The deepest gorge in the world is hard to forget once you've seen it in person, and it makes an excellent trekking destination. If you're hiking along the upper trail, the 40-km (25-mile) route can be finished in a day or two. The upper trail connects the towns of Qiaotou in the west and Daju in the east, and there is a ferry across the river near Daju. The easiest way to tackle the walk from Lijiang is to take the 8:30 am or 9 am bus on Xianggelila Ave to Qiaotou and hike toward Daju.
There are several guesthouses in the gorge, scattered at distances to accommodate hikers at any stage of their trek. All offer food, hot showers, and beds for Y20 to over Y100, depending on season and weather. Many of the guesthouses have expanded and upgraded accommodations in the past couple of years, so there is more selection and even some higher-end rooms for Y150. The guesthouses have put up signs and arrows to let hikers know how much farther until the next lodging. If you don't mind not hiking
the whole gorge, stop in Walnut Garden, where you can take one of the regular buses back to Lijiang. If you continue to Daju, there are only two buses a day to Lijiang, at 8:30 am and 1 pm. Also remember that the road connecting Daju to Lijiang goes through the Jade Dragon Park and tickets cost around Y220 per person just to go through. Daju is a very pleasant—though quiet, because of the road fee—town that offers basic rooms for around Y50 a night.
For those only interested in seeing the point that gives the gorge its name, the river's narrowest point, which a tiger is supposed to have leaped across to evade a hunter, there are two options: the prettier one is on the Lijiang side of the gorge, includes a nice 4-km (3-mile) walk along a path cut out of the cliffside, and costs Y50 to enter; the Shangri-La side can be reached directly by minivan but will include a few hundred steps down to where the water rages most fiercely. The entrance fee costs Y70, which also includes the rest of the gorge. Most hotels will also gladly arrange tours in minivans—expect to pay more than Y140 per person each way.