One-Day Hike in Taroko Gorge

2014年3月12日 星期三

       The Liwu River cuts through the Taroko Gorge and makes the gorge famous for it vertical valley. In additional to the gorgeous view in the gorge, Taroko are also renowned  for its hiking trails. If you would like  to enjoy an one-day trip in Taroko, you can find some useful information in the following indroduction.
Zhuilu Trail
        There are lots trekking trails in Taroko Gorge. It is a pity that visitor come to Taroko but only stay on the highway.  The following 4 routes are most featured one-day trails. It is easy to have an one-day hiking in Taroko Gorge. There are bus stops at the entrance of these hiking trails. The hiking could be flexible. If you have only one hour, you could walk along Tunnel of Nine Turns. If you have 7 hours, you could hike along Zhuilu Trail. 

        Google works with Taroko National Park to provide street view of these trails. You can see the view of these trails from the google  maps in the bottom of this blog. Before you go hiking,please check the trail condition in order to make your hiking smoothly.

Tunnel of Nine Turns
        Swallow Grotto Trail was the old road of HWY 8 which weaves in and out the cliff. . When you go along the pedestrian  of the Tunnel of Nine Turns, you can see the green river and  majestic river clearly. The river is like a sharp knife splitting out the gorge.
        Swallow Grotto Trail is the easiest accessible hiking trail in Taroko. Almost all visitors will have a walk ere. The distance is only 1400m, There are bus stop at both sides of the tunnel. Therefore, you don't need to be rush.The entrance of Tunnel of Nine Turns is at Swallow Grotto (燕子口), which is also the entrance of Zhuilu Old Trail.(錐麓古道)
      Because of the vertical cliff, there may be falling rocks. In order to keep your safety, Taroko National Park provide free helmet at the entrance.

         Baiyang Trail was constructed by Taiwan Power Company in order to develop hydroelectric power in the 1970s. The entrance is located 500m west of Tienshiang Bus Stop. There are 7 tunnels along the trail. At the end of the trail is a waterfall curtain tunnel. When you go through the waterfall curtain tunnel, you can see a see a green mountain view.There are raincoats provided by other visitors if you want to go in to the tunnel. However, you need to prepare a flashlight because the tunnel is dark. You can also prepare a pair of slipper. 

Trail along Baiyang Trail
Waterfall Curtain Tunnel at the end of Baiyang Trail

Shakadang Trail
     Shakadang trail is along Sakadang river, and Shakadang trail is closest to  the river among 4 trails. Therefore, you can see the clean water and beautiful rock marble folds.You can enter Sakadang Trail from the headquarter of Taroko National Park by going through the Sakadang Tunnel, or you can enter by taking the shuttle bus to Sakadang Bridge.

      Visitors can hike until 3D Cabin. Although the trail is almost flat, it takes about 4 hours to go and return. 

        When you start you hike along Tunnel of Nine Turns from Swallow Grotto, you can find there is a line across the cliff in front of you if you look up. It looks like a road. However, it is hard to believe since you can not image how people constructed the road on marble cliff with hammers and drills over 100 year ago.  
Zhuilu Bridge, Swallow Grotto
        The original trail, Hehuan Crossing Trail, started from Wushe to Taroko. In order to control the aborigines in the mountain area, Japanese widened the width of the trail from 30 cm to 1.5 m to carry cannon and military equipment. The construction was finished in 1917. 
        Zhuilu Old Trail,between Swallow Grotto(east) and Cimu Bridge(west), is part of the Hehuan Crossing Trail. The most breathtaking section of Zhuilu Old Trail is Zhuiliu Cliff, which is 500 m above the Liwu River and 500 in length. There are some regulations you need to notice if you want to go to Zhuilu Old Trail

       You need to apply 2 kinds of permits if you want to hike along Zhuilu Old Trail. Ecological permit can be applied online if there are Taiwanese citizens hiking with you. If there is no Taiwanese citizen in your group, you can download the application form from the entrance application and apply by e-mail. It takes 1~3 working days to review your application. Be noted that the Emergency Contact Person should be a Taiwanese when you fill the application form. The capacity limit for the permit is 60 in weekdays and 96 in holidays. You can check the loading status when you apply .
        Another permit is issued by the policy department for security reason. The permit can by applied online as well if there are Taiwanese citizens hiking with you. If not , you can apply at the policy station which is next to the head quarter of Taroko National Park. It takes only a few minutes to fill the form in the policy station.
(2) Hiking Routes
      Since you can not camp overnight on the trail and the trail is open between 7am~6pm, Taroko National Park provides 2 choices for hiking.You can hike from Cimu Bridge to Swallow Gratto (10.3KM). The route takes about 7 hours and you should enter Cimu Bridge between 7am~9am:

        Cimu BridgeZhuilu Police StationCliff Police StationBadagan Police StationSwallow Grotto

        Another hiking route start from Swallow Grotto and return from Cliff Police Station(3.1KM for one way). It takes about 5 hours to finish. You should enter Swallow Grotto between 7am~10am.

      Swallow GrottoBadagan Police StationCliff Police StationBadagan Police Station → Swallow Grotto       

View Taroko Hike in a larger map

Itinerary Suggestion

         For the transportation, since the train between Taipei and Hualien is hard to book,you can use combo ticket if you cannot book Taroko Express or Puyuma Express.
        If you want to stay one night in Taroko, you can choose the hotel in Tienshiang. Most of places of interests are between Tienshiag and Swallow Grotto and there is a nature hot spring under the river.  If you want to hike Zhuilu Trail from Cimu Bridge to Swallow Grotto(10.3 KM),  staying one night at Tienshiang will make it easier to arrive Cimu Bridge before 9 am. There is luxury Silk Place Taroko in Tienshian. There are also Tienshiang Catholic Church or Tienshiang Youth Activity Center if you have budget constrain. 

41 則留言 :

  1. hi, thanks for sharing all the information and tips. I read about your combo tickets from another post. Is it still valid? (because the post was from last year). I want to go to Taroko George from Taipei. I read that Xincheng is the closest train station to the park, but I also read that there're not so many buses coming from there to Taroko. I rely 100% on public transport so I want to make sure of everything :D.
    About the scenic trails in Taroko: no more tourist shuttle buses mean that I can't stop at the entrance of each trail but have to find other ways to get there, is it right?
    Also, what is your suggestion if I want to go from Taroko to Hehuashan? I want to hike the main peak or east peak but not sure which is more convenien. I also check that I dont need permits for these 2 mountain hiking trails.
    Last question :D: my last stop is Tainan. From Hehuanshan is it possible to go to Tainan by bus?
    thank you very much!

  2. Sorry for replying late.
    1.Combo Ticket
    The combo ticket is stall valid. If you don;t mind transferring, combo ticket is much suitable for those who want to go to Taroko Gorge
    2.Shuttle Bus
    Hualine Bus still run the shuttle bus. The bus interval is about 1 hour, You can find the time table from my another post. You can also take use of the itinerary suggest to catch up the shuttle bus from Xincheng Railway Station. There are bus stops at each trail entrance, including Sakadang Bridge, Swallow Grotto and Tienshiang.
    3. If you want to hike Hehaunshan, I suggest you take bus from Taichung and stay on night at Song Syue Lodge.
    4.You can take bus or train to Tainan.But the key question is the order since you need to go to Hualine from Hehuansan

  3. Hi. Thanks for your informative blog on Taroko Gorge. My family & I are visiting Taiwan in Dec 2015 and planning to go to Taroko Gorge. I would like to know if the Combo ticket is still valid and shuttle bus still run from Xincheng Railway Station.

    1. Yes, both are available.
      But the timetable of train and shuttle bus may change. Please confirm again before your journey.

  4. Hi!
    Since a TRA tickets are very difficult to book. May I ask you about a combo ticket? Can I have a one day trip in Taroko by using a combo ticket? I mean if I leave from Taipei - Luodong by bus about 06.25 am., then go to Xincheng by local train, can I have enough time to travel at Taroko, and go back to Taipei in the evening. Could you please suggest me how can I check a time table of a local train

    Thank you very much

    1. If you take 6:25am bus, you can arrive Taroko around 9:30 am
      You may have about 8 hours before sunset.
      If you don't feel tired, 8 hours is enough.
      Please refer to another blog" Booking Train Tickets to check timetable.

    2. Remember, if you want to go hiking, leave enough time for returning.

  5. Hi

    can I trek alone in Taroko? I intend to stay there for 2-3 days. Thanks

    1. Lots hikers and clear signs along those one-days trails mentioned above. Not difficult to trek alone. Remember to keep a eye on the time.

  6. Hi Sullivan.

    We plan to go to Taroko Gorge via combo ticket. I would just like to confirm my understanding and ask a few questions.

    1. Buy "combo ticket" at Taipei City Hall Bus Station or at Taipei Bus Station (Taipei Main Station) for the 8am trip. Route: Taipei --> Luodong

    2. Board bus from station and Alight at Luodong (end stop for all buses).

    3. Take train, Luodong-Hualien Route, from Luodong Bus Station and alight at Xincheng (Taroko) Station.

    4. Take local Hualien Bus using EasyCard and alight at the Swallow Grotto to go to the Tunnel of Nine Turns.

    5. Follow/ Hike Swallow Grotto Trail (1400m) which will take about an hour.

    6. Take local Hualien bus using EasyCard back to Xincheng Station.

    7. Buy Combo Ticket from Xincheng Station.

    8. Take train from Xincheng Station and alight at Luodong Station.

    9. Take bus from Luodong Station back to Taipei.

    Besides the Swallow Grotto Trail, what else can we visit in Taroko Gorge that would fit in one day?

    We are 2 adults with kids ages 10, 13 and 14. Is the trail wet/ slippery? We're going first week of April.

    We've always wanted to go to Taroko but was hesitant until I saw your detailed blog.

    Do you arrange local tours? ��

    - Net

    1. Just finished my NY trip. Sorry reply late. Your itinerary is ok. I know there are hiking guide of Zhuilu Trail and Private Taxi. Since your the public transportation there is simple, there may not be local tours that meet your needs.
      April is the best season for hiking.Not wet, not hot. The trail is under great maintenance and wont be slippery.
      Some other attractions for your reference.
      (1) Taroko NP headquarter: Informative education for kids about how Taroko Gorge was formed
      (2) Sakadang: Hiking along Sakadang River. The trail is flat. You dont need to walk all the trail. You can check the time of next bus and estimate the time you should return.
      (3) Baiyang Trail. Between Tianxiang bus stop and the entrance of Baiyan Trail, there is a river hot spring. Try the hot spring after hiking.

    2. Thank you so much Sullivan for the info.

  7. Hi Sullivan! I am a solo traveller planning to hike Taroko (including Zhuili Old Trail) in one day. Can i do so via public transport?

    1. Yes, you can. But there are something you should knows
      (1) You need to apply ecological permit and policy permit
      (2) You need to arrive the east entrance before 10am

  8. Hi,

    If I want to hike from Swallow Grotto and end at the Zhuliu police station, is it possible for me to take a taxi back to Taroko visitor center?

    1. Hard to find a taxi but you can take bus to the center from the entrance of Zhuiliu train.

  9. Hi,

    I will be visiting Taipei with a friend in two months and we were looking to go do the Zhuiliu trail by ourselves. I did some research about how to get to Taroko National park and how the admission was working. I found your information about the combo tickets very easy to understand and it will be very useful to us. I also know that we need two permits to hike this trail, but my problem is that I do not know anybody that is Taiwanese that I could write in the "person of duty" section in the park entry permit. Any idea of how I could solve this problem or find someone to do that for me without having to pass through a day-trip organization that charges a lot?


    1. Try to contact your B&B host, especial the B&B in Hualien.

  10. Can you provide google map details (start and end points) for XiaoZhuilu (Little Zhuilu) trail?

    1. My Place

  11. Hi, May I know is it possible to do Zhuiliu Old Trail in end January ? Thx in advance.

  12. Hi Sullivan,

    You say that there are bus stops on both sides of the Swallow Grotto Trail tunnel. May I know what buses go to these stops please? Thanks!

  13. Hi Sullivan, is the permit only required for zhuiliu old trail and not the other hikes

    1. There are lots trail in Taroko. If you ask the trail listed above, Zhuilu is the only one that requires permits.

  14. hey! thanks for writing this.

    1)As I am planning to bring my family to Taroko during CNY (17/2), i heard that road traffic can be pretty bad. So, in this case, do you still recommend combo instead of train to Hualien?

    2)I was also thinking, if i just choose to hike a particular trail (e.g swallow grotto/jhuliu), the one day pass is not necessary as I could easily take a taxi using NT1200 one-way)?

    3) is swallow grotto more like walking on a tar road instead of nature mud trail?

    1. 1) Combo ticket is a backup alternative. Try to book train tickets first.
      2) But you could easily take the one-day bus using NTD 250. If fact, you you choose a trail to hike, the round bus ticket is around NTD100.
      3) Grotto trail is a tar road.

    2. thanks! for the combo method, do you know if there will be any schedule changes for the train and bus? Also, can you confirm that this method can ONLY be done at the counter, and NOT in advance, even during CNY? cause i am worried, it will be gone when i reach the counter at 6am to purchase. thanks!

    3. Also, is it possible for people to go straight to the counter and buy the combo ticket (return) in advance? Or it is only limited to be bought on that day?

    4. Since the tickets are non-reserved ticket, prebooking is redundant. The counter only sell the combo tickets for the same day. The tickets are unlimited issued and not many people are waiting in the queue cause most people use easycard.
      I have used combo tickets for dozens times, no problem all.

    5. Ok thanks. But i am concerned that if i have a specific time to get onto capital bus (as early as 0625am), then people can ONLY buy it at 6am in the morning on the same day?
      i was referring to the website below to check the bus timetable:

    6. The timetable is almost correct.
      Most people use easycard/ipass as city bus. They don't need to buy the ticket. Combo tickets is a special ticket. Only tiny part of people buy combo tickets.

  15. Hello Mr. Sullivan,

    I have questions on buying the combo ticket from Hualien train station:

    1. Is the combo ticket from Hualien-Taipei only available in the Hualien station? It's not available in Xincheng station for example?
    2. If I buy a combo ticket from Hualien station to take me back to Taipei but wanted to drop by Chongde Station first to visit Quingshi Cliff, I should buy a separate regular ticket from Hualien-Chongde, right? And use the combo ticket from Chonge onwards?

    Thank you.

    1. 1.It Is available in Xincheng(Taroko) Station as well. You can find more details about the combo tickets at another post
      2. You can drop by at one station in the midway and take another train to your destiny according to the ticket rules. However, the problem is no public transportation between Chongde Station and the cliff for the 2.4KM

    2. 2 options for your reference when you arrive Chongde Station
      1. Hitchhike
      2. Go to near beach

    3. Thanks for the response!
      I am actually planning to just hike from Chongde Station to the cliff. I think I can manage the 2.4km walk. :)

    4. Bring a flashlight with you. Cars drive so fast.There is also a tunnel before the observatory platfor.

    5. Hello Mr. Sullivan,

      Got back from my 4-day Taiwan trip almost 2 weeks ago. I would like to thank you for all the advice on how to go to Taroko/Hualien using the combo-ticket. I was able to save a significant amount of money and I enjoyed commuting in the bus/train together with the Taiwanese locals. I was also able to hike from the Chongde bus station up to the Quingshi Cliffs and back, which was really dangerous but also fun. Taroko is really beautiful and I would like to go back to Taiwan soon and visit this place again. :)

  16. Wonderful information and thank you for sharing and answering all our questions, Mr Sullivan! :)

  17. Hi Sullivan,
    Me and my 2 friends are planning to hike Zhuilu trail on May11. I am trying to apply park permit for Zhuilu Trail in advance through the website provided. But I have a difficulty fill out applicant's info (the form reject my passport number in the ID block form - said wrong ID(ARC) in red color). Do you have any idea why did this happen? We are 3 Thai women and don't have any Taiwanese in our group. I use my b&b address and fill in the form. Hope you can help out :) BTW, your blog is very informative and useful. Thank you in advance. Best, Ja


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