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Hiking

When should you hike a trail? Some hikes lead to fascinating forests, some have tremendous views and others are rich in variety. Share your favorite trails with other hikers and nature lovers.

Great experience every season. Start hiking very early to beat the crowds.

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To escape the heat, spring and fall are the best times for hiking. In summer, it is oven-like and can get well above 100°F (38°C) and on the other side thunderstorms occur. If you go in midsummer avoid long hikes. Snow and ice can be an issue in winter unless that's what you’re looking for but mind, half of the annual rainfall comes during the winter.

This trail is not as popular as Angels Landing or The Narrows, the reason that it's less busy. However, start early to get shade along the exhausting switchbacks.

Avoiding Tourist Crowds:
Peak months are June to August. Fewer hikers in spring and fall. Very quiet in December, January, February but bear in mind road or trails can be closed. However, you can avoid crowds year-round by starting your hike or exploration right after sunrise. At that time, you’ll have the park almost for yourself. Most visitors don’t start before 10 a.m.

In the morning, there is also a better chance of spotting wildlife and the best light for photos.

From March to October you have to take the shuttle bus, cars are not permitted. From November to February you can park your car at a small parking lot at the trailhead. The scenic drive in Zion can be closed at weekends in February and shuttle bus transportation has to be taken. Check shuttle bus schedule for each season first, includes maps and hiking trail information.

In May, high chance for spectacular wildflowers along the trail, especially in Echo Canyon.

Sweet Spot Months:
The best months with usually good weather and less crowds than during peak months are: March/April and October/November.

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The best seasons to hike Tiger Leaping Gorge are winter, spring, and autumn. Read our detailed tips regarding each season:

Winter, Low Season (December - January/February)

A good time to hike the gorge. Days are often sunny, dry and clear (up to 12°C / 54°F), but nights get cold (to 0°C / 32°F) and mornings very chilly. Keep in mind that in February it’s Chinese Spring Festival: Accommodations are heavily booked for two weeks. Check the starting dates: Spring Festival Eve in China

Spring, Soulder Season (March - May)

March and April are excellent months to hike. Especially in April, the weather is comfortable with possible temperatures up to 20°C (68°F). Still, bring a light jacket. May is still a less busy month with even warmer days than in April and blooming flora. Quote from our reviewer Rajdeep: 'A great month is April: Fewer locals to pester tourists to part with cash combined with pleasant weather'

Summer, High Season (June - September)

Wet season, not the best time to hike. The rain lasts until September / mid-October. The wettest months are July / August. Hiking is still possible as there are many sunny days. However, during or after heavy rainfall the road and trail through the gorge might be closed on certain days. Despite the unpleasant weather conditions, this is also the busiest season with the most ‘scams’.

Autumn, Shoulder Season (October - November)

Mid-October until November are also excellent. Usually dry and sunny, beautiful landscape, green trees, and blossoms. However, bring a long-sleeve shirt, light sweater, and a coat. Nice November hiking report: Hiking TLG in November. Monthly temperature and rainfall overview (the climate in Lijiang is almost identical): Lijiang Weather Regardless of the month: Check the weather forecast.
 

Annoyances/Scams

Besides the official gorge trail fee, there are many locals demanding cash from tourists. These unofficial posts collect money for parts of the path. Most of them are present during the busiest time from May/June until September/October. Less from March to April or mid-October to November and often none in winter (December - January/February)!

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Summer and early fall

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Summer and early fall

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Accessible up to Lilian Lake all year. Hiking to Upper Galatea July to September
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