The Taroko National Park

Taroko National Park is located not far from the city of Hualien in Taiwan. The city of Hualien is almost sleepy compared to Taipei. The best way to reach Hualien from Taipei is by train.

Much information worth knowing about traveling to Hualien can be found on the city’s tourism website of the city.  You can choose the language right in the circled drop-down menu to English.

Worth knowing about Taroko National Park

Taroko National Park is the oldest national park in Taiwan and is located in the east of the island. Its area is about 920 square kilometers.

The highest point in the park is Mount Nanhu at 3,742 meters in altitude. The lowest point on the Liwu River is just above sea level. These large differences in altitude also lead to the fact that the flora and fauna in in different parts of the park partly massively different.

Driving to Taroko National Park from Hualien

Before the Hualien train station, you will find (Looking at the train station) a low orange building on the right. Tickets for the bus shuttle service are sold there. The bus ride from here to the park takes just under an hour. The bus departs just under every hour.

The day ticket costs NT$250  per person or NT$400 for two days. With this it is cheaper than single rides and on top of that you can drive around for free in the park. between the stops. Walking between the trails along the road walking along the road, because often there is no stop for several kilometers and the way more comes and the way along the busy road is no fun.

Departure times Hualien Station towards the park

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Hualien Railway Station 06:30 07:00 08:30 08:40 09:10 10:00 10:50 11:10 12:00 13:20 13:50 14:10 15:10
Qixingtan 07:13 08:43 09:23 10:13 11:23 12:13 13:33 14:23 15:23
Xincheng Railway Station 07:33 09:03 09:43 10:33 11:50 11:43 12:33 13:53 14:50 14:43 15:43
Taroko Arched Gate 07:30 07:38 09:08 09:40 09:48 10:38 11:55 11:48 12:38 13:58 14:55 14:48 15:48
Taroko Visitor Center 07:32 07:40 09:10 09:42 09:50 10:40 11:57 11:50 12:40 14:00 14:57 14:50 15:50
Shakadang 07:34 07:41 09:11 09:51 10:41 11:51 12:41 14:01 14:51 15:51
Buluowan 07:55 09:25 10:05 10:55 12:12 12:05 12:55 14:15 15:12 15:05 16:05
Yanzikou (Swallow Grotto) 07:50 08:03 09:33 10:02 10:13 11:03 12:14 12:13 13:03 14:23 15:14 15:13 16:13
Lushui 07:58 08:13 09:43 10:15 10:23 11:13 12:27 12:23 13:13 14:33 15:27 15:23 16:23
Tianxiang 08:00 08:15 09:45 10:20 10:25 11:15 12:30 12:25 13:15 14:35 15:30 15:25 16:25

Trails and viewpoints in the park

The trails have changed since 2018, so even the information in the official map that comes with the bus ticket is outdated. For a current overview of the trails, check out the park’s website here. On the you also get information whether they are currently open, since it is especially after are open, since it can especially after typhoons or heavy rains to closures can come.

The trails are divided into three categories: Scenic, Hiking and Mountaineering Trails.

Scenic Trails in Taroko National Park

The Scenic Trails designate the easiest hiking trails in the Taroko National Park. They are well developed, have only a low level of gradient and there are always opportunities to rest. They are therefore also suitable for less physically fit hikers suitable.

Xiaozhuilu Trail:

Connects the Shakadang Trail to the Visitor Center. Lots of stairs and a small suspension bridge. Best to walk from the direction of the Visitor Center to go down to the Shakadang. Up is less fun.

  • Length: 650 meters

Shakadang Trail

The trail begins at the Shakandang bridge, a conspicuous red bridge with lion heads on the railing. The trail winds along a riverbank and passes partly through cliffs and partly through the forest. In May many flowers bloom here. The trail used to be called Mysterious Valley Trail. The trail is not a loop trail. On the way back you go back the same way as on the on the way back.

  • Length: 4,100 meters long
  • Duration: 3-4 hours (there and back)
.

Huide Trail Trail

The trail is part of an old highway and begins before the North exit of the Huide Tunnel. The highlights of this trail are the view over Pacific Ocean  and the Qingshui Cliffs. In addition, you can see the Shigong River and the Northlink Railway.

  • Length: 750 meters
  • Duration: 30 minutes

Swallow Grotto. (Yanzikou) Trail

  • Length: 1,372 meters
  • Duration: 10-30  Minutes

Jiuqudong (Tunnel of Nine Turns) Trail

  • Length: 700 meters
  • Duration: 30 minutes (round trip)

Baiyang Trail

  • Length: 2100 meters
  • Duration: 2 hours (round trip)

Chongde Trail

  • Length: 233 meters

Taroko Terrace Trail

The trail leads once around Taroko Terrace, on which which the main park administration building and parking lot are also located.

  • Length: 1007 meters
  • Duration: 30 minutes

Hiking Trails in Taroko National Park

The Hiking Trails in Taroko National Park are more challenging Trails that require a certain level of physical fitness.

Dali-Datong Trail

The trail leads to the towns of Dali (about 2.5h) and then to the village of Datong (2.5h). The trail is not well signposted. Take necessarily a map with you. A guide is recommended. Datong is not a stop of the shuttle Shuttleservice, you have to organize the return transport yourself.

  • Length: 9,400 Meters
  • Duration: 6-7 hours

Changchun Shrine Trail

Round trail connecting some sightseeing places: Changuang Temple, Bell Tower, Taroko Tower , Guanyin Cave, the Eternal Spring Shrine, and the Changchun Bridge

  • Length: 2,000 meters
  • Duration: 1-1.5 hours (round trip)

Huoran Pavillion Trail

The trail leads to a pavilion on the mountain with beautiful view. The trail consists mainly of stairs.

  • Length: 500 meters
  • Duration: 2 hours

Mountaineering Trails in Taroko National Park

Some of the trails ascend to altitudes of over 3000 meters, which can already lead to the first symptoms of altitude sickness in some hikers. These trails are longer, more demanding and less developed than those mentioned so far. They require a good level of fitness.

The longer trails or even hikes lasting several days, must be Be registered with the park administration. Many of these seem to be limited to a certain Contingent of people per day to be limited, so that the registrations must be sometimes must be made over a month in advance. You can find more information on the official Park website.

Returning to Hualien

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Tianxiang 08:40 09:03 10:00 10:40 11:40 12:50 14:00 14:10 15:00 16:40 15:50 17:00 17:55
Lushui 08:42 09:05 10:02 10:42 11:42 12:52 14:02 14:12 15:02 16:42 15:52 17:02 17:57
Yanzikou(Swallow Grotto) 08:52 09:18 10:12 10:52 11:52 13:02 14:15 14:22 15:12 16:55 16:02 17:12 18:10
Buluowan 14:23 17:03
Changchun(Eternal Spring) Shrine 09:02 09:28 10:22 11:02 12:02 13:12 14:37 14:32 15:22 17:17 16:12 17:22 18:20
Taroko Visitor Center 09:10 10:30 11:10 12:10 13:20 14:43 14:40 15:30 17:23 16:20 17:30
Taroko Arched Gate 09:12 09:40 10:32 11:12 12:12 13:22 14:45 14:42 15:32 17:25 16:22 17:32 18:25
Xincheng Railway Station 09:17 10:37 11:17 12:17 13:27 14:50 14:47 15:37 17:30 16:27 17:37
Qixingtan 09:37 10:57 11:37 12:37 13:47 15:07 15:57 16:47 17:57
Hualien Railway Station 09:50 10:40 11:10 11:50 12:50 14:00 15:50 15:20 16:10 18:30 17:00 08:10 19:25

Our conclusion about Taroko National Park

Taroko National Park is well worth a visit if you are are already in the area. We visited it during the Corona pandemic and were therefore fortunate that there were few tourists here. However you quickly realize that the facility is designed for large buses. We would recommend you to walk longer trails, because most of the tour groups are tour groups shy away from longer walks. For the you should make sure that you have the right equipment with you, or maybe even equipment with you, or maybe even invest in a guide, because in the hilly area in the hilly area the cell phone network is very poor.

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