Top 10 Famous Great Canyons in China

China is a mountainous country. The criss-crossing mountains and valley determine the main features of terrain in China. Terrain in China is various, complex, diverse, mountainous and scattered orderly. In the national area, the mountain accounts for 33.3%; the plateau for 26%; hills for 9.9%; 18.8% for basin; plain for 12%. Here we would like to list the top 10 most famous great canyons in China for you to admire the broad land of China.

1. Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon-雅鲁藏布江大峡谷

The Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon area is the most mysterious region in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, because of its unique tectonic location, scientists regard it as “keyhole that open the door of the earth's history”.Brahmaputra Grand Canyon (also named Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon), is the world’s deepest, longest, and highest (river valleys) canyon. Due to the peak and valley is very close, contrast thousands of meters of terrain, make up the world first magnificent scenery. Yarlung Zangbo River, the world highest river, turns south suddenly in Mainling County and cuts the Himalayas Mountain into two sections. Then the river runs through a narrow passage between the two 7,000-meter high peaks of Namjagbarwa and Jialabailei, forming the deepest, narrowest and longest canyon in the world- the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon which stretches 496 km long and averages over 5,000 m deep. The diversified climatic zones distributed vertically in the canyon determine its vertical distribution of diversified vegetation and numerous wild animals. Nearly 5,000 species of vegetation have already been found here.

  • Feature: World's deepest,longest and highest (river valleys) canyon
  • Location: Motuo County, Nyingchi, Lhasa, Tibet, China (near the border of China and India)
  • Recommended Tibet Tours: Tibet Explorers

Ten Famous Great Canyons in China - Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon

2. Golden Sand River Tiger Leaping Gorge-金沙江虎跳峡

Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of China’s deepest canyons. It is located in the Yulong Xaxi autonomous county of Yunnan province (formerly named the Lijiang Xaxi autonomous county) Longpan township in northeast China. Canyon is 16 kilometers long, the main peak of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the south is 5596 meters above sea level, Zhongdian Snow Mountain in the north is 5396 meters above sea level, the middle of the river only range 30 to 60 meters wide.
Located at the high altitude area, surrounded by Hengduan Montains, the climate in Tiger Leaping Gorge is complicate and changeable. The temperature difference between day and night is big. The vertical elevation difference of the gorge is 3790 m which is one of the deepest valleys in the world. The narrowest part of the gorge was just 30 m, which is so narrow that a tiger can jump over the gorge, hence the name. Along the gorge, there are 21 dangerous shoals and 10 waterfalls.
Ten Famous Great Canyons in China - Tiger Leaping Gorge

3. Yangtze River Three Gorges-长江三峡

The Yangtze River Three Gorges are magnificent landscapes along Yangtze River Grand Canyon, one of the top ten scenic spots in China. It consists of Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge, with a full length of 193 km. Qutang gorge, which is located in Chongqing Fengjie; Wu Gorge is located in Chongqing Wushan and Hubei province Enshi Badong county territory; Xiling Gorge is in Zigui county in Yichang.

The Yangtze River Three Gorges is one of the cradles of the Chinese ancient culture. It covers the essence of the scenery on the Yangtze River. Within this distance, they are arranged in such a manner with other gorges and valleys that one is narrow and the following one is wide by turn. The Yangtze river three gorges, is the world’s only grand canyon where can take a boat tour, is China's earliest recommended one of the two gold travel route open to the world, is famous for its beautiful natural scene and magnificent rivers at home and abroad.
Ten Famous Great Canyons in China - Three Gorges Dam

4. Grand Canyon of Nujiang River-怒江大峡谷

Grand Canyon of Nujiang River is located in the northwest of Yunnan in the Nujiang Lisu clan autonomous territory, from the point of view of China map; it is just at the position of “chicken ass”. Nujiang river originated in the foothill of the Mount tunggula in Qinghai-Tibet plateau, via Yunnan, from north to south and then go into Burma (called the Salween river in Burma), then enter into the Indian Ocean, the whole length is more than 1540 km.
High mountains, deep canyons, waterfall, river are raising the Nujiang grand canyon people and to temper children of all nationalities. Here live Lisu minority, Nu minority, Drung minority and Pumi minority etc. They are industrious and brave, bold and vigorous, created the unique way of life and national characteristics of culture. Their costumes, singing and dancing, festival activities, the form of marriage, living customs, religious activities, such as unique and charm characteristics, constitute a harmonious canyon graffiti. Canyon compatriots of all nationalities are simple, sincere, friendly and hospitable. In Lisu clan and Nu clan villages, if you have come to their village wherever you coming from afar, they all hospitable to put up guests for the night and take out food to treat.
  • Feature: besides of the mighty lanscape, the unique traditional life of Lisu clan and Nu clan villages here are another fact worth to see
  • Location: located in the northwest of Yunnan in the Nujiang Lisu clan autonomous territory
  • Recommended Yunan Tours:  Yunnan tours
Ten Famous Great Canyons in China - Nujiang Canyon

5. Lancang River Melli Grand Canyon-澜沧江梅里大峡谷

Lancang River Melli Grand Canyon is located in China’s Yunnan Deqing Diqing, started in the north from Foshan township, south to Yanmen township, 150 kilometers long, is one of the largest local elevation difference in Yunnan province.
Lancang River Meili Grand Canyon is famous for its deep and long valley, not only for the rapid river. Clear and hurry flow in winter, muddy but be in a upsurge in summer. Deep valley, towering snow-capped mountains, surging water and lush forests is the characteristics of is segment of the Lancang River Meili Grand Canyon, the Meili Snow Mountain in the side of Lancang River Meili Grand Canyon which is regarded as sacred to Tibetan compatriots is added mystery to the grand canyon. Big elevation difference of ups and downs, make the river surging roar, turn up the billows, snow mountain in the canyon area make it more holy and sacred, and have a beauty of magic, holy and lush.
  • Feature: Rated as one of the 10 tmost beautiful Chinese Canyons
  • Location: located in China’s Yunnan Deqing Diqing
  • Recommended Yunan Tours:  Yunnan tours
Ten Famous Great Canyons in China - Lancang Meili Grand Valley

6. Taroko Gorge-太鲁阁大峡谷

Taroko Gorge is Taiwan’s famous tourist resort, located in the eastern part of Taiwan's Hualien county in the northwest, extends for 20 kilometers, is part of the Taroko National Park. On both sides of cliff, the peak is so tall to reach the sky; Mountains and rocks are steep with cragginess; Valley streams water is deep and quiet, known as the three gorges in Taiwan, eight sights for Taiwan Island. The essential stop on Taiwan’s tourist trail, Taroko Gorge splits the east side of the island and is the eastern side of the Central Cross Island Highway. Taroko has survived mining and plans for damming, and now its high marble cliffs are left exclusively for visitors to marvel at.
Taroko Gorge, cut by the clear blue water of the Liwu River, runs 19 km long and rises to 3700 m above the Pacific Ocean. It spans Hua Lien, Nan Tou and TaiChung counties. High mountain peaks and sheer ravines and canyons of marble grace its interior.
  • Feature: Famous tour resort in Taiwan, China
  • Location: located in the eastern part of Taiwan's Hualien county in the northwest
Ten Famous Great Canyons in China - Taroko Gorge

7. Yellow River Jin-Shaan Valley-黄河晋陕大峡谷

From the source of Yellow River to upper reaches of Hekou town Togtoh county, Inner Mongolia, and from the lower and middle reaches of Hejin Yumenkou to peach blossom valley, although there also are gorge such as Longyang gorgem Jishi gorge, Liujia gorge and so many famous canyons, but they are all separated by a series of wide valley basin. Only the section from Inner Mongolia Hekou town to Shanxi Yumenkou forms the longest continuous valley in the main stream of the Yellow River - that is Jin-shan Grand Canyon. It is 725 kilometers, flowing through a total of 27 counties and cities with an area of 11.16 square kilometers.
In the Loess Plateau, the valleys are mostly 100 meters more deep, and its narrowest point is only 30 to 50m at Hukou Waterfall. 56% of the total sand carried by Yellow River is taken from this section. Literally, Yellow River becomes truly "Yellow” at this section.

  • Feature: a great canyon worth to see along the Yellow River
  • Location: located in between Yumenkou County in Shanxi Province and Hekou County in Inner Mongolia

Ten Famous Great Canyons in China - Jinshan Grand Canyon

8. Jinkou Great Canyon-金口大峡谷

The Jinkou Great Canyon is located on a dramatically rising section of the earth's crust in the eastern part of the Hengduan Mountain. Jinkou Grand Canyon starts from the west Wusi River and extents to the Jinkou River, spreading throughout the Jinkou River District in Sichuan. With a totally length of 30km, the widest site of this canyon is less than 200 meters, while it is in a depth of 2,600 meters. This marvelous canyon and its stunning scenery was carved out by the Dadu River, which originates in the northwestern Sichuan plateau, roaring and shrieking and rolling ceaselessly as it forms the landscape.

The elevation difference between the first and second steps of China's 'geological staircase' is greatest, and is predominantly composed of horizontally stratified hard dolomite. These factors make it one of the most classical examples of a Zhang valley and ravine on China's large rivers, characterized by near vertical slopes, a deep and narrow floor almost completely taken up by the riverbed.
  • Feature: a great canyon worth to see in Sichuang Province
  • Location: located at border bwteen Hanyuan County and Liangshanchuangan County, Yaan City, Sichuan Province, China

9. Taihang Mountain Grand Canyon-太行山大峡谷

There are diverse landscape, with total of gorge landscape, waterscape, mountain, stone, tree view, 44 places of historic interest, and more than 400 attractions in Taihang Mountain Grand Canyon. Taihang Grand Canyon is not only charming natural scenery, human landscape is also interesting. The culture is very deep here, Confucius story, two fairy story have a long history. Taihang Mountain Grand Canyon National Forest Park is located in the east of Huguan county area between the two provinces of Shanxi and Henan, north from Hugaun 30 kilometers from the county.
The people of the east of the Shandong, Henan can go from Henan Anyang Linzhou or Xinxiang Huixian County Baligou scenic area.
  • Feature: One of “China’s best ten grand canyons”
  • Location: located between Shanxi and Henan junction
Ten Famous Great Canyons in China - Taihangshan Valley

10.Tianshan Grand Canyon-天山大峡谷

Tianshan Grand Canyon is really worthy of sightseeing, scientifically exploring and ancient civilization studying. Tianshan mysterious canyon combines with deep, remote, static as a whole that people who are personally on the scene all praise it. Grand Canyon is composed of reddish-brown vast mountain group, uyghur called "Keziliya” means red cliff, actually it is formed by one hundred million years of wind and rain erosion, flash flood scouring, is rare natural dry land places of scenic spot in China. This area is surrounded by mountains on three sides and average altitude is 2020 meters with average temperature of 4-6.
  Ten Famous Great Canyons in China - Tianshan Kuqu Valley
These are the top 10 most famous great canyons in China.  In these places, you can feel the majestic beauty of nature.

Recommended China Tours

Beijing, Xian, Shanghai

From $965

Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Shangri-la, Shanghai

From $2684

Beijing, Datong, Pingyao, Xian, Shanghai

From $1346