Qutang Gorge is the shortest of the Three Gorges (8 kilometers). It is considered the most dramatic by many visitors. The river navigates through the gorge’s sheer, steep cliffs where the Meng Liang staircase from the Song Dynasty can be seen. Qutang Gorge starts at the White Emperor City in the west and ending at Daxi Stream in the east with a distance of 8 kilometers.
The width of the river in Qutang Gorge is reduced to 100 – 200 meters and the narrowest places are no more than a few dozen metros while the principal peaks on the banks are as high as 1,000 – 1,500 meters. The turbulent waters flowing in the deep gorge along a continuous line of peaks make a most magnificent picture. The rolling and roaring river bursts through the rock gate that towers over the water.
Although the Qutang Gorge is the furthest upstream of all the affected gorges, the impact of the Three Gorges Dam on the Qutang Gorge has been especially large. Many of the most famous and historically significant sites in the Qutang Gorge are located closer to the water level. In fact, even prior to the dam construction the water level would come close to many sites during the rainy season. The water has now effectively covered many of the most impressive and notable sites in the Gorge including the Ancient Pathway, Meng Liang’s Staircase, the Chalk Wall, and the cave within the Bellows Gorge.
What to See
Although Qutang Gorge is the shortest among Three Gorges, it is a wonderful natural landscape and cultural and art corridor. Kuizhou ancient city in the west of Qutang Gorge is center of the political, economic and cultural of Fengjie County today. The real site of Liubei entrusted his son to other people is shaded by ancient banyan tree, where shows how old was the ancient city; Yufu Pagoda, Dufu thatched cottage, and White Emperor City shows how profound its culture was.
Kuimen highlands, on either side of the south it was called “Baiyan Mountain”, the north called “Chijia Mountain”. The mountains sandwich river and face each other, and they rise straight from the ground and they are towering, majestic glory. The cliff is 500 meters high, river only hundreds of meters wide, but flow up to more than 50000 cubic meters per second. Because of the aqueous solution that containing iron oxide red adheres to the surface of weathering Chijia Mountain, the mountain stone is red, such as people topless, so named Chijia Mountain. Baiyan Moutain because of adhesion in aqueous solution on the rocks, mainly containing calcium and its color is like white salt, so named Baiyan Mountain (White Salt Mountain). In the bright sunshine, Chijia Mountain is slightly red, Baiyan Mountain is off-white.
Roaring Yangtze River flow into the gorge and meet imposing Kuimen. Mountains and peaks on both sides of Kuimen are steep, they rise from the ground and makes surging river become a thin belt, winding in the deep gorge. River here only one to two hundred meters wide, the narrowest place is only tens of meters; And on both sides, the main peaks can be as high as 1000-1500 meters. Deep gorge, rush river and endless mountains here constitute a very magnificent picture.
In the Yangtze River’s Baiyan Mountain, there is a piece of palisades that has different color from other places, which is showing pink, so it is called pink wall. On the pink wall, there are famous characters carved on the Qutang cliff. Among these carved characters, the more famous or can the larger, people can clearly see there are two carved inscriptions from the ship. One was written by General Sun Yuanliang “warship passed by and see Kuimen is magnificent in the world”, which showed the Qutang Gorge feature; the other one was written by the famous patriotic general Feng Yuxiang “step out of Kuimen and Mt.Wushan and beat the Japanese pirates” to encourage the anti-Japanese soldiers left Sichuan for war.
Travel Guide of Qutang Gorge
【Best time to travel Qutang Gorge】 spring and autumn is the best season to travel
【How to get to Qutang Gorge】 taking high speed hovercraft from Chongqing Chaotianmen Dock to Fengjie New County for 7 hours, and then transferring to public bus to White Emperor City.