The Toroko National Park in Taiwan has some of the best gorge scenery out of any hiking I have done. Just like if you visit Norway you must see the fjords, the same can be said about a visit to Taiwan and going to Toroko.
It has stunning mountains and gorges and all covered in a lush jungle forest. There are many different hikes in the region ranging from an easy 1 hour stroll to several hours of heading deeper into park, including a very steep cliffside hike not for the faint hearted.
If you are spending a few days in Taipei Toroko Gorge can be done as a day trip, although in order not to rush it would be better to stay overnight.
These photos will give you a good idea of what to expect to see there if you want to visit.
Toroko National Park Hiking
Buddhist temples and pavilions are scattered throughout the park.
There’s a really cool hike that takes you to a tunnel that has water flowing through it, like an indoor waterfall. Not only is it beautiful but also really cool to take a dip under to chill out from the outside heat on a hot summers day.
It’s a very photogenic place.
There are so many small and larger hiking trails, some going through forest, others by the side of cliffs descending into the gorge,and fun suspension bridges to get you from one side to the other.
The trees flow across the top of the mountains with wildlife such as butterflies and monkeys inside.
But be careful, there are dangers lurking there as well such as spiders and poisonous snakes. On one hike that I nicknamed “the spider trail” there were spiders every 10 metres or so in the trees by the side of the trail. In one tree alone there were several spider webs.
For those with arachnophobia beware!
Buddhist statue shining in the bright daylight against the lush green background.
You can find some beautiful waterfalls cascading from jungle covered mountains.
You can descend if careful to the river in some parts.
Some of the trails may be closed to typhoon weather damage such as rockfalls, so check in the excellent visitors centre at the entrance to see what you can do.
Visiting Toroko National Park
If you want to visit there are 3 options.
The best way to see them is to stay in the nearby small city of Hualien and rent a scooter or car (scooter better) and day trip into the Toroko National Park, stopping whenever you want to get off and explore the trails as you like.
Also staying in Hualien you can take a bus into the park (get the day pass) and jump between hikes with the bus. If doing this take the bus to the very end stop and do the waterfall tunnel hike first and then make your way back the 30 kilometres or so back to the entrance.
I can recommend also hiking between some of the stops as the road is not so busy and you get the beautiful views. You can also easily hitch a short ride between the hiking spots. Get a very early bus to really get a days worth out of the area.
The other option is to do a day trip from Taipei either on a tour or with renting your own car. If doing this option leave early. It’s much better to stay in Hualien for the night though.
Either way even if you are in Taiwan for just a short time you should make the effort to get to the Toroko Gorge. A really cool hiking place. If you want to know more about some other outdoor adventures to have in Taiwan take a look.
A good place to check for backpacks for hiking is at the BackPack Hack
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