Luke’s Hostel is located in the Middle portion of Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡), an hour’s walk (or 20 minute drive) above Walnut Garden Village (核桃园). The full name is Ancient Luke Youth Hostel (古道栌克青年旅舍), abbreviated as “Luke’s” or “Luke’s Hostel” on this website. For specific directions on reaching the hostel, please see the last section below.
|Region: Tiger Leaping Gorge
|Location: Walnut Garden Village
|Altitude in Meters: 2,360
Located at 2,360 meters, Luke’s provides the highest lodging and dining in the Walnut Grove Village area of the gorge. As such, the views are superb. The hostel provides a convenient starting point for the path to Haba Village (哈巴村) via the Luke-Haba Route (卢克-哈巴路线().
Lodging options compare favorably with other guest houses in the gorge. The dorms and ensuites are basic and inexpensive, at least by Western standards.
Website (may be offline): www.WalnutGardenHostel.com (English)
Phone: 135-0887-9892 (Chinese only)
Owner Zhao Yin (赵银) grew up in the building, becoming intimately familiar with all the scenic treasures of the gorge. Mr. Zhao tells how he and his father ranged throughout the gorge when tigers still roamed and hunted their preferred prey of yak. The danger was real—tigers occasionally attacked and killed people. They no longer pose a threat since their extinction in the 1990s.
The place used to be called Walnut Garden Youth Hostel, but the name was registered to someone else, forcing Mr. Zhao to change the name. On signs here and there around the gorge, it still goes by the old name.
Bamboo Forest Path
Mr. Zhao built and maintains a rugged trail through Dashengou Canyon (大深沟) known as the Bamboo Forest Path (竹林小路). Descending the path to Tina’s Guest House (中峡国际青年旅舍) takes 1½ hours, but you’ll likely take longer to savor the views, cascades and waterfalls. You can hire a guide at Luke’s, which inexperienced hikers are advised to do because of the rugged nature of the path (small children should not attempt it).
Getting to Luke’s Hostel
There are three ways to arrive at the hostel. The Bamboo Forest Path offers the most scenic approach.
1. Luke’s Hostel Via Bamboo Forest Path
The hike from Tina’s Guest House to Luke’s Hostel takes 2½ hours, with 400 meters of elevation gain. Cascades and waterfalls in Dashengou Canyon add spice to the adventure. The ledges and exposure are too challenging for small children and a guide is recommended for inexperienced hikers. For complete details read the Bamboo Forest Path page.
2. Luke’s Hostel Via Approach Road
Note: Road construction has changed the intersection shown in the photo. The boulder with information about the hostel may have been removed.
From Tina’s Guest House, walk or drive the Tiger Leaping Gorge highway northeast toward Walnut Garden Village. After 1½ kilometers turn left, where a large sign announces Luke’s Hostel, 3.2 kilometers up the paved side road. Signs and arrows along the road indicate the way. Higher up, a signposted path provides a shortcut to the hostel. If walking, plan on 1½ hours with an elevation gain of 350 meters.
3. Luke’s Hostel From Sean’s Guest House
Walnut Garden Village is located two kilometers to the northeast of Tina’s Guest House. Sean’s Spring Guest House (山泉客栈) is one of the better-known guesthouses there. Immediately on the left side of Sean’s, steps lead up to a rough path. The path may be poorly marked, and you will inevitably end up on the approach road described above. You can follow the road all the way to Luke’s or watch for the shortcut. The hike from Sean’s to Luke’s takes one hour, with an elevation gain of 370 meters.