Shipton’s Arch (Tushuk Tagh)
Shipton’s Arch (Tushuk Tagh) information
This natural rock arch (the Uighur name means ‘mountain with a hole in it’) is reputedly the tallest on earth. The first Westerner to describe it was the British mountaineer and last British consul-general in Kashgar, Eric Shipton, during his visit to the region in 1947. Successive expeditions attempted to find it without success until a team from National Geographic rediscovered the arch in 2000. The arch, located 80km northwest of Kashgar, is a half-day excursion involving an hour’s drive towards the Irkeshtam Pass, followed by 20km on a dirt track (currently being paved) and then a 30-minute hike, at times scrambling through the narrowest part of the gorge over small ladders. Kashgar-based tour operators can arrange a day trip with guide for ¥800 to ¥1000 per car. There is talk of introducing a ¥30 entry fee. Bring sturdy shoes, a fleece, snacks and water.