The Middle Gorge Hike at Tiger Leaping Gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge is located just a couple hours north of Lijiang, and you can enter the gorge at the town of Qiaotou.  Many visitors to Tiger Leaping Gorge take the high road, the most famous hike high up on the mountain.  Usually this hike takes a couple days – going from Qiaotou to the Middle Gorge area where the high road connects to the low road.  There are guest houses along the route, so you can pop in for some food or to stay overnight.

The High Road is a serious hike, not to be taken lightly!

When hikers reach the middle gorge, they will typically stay over night at one of the guest houses.  Often visitors depart the gorge from here the next day, either back to Qiaotou or continue down to the lower gorge and out that way.  However, there are a few hikes around the middle gorge that actually go down below the low road…towards the water.

In fact, this is where you will find “The Rock” — the famed rock that legend says the Tiger used to jump across the gorge.

We couldn’t believe that so many people seem to skip this hike, because we LOVED the middle gorge hike!  It was strenuous at parts, adventurous at others, and peaceful.  It takes a good 3 hours to go down and then back up to the low road, but it depends on how fast you go and how long you stay down there admiring the rushing water!

The hike was just too beautiful for words, and a little bit scary to get the big camera out!  But we did document our journey with a couple cool videos and some awesome instagram pics.

So check out our Instagram pics from our #MiddleGorgeHike at Tiger Leaping Gorge!


We started off this journey a few days before in Shangri-La at our hostel Tavern 47, when we met Aloy who just came from Tiger Leaping Gorge.  He sent us this map to help get us around and he is the one that highly recommended the #MiddleGorgeHike.

Got it?!?! Our map for getting around #TigerLeapingGorge #China #POPChina #MiddleGorgeHike

A photo posted by Peanuts or Pretzels (@peanutsorpretzels) on


We started our hike around Middle Gorge in Tiger Leaping Gorge at our guest house, Sean’s Guest House.  Not a bad view from our room!

Setting out on our long hike from Walnut Garden down on to the #MiddleGorgeHike trail in #TigerLeapingGorge in #China #POPChina

A photo posted by Peanuts or Pretzels (@peanutsorpretzels) on


We started off on the trail and as soon as we got going we ran across this blown out shoe.  It made us happy that we had on our Salomon trail shoes.  The best travel/hiking shoes for men and women.


The trail was well maintained with arrows showing us the way down to the river.  Each color represented a different guest house.  This yellow one was for our guest house, Sean’s Guest House.


The more we hiked down into the Gorge the more the river in Tiger Leaping Gorge started showing itself.  The views were just amazing!


As we continued down towards the River we got a bit lost and ran across a small village on the side of the Gorge doing a bit of gardening.  Cool scene.


As we continued to get a bit lost we did make it down close to the river, but then got stopped by the sheer drop off of the Gorge.


We were getting close, but our goal was to get on the river.  The views are just amazing in Tiger Leaping Gorge.

As we continue on the #MiddleGorgeHike the views are opening up #TigerLeapingGorge #China #POPChina

A photo posted by Peanuts or Pretzels (@peanutsorpretzels) on


Along the way we started to hear some bells in the distance.  Then the bells started to get closer and closer on to realize that there were tons of goats walking along the same trail as us.

It’s not uncommon to run across a herd of goats on the #middlegorgehike in #TigerLeapingGorge #China #POPChina

A photo posted by Peanuts or Pretzels (@peanutsorpretzels) on


While on the trail we were able to find a perfect seat carved into the stone.  Not a bad view for a water break in Tiger Leaping Gorge on the Middle Gorge Hiking Trail.


Coming up on the halfway point on the Middle Gorge Hiking Trail in Tiger Leaping Gorge, you are able to use the toilets and grab some fresh water and snacks to keep going towards the Big Rock.  Do you see the buildings?

Coming up on a halfway point on our #MiddleGorgeHike down to the river in #TigerLeapingGorge #China #POPChina

A photo posted by Peanuts or Pretzels (@peanutsorpretzels) on


And that’s one of the views that we worked hard to get to.  Just stunning!!!

 


We shared some of our experience with our Facebook followers as well


Our goal for the hike was to get down to the famous Rock that Tiger Leaping Gorge got its name from.  To get down to the rock we had to go on a little bit of a sketchy route down.


Throw in some sketchy ladders… makes that adventure more memorable.  See the river below in the middle of Tiger Leaping Gorge?

Sketchy Path on the #MiddleGorgeHike #TigerLeapingGorge #China #POPChina

A photo posted by Peanuts or Pretzels (@peanutsorpretzels) on


Some of the Middle Gorge Hiking Trail was literally cut into the mountain.  Pretty cool trail.

There was some ducking for me to get around on the trail but Liz was OK #MiddleGorgeHike #TigerLeapingGorge #China #POPChina

A photo posted by Peanuts or Pretzels (@peanutsorpretzels) on


Almost there, but the Big Rock and the river is the goal.

 

 

We made it but the Rock and the River is the goal. #MiddleGorgeHike #TigerLeapingGorge #China #POPChina

A photo posted by Peanuts or Pretzels (@peanutsorpretzels) on


The trail gets tricky the closer we get to the Rock and the river in Tiger Leaping Gorge.

The trail got a bit tougher as we get closer to the river. “Be Careful Liz!” #MiddleGorgeHike #TigerLeapingGorge #China #POPChina

A photo posted by Peanuts or Pretzels (@peanutsorpretzels) on


Next we had to cross a somewhat sketchy bridge to get to the famous Rock named for Tiger Leaping Gorge.  But we would quickly realize that the adventure only had just started.

Crossing the somewhat sketchy bridge to the famous Rock at #TigerLeapingGorge #China #POPChina #MiddleGorgeHike

A photo posted by Peanuts or Pretzels (@peanutsorpretzels) on


We finally made it… but watch your step!


The pictures don’t really do it justice…  The water was raging and the rocks were slick… I was so scared!


Only halfway there… Still need to make it out of the Gorge to complete the hike.

Hiking back up is much tougher than going down #MiddleGorgeHike #TigerLeapingGorge #China #POPChina

A photo posted by Peanuts or Pretzels (@peanutsorpretzels) on


Happy to have found a small waterfall to cool off with on the Middle Gorge Hiking Trail in Tiger Leaping Gorge.


Good news and Bad news… We found the stairs UP!!!


Again… you just never know what you may see on the Middle Gorge Hiking Trail.  “You mean we could have done this on a Mule?”

You mean we could have done this on a horse? Damn! #MiddleGorgeHike #TigerLeapingGorge #China #POPChina

A photo posted by Peanuts or Pretzels (@peanutsorpretzels) on


The hike up was just as good as the hike down on the Middle Gorge Hiking Trail in Tiger Leaping Gorge.  Here Liz stops for a second to just take in the surrounding beauty.


We made it back up to the top.  After a 6 hour enjoyable, hard, rough, relaxing hike we made it.


Looks like we made it back to Walnut Grove just in time for dinner.

 


The Middle Gorge Was One of Our Favorite Hikes We Have Done!

On this trip, our schedules were pretty busy and we just didn’t have the energy to do the multi-day high road hike.  So instead, we took the Middle Gorge Hike down to the water – and we LOVED every minute of it.  The scenery was amazing, and we were literally gasping around some corners.  While it was a bit scary at times, we would still do it again.  It was physically exhausting, especially coming back up hill (for your reference – we think it’s better to go down near Tina’s because it is steeper with stairs, or you can take the crazy ladder!  But going up is easier toward Walnut Garden and Sean’s guesthouse).  Of course, we came up the most difficult way…the endless stairs between Tina’s and Walnut Garden…our legs were on fire!

Regardless of our state of exhaustion, we were smiling ear to ear the whole way.  What an amazing hike, and we highly recommend that you get to Tiger Leaping Gorge!

 

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