Tiger Leaping Gorge

Gingerly stepping along a trail swept with scree to allow an old fellow with a donkey to pass; resting atop a rock, exhausted, looking up to see the snow-shrouded peaks, then down to see the lingering rays dancing on the rippling waters a thousand metres below. That pretty much sums up Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡, Hǔtiào Xiá), long one of the great treks of southwest China. Add in modern development, power lines and water pipes that follow the high trail, and a few stretches of road walking: this is no longer wild nature, but the views are still grand and it's still worth the trip.

One of the deepest gorges in the world, it measures 16km long and is a giddy 3900m from the waters of the Jinsha River to the snowcapped mountains of Haba Mountain to the west and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to the east.

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