Please read the explanation of hiking times, distances, altitudes and rating levels here.
|Region: Tiger Leaping Gorge|
|Itinerary: Tina’s Guest House—Dashengou Canyon—Ravine Stairway—Luke’s Hostel|
|Duration: 2½ hours one-way|
|Distance: 4 km one-way|
|Altitude in Meters: Start 2,050. Max 2,360. End 2,360|
|Elevation Gain: 350 meters|
|Rating: Moderate (very rugged trail)|
The Bamboo Forest Path offers a short extension of the classic trek through Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡). From a trail junction a short distance above Tina’s Guest House (中峡国际青年旅舍), pass through whispering bamboo and clamber up Dashengou Canyon (大深沟) past cascades and waterfalls. A picturesque stairway bridges the ravine halfway up. The path ends at Luke’s Hostel.
If you are hiking the gorge from Qiaotou (桥头镇), you don’t have to descend all the way down to Tina’s, the normal terminus for most trekkers. A short distance above Tina’s, the Bamboo Forest Path branches off. The spot is marked by prominent signs. If you are starting from Tina’s, simply walk up the regular trekking path for 20 minutes until you reach the fork in the trail.
When I hiked Bamboo Forest Path for the first time, I had no idea what to expect. Almost immediately I met a hiker coming down, who summed up the trail in one word: weixian (危险, dangerous). As I climbed higher, I had to agree. I felt as if I were balancing on a ribbon hung on a precipice. Weighed down by a heavy pack that threw me off balance, I tried to phone my wife for prayer, but there was no signal.
Happy to say, the path is safer now. Zhao Yin (赵银), owner of Luke’s Hostel, is the designer and builder of the path since 2010. In recent years he widened the narrow sections and installed cables to assist passage over the tricky parts. Metal steps replaced the aging wooden ladder that bridges the ravine. He also installed signs and green arrows pointing the way. Above the stairway, he marked a side path which leads to a series of cascades higher up, where the canyon walls narrow down into a slot.
Despite the improvements, this remains a rugged trek in wild surroundings. Small children should not attempt this hike. Inexperienced hikers are best advised to hire a guide. For guide service in Tiger Leaping Gorge see the Guides page. For information about Luke’s, the end point of the Bamboo Forest Path, see the Luke’s Hostel page. A two-day trek to Haba Village (哈巴村), the Luke-Haba Route (栌克-哈巴路线), starts at the hostel.