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Natural Attractions / Trip Ideas

Top 10 canyons in China

By Minjun Xu

July 28

A canyon is one of the best places to witness the great power of the nature.

A canyon is one of the best places to witness the great power of the nature.

Here are the top 10 most beautiful canyons in China as ranked by the magazine Chinese National Geography.

10. Tianshan Grand Canyon 天山库车大峡谷

Tianshan Grand Canyon [Image Credit: chinapoto.com]
Tianshan Grand Canyon [Image Credit: chinapoto.com]
Tianshan Grand Canyon is situated at the southern foot of the Tianshan Mountains, 64 kilometers north of Kuqu County in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It was carved by meltwater from the Tianshan Mountains and neighbors the nearby Kizil Caves, another must-see site.

Entry: 45 yuan/person

9. Taihang Grand Canyon 太行山大峡谷

Taihang Grand Canyon [Image Credit: ctps.cn]
Taihang Grand Canyon [Image Credit: ctps.cn]
Taihang Grand Canyon, located in the southeastern part of Shanxi, was formed by purple red quartzite and limestone eroded by water over time.

Entry: 160 yuan/person

Opening hours: 07:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

8. Jinkou Grand Canyon 大渡河金口大峡谷

Jinkou Grand Canyon [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/ Wang Wei]
Jinkou Grand Canyon [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Wang Wei]
The Jinkou Grand Canyon is situated in the lower reaches of the Dadu River with 8 main narrow gorges branching off. On the two sides of this canyon, you can witness steep cliffs and lofty peaks.

Tips: Visitors can take Train 8619 bound for Puxiong Town at Yangang Railway Station in Emeishan City (峨眉山市), and get off at Guancunba Railway Station.

Entry: Free

7. Jin-Shaan Grand Canyon 黄河晋陕大峡谷

Jin-Shaan Grand Canyon [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/ Wang Wei]
Jin-Shaan Grand Canyon [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Wang Wei]
The Jin-Shaan Grand Canyon is the largest continuous canyon not cut off from the main part of the Yellow River. Besides the   magnificent natural scenery, the canyon is home to parts of the Great Wall and ancient stone houses.

Entry: Free

6. Taroko Gorge 太鲁阁大峡谷

Taroko Gorge [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/ Sun Jihu]
Taroko Gorge [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Sun Jihu]
The Taroko Gorge, situated in the eastern part of Taiwan, China is a unique marble gorge carved by the Liwu River. The Tunnel of Nine Turns (九曲洞) is the most sightworthy scenic spot in Taroko Gorge. You can raft the rivers during the summer months.

Entry: Free

Opening hours: 8:30 a.m.- 4:45 p.m.

Tips: The scenic spot is closed on New Year’s Eve and the second Monday of every month.

5. Meili Grand Canyon 澜沧江梅里大峡谷

Meili Grand Canyon [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/ Zheng Yuefang]
Meili Grand Canyon [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Zheng Yuefang]
Known as a key historical passage between Yunnan and Tibet, the Meili Grand Canyon of the Lancang River is famous for its rugged terrain and rapid river. The sacred Meili Snow Mountain (梅里雪山) which is honored by Tibetans adds to the canyon’s allure.

Entry: Free

4. Nujiang Grand Canyon 怒江大峡谷

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Nujiang Grand Canyon [Image Credit: ctrip.com/Yuan sisi]
The Grand Canyon of the Nujiang River, located in Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture in southwestern Yunnan, is another marvelous natural wonder. Along the Grand Canyon of the Nujiang River, the thousand-year Tea Horse Road has witnessed the co-exsitence of more than 20 ethnic groups of different religions, making the area famous for its cultural diversity.

Best time to visit: Oct.-April

Entry: 50 yuan/person

3. Three Gorges 长江三峡

Three Gorges [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/ Jing Haiquan]
Three Gorges [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Jing Haiquan]
The Qutang, Wu and Xiling gorges along the middle reaches of the Yangtze River make up the Three Gorges area. Frequently rhapsodized by poets in both ancient and modern China, you can visit the Gorges via cruise from Yichang to Chongqing.

Best time to visit: April-Dec.

2. Tiger Leaping Gorge 金沙江虎跳峡

Tiger Leaping Gorge [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/ Gao Yunpeng]
Tiger Leaping Gorge [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Gao Yunpeng]
Originating in Shangri-La County in the Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan, the Tiger Leaping Gorge is part of the Three Parallel Rivers of the Yunnan Protected Areas World Heritage Site (云南三江并流保护区). As one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyons in the world, the Tiger Leaping Gorge, especially the part in Shangri-La County, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers.

Entry: 50 yuan/person

Opening hours: 9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.

1. Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon 雅鲁藏布大峡谷

Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/ Shui Xiaojie]
Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Shui Xiaojie]
With a maximum depth of 6009 meters, the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon along the Yarlung Tsangpo River in Tibet is well-known as the deepest canyon in the world. Its iconic horseshoe-shaped turn cuts around Mount Namcha Barwa in the eastern Himalayan range.

Entry: 270 yuan/person

Opening hours: 7:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.

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