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Natural Attractions / Trip Ideas

The Three Gorges

By Dianshi Yuan

September 14

The Three Gorges are a group of canyons on the Yangtze River with magnificent landscape.

The Three Gorges are a group of canyons on the Yangtze River with magnificent landscape.

Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, and Xiling Gorge forming a magnificent landscape that originates in Fengjie County(奉节县), Chongqing and ends at Yichang (宜昌), Hubei — running 193km.

Qutang Gorge 瞿塘峡

Kuimen Gate [Image Credit: Zhou]
Kuimen Gate [Image Credit: Zhou]
The QuTang Gorge in Fengjie County (奉节县) , Chongqing, is the shortest and most spectacular of the Three Gorges. The Kuimen Gate (夔门), the entrance of Qutang Gorge, stands upstream of a narrow canyon saddled by steep cliffs. The Qutang Gorge is 8km in length and starts at the White Emperor City or Baidicheng (白帝城), passes Hanging Monk Rock (倒吊和尚), the Meng Liang Stairway (孟良梯), the Ancient Pathway and the Rhinoceros Gazing at the Moon (犀牛望月) before ending at Daxi Town (大溪镇).

Wu Gorge 巫峡

The Wu Gorge stretches from the Daning River (大宁河)in Chongqing to Badong County (巴东县) in Hubei. Formed by the Wu River (乌江), the gorge got its name from the geographical book Shui Jing Zhu(《水经注》) written during the Three Kingdoms Period. Wu Gorge is full of twists, peaks, and forest-covered mountains. Major attractions along the Wu Gorge include the Three Platforms (三台), Eight Sights (八景) and Twelve Peaks (十二峰).

Xiling Gorge 西陵峡

The Three Gorges Dam [Image Credit: Liu]
The Three Gorges Dam [Image Credit: Liu]
If the Qutang gorge is magnificent and the Wu Gorge elegant, then the Xiling Gorge is precipitous. Extending from Badong County (巴东县) to Najin Pass (南津关) in Yichang, the shoals and strong rapidsmade it a prime location for damming. The Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest power station, was constructed at Sandouping (三斗坪) in the middle of the Xiling Gorge, which changed the local ecological conditions significantly.

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