In our opinion, Taroko Gorge is THE must-do for anyone visiting Taiwan. Despite coming to this national park over a dozen times, we are always awestruck by its natural beauty every time we come here and it’s fair to say that no visit to Taiwan is complete without a trip to Taroko Gorge.
The Eternal Spring Shrine was built to honor those who died during the construction of the Central Cross- Island Highway. There’s a waterfall that passes under the shrine and is very picturesque. Well worth stopping by, even if you don’t do the short walk to the shrine.
This short walk along the old road offers some great views of the gorge but it can get a bit crowded with the tour buses. Simply wait for them to go and then enjoy the tunnels on your own.
Anyone visiting the gorge absolutely must stop off and take a short walk around this magnificent spot. The trail gets its name from the rocky holes in the cliff faces that were once homes to swallows. The walk follows the old road and has some of the most stunning scenery in the whole national park.
This short and gentle trail is well worth doing. It begins just to the west of the Heliu Campsite and finishes 2km later at the coffee shop at Heliu. The trial passes through a small, narrow tunnel. The light from your mobile phone is usually good enough to get you through.
Closed for many years, the naturals springs were finally reopened in 2011. The pools of spring water are set at the bottom of the valley right next to the river and it is possibly the most scenic place you could ever have a hot bath in!
Known in the past as the Mysterious Valley, this gentle trail follows the Shakadang River towards the 3D Cabin (9km round trip). There’s no need to do the whole route and 30 minutes of walking is more than enough to see the gorgeous colours of the river. Whilst swimming here is technically prohibited, it’s rare not to see people cooling off in the water during the summer months. Just keep an eye out for heavy rain.
The Baiyang Waterfall Trail is currently closed due a large landslide that covered the tunnel entrance to this awesome hike. The falls were briefly accessible via the old trail that went up from Tianxiang and joined the tunnel on the other side, but the final bridge that connects to the viewing platform for the falls has collapsed and so it’s best to give this one a miss for the time being.
The trail can be done in either direction but it’s slightly easy going to start at Wenshan. It’s a fairly tough 4-5 hour hike and requires a mountain entry permit which can be applied for at the police station in Tianxiang.
The beginning of this trail is so spectacular that everyone visiting the park should walk the first 2km to the second suspension bridge. After that the trail climbs steeply up another 2km the lotus pond. A good hike to get away from the crowds on weekends.
By far our favourite hike in Taroko Gorge, the Zhuilu Trail was cut into the cliff side and is only 80cm wide in places. The views of 500m drops to the side are outstanding. Don’t worry, there are plenty of chains to hold on to! The trail starts at the Cimu Bridge and ends at the Swallow’s Grotto. Both a mountain and park entry permit are required.
Or if you’re interested in exploring what the gorge has to offer as an individual group, contact us at Taiwan Adventures!