The trails of Taroko National Park provide a number of routes for the hiker to retreat
from the main highway. Whether you are on the sections of the trail with outstanding
scenery or along the quiet by ways, you can find an endless variety of trees, flowers,
birds and insects. Along the Taosai River, for example, there are at least fifty
species of butterflies and seventy-five species of birds. The following trails do
not need a permit. To travel along the Central Cross-Island Highway visitors do
not need to apply a permit.
- 1. Shakadang Trail (4.4km/2.8miles to 3D Cabin) (round trip 8.8km/5.3
The trail entrance is near the park headquarters to the west. Through the tunnel
of Shakadang about 1km(0.6mile) from the headquarters, there is a Shakadang bridge
connect to it. On the right of the bridge head, take the staircase down to the trailhead.
The round trip takes about 3-4 hours walking time to 3D Cabin. The quiet banks of
Shakadang River offer an excellent location for admirers of insects, birds and butterflies.
(Shakadang means "molar" in Taroko's language.) Please turn around at the 3D Cabin.
The trail beyond 3D Cabin requires an entry permit to enter Dali and Datung.
- 2. Changchun Trail (Eternal Spring Shrine Trail) (1.35km/0.85mile)
The Eternal Spring Shine is a pleasant detour from the main road about 2km from
the park entrance. The trail is only 2km a loop from the trailhead behind the shrine
to the small Zen monastery (Changuang Temple) at the far end. Visitors are reminded
to take care on the steep stairs and to beware of falling rocks. Please mind the
slippery floor while wet.
- 3. Swallow Grotto(Yanzikou) Trail(1.37km/0.83mile)
The swallow Grotto trail features marble gorge, potholes, the famous rock formation “Indian Head Rock”, and geology. This trail used to be the old road. This area is susceptible to rockfalls after heavy rains and earthquakes. Wearing a hard hat is advised.
- 4. Tunnel of Nine Turns Trail (1.9km/1.2mile) (Jiuqudong)
The trail starts from either one of the east or west entrances to the Tunnel, at
the Central Cross-Island Highway about 14km away from the east entrance .It takes
about 40 minutes to walk one way. Along the trail one can enjoy the marble gorges, the rivers,
the cliffs, tunnels, and the ecosystem of the vegetation growing amidst the rocky
terrain. What's more, one can also observe the phenomenon of ascending air current.
This trail is one of the cream of Taroko Gorge's trails.
- 5. Lushui-Heliu (2km/1.3miles)trail
The trailhead is to the right of the park office at Lushui(white building set above
the road ). This trail is a leisurely 45 minutes walk to Heliu. The path is sequestered
in the shade of a variety of trees. There is a small suspension bridge spanning
a verdant hollow followed by a narrow tunnel. Those portions of the trail traversing
steep cliffs are securely fenced in. Near the end of the trail is a dirt road leading
up the mountain to the left. The upper portion of this road is closed because of
landslides. To continue on to Heliu, turn right down the road to the highway. From
Heliu, follow the highway back up to Lushui(about 0.5km). Please bring a flash light. Visitors are advised to bring a flash light.
- 6. Baiyang Waterfall (2.2 km/1.2miles) (round trip 4 km/2.4miles)
Seven hundred meters up the highway from Tianxiang is a tunnel carved into the cliff
at the roadside. The tunnel is about 380 meters long, and the trail continues from
the far end. An hour walk brings you to Baiyang Waterfall. This trail exhibits splendid
examples of the geology and morphology of the marble gorge. The path is wide and
well maintained with a comfortable pavilion near the waterfall. Shuilien Tunnel,
beyond Baiyang Waterfall, is closed. Please do not enter.(This section of river
is the main Liwu River; the section of river the highway follows out from Tianxiang
is only a tributary).
(Please bring a flash light.)
- 7. Huitouwan (Switchback) -Lianhua Pond (3.7 km/2.2miles) (Round
trip 7.4km/4.4 miles)
Huitouwan is a 180 degree turn in the highway about five kilometers up the road
from Tianxiang. The trail starts behind the bus stop at Huitouwan. About 20 minutes
up the beautiful ravine is the Zhumei suspension bridge spanning the Taosai River.
Cross the suspension bridge and continue for another 1 1/2 hours to Lianhua Pond.
Please remember to bring food and plenty of water. The trail requires 2.5-3 hours
on foot with steep stairways. Please be aware of your personal physical condition.
- 8. Chongde Trail (320m/20mints) (640m round trip)
The trail is about 9km(about 15 minutes by car)from Taroko park headquarters. The
trail starts at the parking lots of Chongde tunnel north entrance (at 176.4km Hwy.
No 9) at Su-Hua highway. It takes approximately 20 minutes to seashore. Sights to
be seen include the coastal plants, pebble shoreline, the Qingshui Cliff, and the
beautiful Pacific Ocean.