Three Gorges of Yangtze River Hike

Highlights:

  • Hiking the Yangtze Three Gorges is one of the top tour routes in China. Walking through this route, you can see the colored clouds over the mountain peaks along the Yangtze Gorges, while fleets of modern and man-powered boats are just under your feet
  • You will visit the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest dam, and a project that has been dreamed about since the days of dynastic kingdoms
  • Throughout your trip you will be accompanied by professional and English-speaking hiking guides, guaranteeing your hike is a fun, informative, and safe experience

(B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)

Detailed itinerary:

Day 1 arrive in Wanzhou-Fengjie

You are advised to take the train to Wanzhou (just a short ride from Chongqing), and at the train station you will be met by your English-speaking travel guide. By way of speedboat, we will head to Fengjie (about a 2 hour boat ride), which is the starting point of our hike. Known as a town of poetry, almost all famous men of letters of China during the Tang Dynasty (618AD-960AD) and Song Dynasty (960AD-1279AD) visited here and left a great number of poems behind them.

At the western entrance of the Yangtze Three Gorges, the Qutang Gorge is only 8km long, yet it is known as the most magnificent, with sheer cliffs on either side of the river, which present a grand view. You will get a first-hand look from the speedboat During the Qing Dynasty (1644AD-1911AD), Poet Zhang Wentao wrote: No matter how marvelous your writing brush is, hardly you could give a description well enough for this Nature beauty!

On arrival in Fengjie you will be taken to your hotel and the rest of the evening can be spent at your own leisure.

Day 2 Fengjie-hike on the Three Gorges-Fengjie (20km of hiking)

Today will mark the beginning of our hike through the Three Gorges. The Three Gorges of the Yangtze River are the most scenic section of the navigable reaches of the Yangtze (the world’s third longest river).

After breakfast we’ll depart to the nearby pier and take a ferryboat across the stream. We’ll start our hike along Qutang Gorge where we will explore the “White Emperor City” of Baidi. Dating back to 1800 years ago, in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms Period (220AD-280AD), Emperor Liu Bei was defeated and died here, which is a story know to all Chinese students. We’ll hike all the way along the Red Armor Mountains, while green fields, board beans, and potato plants on the surrounding hillsides make for a marvelous backdrop. We’ll return in the evening to Fengjie for dinner, going back the same route we came.

Day 3 Fengjie-Qingshi town

Breakfast today will be at 7:30am. After checking out of the hotel we’ll take a chartered motorboat to the middle of Wu Gorge, which is the second of the Three Gorges. On the way there you’ll get a last look and review of Qutang Gorge.

After getting off the boat, we’ll start our hike along Wu Gorge. Along the way we’ll pass through little villages where life goes on largely the same way it did a hundred years ago. We’ll arrive in the early evening in the town of Qingshi, and we’ll spend the night at a local farmer’s house.

Day 4 Qingshi -Qishi (18km of hiking)

After breakfast at 7:30am, we’ll depart for today’s hike to Goddess Peak, which stands at 1400m above sea level. On the way to Goddess Peak we’ll pass by Scissors Peak and Songluan peaks, which afford excellent views of the Yangtze and surrounding countryside. On the top of Goddess Peak, we will have lunch at a farmers’ home. The whole day’s hike will last some 7 hours.

From the farmer’s home, you will get to see a floating museum of all Yangtze boats. All types of boats, modern vessels, cargo barges and cruise ships will pass by. After our day’s hike, we will take a motorboat to Qishi. Situated at the confluence of the Yangtze and its very small tributary the Danning River, Qishi is a popular port. We will spend the evening at an inn in Qishi.

Day 5 Qishi-Wushan-Lianxiziya

Following breakfast we will take a motorboat to the town of Wushan, and from there we’ll take a speedboat to Zigui. Zigui is located at the exit of Xiling Gorge, near which Xiangxi (Fragrant Stream) joins the Yangtze River. There is erected a tomb and a memorial pavilion for Qu Yuan, a great patriotic poet in ancient China.

At Zigui we will ride a ferryboat to the southern bank of the Yangtze River, where we will have lunch at the ancient town of Guojiaba. Guojiaba is a perfect spot to admire the beauty and sheer expanse of the mouth of the gorge.

After a short break, we’ll continue hiking to ‘Chain Cliff’, which is along the Yangtrze River Bank. “Chain Cliff’ is so named because itis hoped that pins and chains will keep the area from falling into the gorge. It is the best section for viewing the west section of Xiling gorge, and it is also an excellent area to enjoy the local ethnic culture. We will climb up to the highest point of the mountain for a bird-eye view. It is about a 3 hours hike and at the end of the hiking we will check into our hotel, which faces the river.

Day 6 Lianxiziya-Yichang-departure

After breakfast we will depart for our visit and tour of the Three Gorges Dam. Construction was begun in the 80's, and was completed in 2008. It backs up the Yangtze River for 550km, making it the world's largest dam. Due to the fact that the water rises to a level of 185m behind the dam, millions of people have had to be resettled, bridges moved and historical relicts secured. The energy production capabilities of the dam are estimated at 84.7 billion kilowatts, equivalent to 18 nuclear reactors. The three single stage locks guarantee that ship traffic is not delayed.

The Three gorges Dam is the largest water conservancy project undertaken by man, and various Chinese officials have dreamed about the project for hundreds of years. It is 2,335 meters wide on the top, and 130 meters wide at the bottom. The views from the top of the dam are stunning, so don’t forget to bring your camera!

We’ll then drive on to Yichang, a modern-day city on the banks of the Yangtze. And is known for being China’s “power city”. Following lunch you will be taken to the Yichang airport where you will travel on to your next destination, ending your tour with us.