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Tiger Leaping Gorge

tiger-leaping-gorge Tiger Leaping Gorge extends for 10 miles from the Yulong Xueshan Mountain in Lijiang to the Haba Xueshan Mountain in Zhongdian. It is one the longest, deepest, and narrowest gorges in the world.

According to local legend, the gorge acquired its name because, at its narrowest point (90 ft/30 m), a tiger once leaped over the swirling waters. Hutiao Gorge, with a drop of 3,000 m, is believed to be one of the world's deepest canyons.

tiger-leaping-gorge01About 100 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of Lijiang Old Town, lying between Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yulong Xueshan) and Haba Snow Mountain (Haba Xueshan) is Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiao Gorge), which is believed to be the deepest gorge in the world. From the top of the gorge, one can look down the steeply angled (70-90 degrees) mountain sides to the rushing Golden Sands (Jingsha) River, with its 18 frothing rapids more than 230 meters (about 700 feet) below.

Naturally divided into three sections, the first section, which is the narrowest and uppermost section, is the mouth of the fast flowing Jingsha River. In the midst of the river's mouth is a large rock that is positioned at the gorge's narrowest section-only 30 meters (33 yards) 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.

As the river enters the middle section, it drops another 100 meters (330 feet) and its flow rate increases to an amazing speed. Here the thunderous rushing waters slam into sharp, large rocks and crash down into the river, forming swirling whirlpools. Can it get more exciting? Yes, it can. 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 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 even the deepest yearnings for magnificent scenery.