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Active Adventures In Taroko National Park, Taiwan


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Agneta Ragland



Welcome to Taroko National Park, Taiwan’s hidden gem for adventure enthusiasts. Nestled in the lush mountains of Hualien County, Taroko offers a plethora of outdoor activities that will get your heart racing and your adrenaline pumping. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a thrill-seeking rock climber, or a nature lover in search of unique wildlife encounters, Taroko has something for everyone. With its stunning natural landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and rich indigenous culture, this national park is a haven for those seeking active adventures.


Traversing over 92,000 acres, Taroko National Park is known for its breathtaking canyons, roaring rivers, and towering cliffs. The park boasts an extensive network of well-maintained trails that cater to hikers of all skill levels, allowing you to explore its awe-inspiring beauty on foot. Beyond hiking, Taroko presents opportunities for river tracing, cycling, rock climbing, canyoning, and even whitewater rafting. Whether you prefer a leisurely exploration or an adrenaline-fueled excursion, Taroko has what it takes to satisfy your thirst for adventure.


As you navigate the park’s scenic trails, you’ll be captivated by the mesmerizing Taroko Gorge, a natural wonder carved out by the Liwu River. The gorge showcases stunning marble formations and lush vegetation, creating a surreal backdrop for your adventure. Along the way, keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife that calls Taroko home, including monkeys, deer, and a wide array of bird species.


But Taroko National Park isn’t just about the great outdoors; it also offers a glimpse into the indigenous culture of Taiwan. The park is home to the Taroko tribe, one of the indigenous groups that has inhabited the area for centuries. Explore their traditional villages, learn about their customs and traditions, and immerse yourself in their way of life. It’s a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the rich cultural heritage that thrives in this natural wonderland.


So, whether you’re looking to challenge yourself with a vigorous hike, seeking the thrill of scaling towering cliffs, or simply wanting to soak in the tranquility of nature, Taroko National Park is the perfect destination for your next adventure. Get ready to delve into a world of stunning landscapes, thrilling experiences, and lasting memories.


Hiking Trails in Taroko National Park

For avid hikers, Taroko National Park is a paradise of trails, offering a diverse range of landscapes and difficulty levels to suit every adventurer’s taste. From easy strolls to challenging treks, there is a hike for everyone to enjoy.


The Shakadang Trail is a great option for beginners or those seeking a more leisurely walk. This scenic trail follows the turquoise waters of the Shakadang River, meandering through a narrow canyon adorned with lush vegetation and impressive rock formations. As you wander along the trail, keep an eye out for the park’s unique and colorful butterfly species fluttering among the flowers.


If you’re up for a moderate challenge, the Baiyang Waterfall Trail is a must-try. This trail leads you through dark tunnels carved into the mountainside, providing an exhilarating adventure. Emerging from the tunnels, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Baiyang Waterfall, cascading down a towering cliff. Be prepared to get wet as you navigate the trail’s suspension bridges and encounter the refreshing spray of the waterfall.


For experienced hikers seeking a more strenuous trek, the Zhuilu Old Trail is an unforgettable experience. This steep and narrow trail takes you along the edge of vertical cliffs, offering jaw-dropping views of the Taroko Gorge below. As you make your way along the trail, you’ll feel a sense of awe at the sheer magnitude of the cliffs and the natural beauty that surrounds you. Due to its challenging nature, a permit is required to hike the Zhuilu Old Trail, so make sure to plan ahead.


Other notable hiking trails in Taroko National Park include the Lushui-Wenshan Trail, the Dali-Wenshan Trail, and the Yanzikou (Swallow Grotto) Trail. Each trail presents its own unique features and natural wonders, guaranteeing an unforgettable adventure.


Remember to come prepared with proper hiking gear, including sturdy footwear, sufficient water, sun protection, and insect repellent. Respect the park’s regulations and heed any safety warnings along the trails to ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience.


Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, Taroko National Park’s hiking trails offer a chance to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty while challenging your physical abilities. Embark on these trails and let the wonders of Taroko unfold before your eyes.


River Tracing Adventures

For those seeking a unique and thrilling adventure in Taroko National Park, river tracing is an activity that shouldn’t be missed. Also known as river trekking or canyoning, this adrenaline-pumping activity involves following the course of a river, navigating through its rocky terrain, and immersing yourself in its natural pools.


One of the popular spots for river tracing in Taroko is the Lushui Trail. This exciting trail takes you alongside the Lushui River, where you can leap from boulders into crystal clear pools, slide down natural water slides, and explore hidden caves formed by the river’s erosion. The Lushui Trail offers a thrilling combination of rock scrambling, swimming, and jumping, making it a favorite among adventure seekers.


Another fantastic option for river tracing is the Sanzhan River Trail. This trail brings you into the heart of the Taroko Gorge, where you’ll navigate through narrow passageways, climb over rocks, and traverse the river’s currents. Along the way, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the gorge’s towering cliffs and the rushing waters of the Sanzhan River. It’s an exhilarating experience that will leave you feeling connected to the raw power and beauty of nature.


Before embarking on a river tracing adventure, it’s essential to ensure you have the right equipment and skills. Wearing a wetsuit, helmet, and proper footwear is crucial for safety and comfort. It’s also advisable to go with a qualified guide who can provide guidance and ensure your safety throughout the activity.


Keep in mind that river tracing can be physically demanding and requires a good level of fitness. It’s important to assess your abilities and choose a trail that matches your experience and comfort level. As with any outdoor activity, always respect the environment, follow the rules and guidelines set by the park, and leave no trace behind.


River tracing in Taroko National Park promises an unforgettable adventure filled with excitement, natural beauty, and the thrill of conquering new challenges. So, gather your gear, immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes, and prepare for the exhilarating experience of river tracing in this remarkable national park.


Cycling Routes in the Park

If you’re a cycling enthusiast, Taroko National Park offers a variety of thrilling routes that allow you to explore the park’s magnificent scenery on two wheels. Whether you prefer leisurely rides or more challenging routes, there are options for every cyclist to enjoy.


One of the most popular cycling routes in Taroko is the Taroko Gorge Road. This scenic road takes you through the heart of the park, offering breathtaking views of the towering cliffs and the gorge’s winding Liwu River. As you pedal along the road, you’ll be surrounded by lush vegetation, cascading waterfalls, and the majestic splendor of the Taroko Gorge. It’s a truly mesmerizing experience that allows you to appreciate the park’s natural beauty from a unique perspective.


For a more challenging adventure, the Central Cross-Island Highway is a must-try. This route spans over 100 kilometers, taking you through the stunning landscapes of Taroko National Park and beyond. As you ride along the highway, be prepared for steep climbs, exhilarating descents, and breathtaking vistas that will reward your efforts. From dense forests to panoramic mountain views, this cycling route showcases the diverse and awe-inspiring beauty of Taiwan’s countryside.


If you’re looking for a more leisurely cycling experience, the East-West Bikeway is a fantastic choice. This flat and well-paved path runs parallel to the coast, allowing you to enjoy scenic ocean views as you pedal. The East-West Bikeway also provides opportunities to explore nearby towns and coastal attractions, such as Qixingtan Beach and Carp Lake. It’s the perfect option for cyclists of all levels who want to combine outdoor adventure with relaxation.


Prior to embarking on any cycling adventure in Taroko National Park, be sure to check the weather conditions and plan accordingly. Wear appropriate cycling gear, including helmets, and carry sufficient water and snacks to keep yourself hydrated and energized throughout the ride. Additionally, it’s important to be mindful of other park visitors, follow traffic regulations, and respect the park’s rules and guidelines.


Whether you’re seeking a thrilling cycling challenge or a leisurely ride immersed in nature’s beauty, Taroko National Park has the perfect route for you. Jump on your bike, hit the trails, and experience the incredible landscapes of this national park in a whole new way.


Rock Climbing Experiences

For those seeking an adrenaline-fueled adventure in Taroko National Park, rock climbing offers a thrilling and challenging experience. With its towering cliffs, unique rock formations, and stunning natural landscapes, the park provides a playground for climbers of all skill levels.


One of the most popular areas for rock climbing in Taroko is the Zhuilu Old Trail. This trail not only offers breathtaking views but also presents a unique opportunity for climbers to scale the towering cliffs that line the trail. As you cling to the rock face, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic vistas of the Taroko Gorge below, creating an unforgettable rock climbing experience.


Another notable rock climbing spot is Baiyang Waterfall. With its impressive vertical cliff face, climbers can test their skills and endurance as they ascend the challenging routes. The stunning backdrop of the waterfall adds an extra touch of beauty to the climbing experience, making it a must-visit for adventure enthusiasts.


It’s important to note that rock climbing in Taroko National Park requires experience and proper equipment. Whether you’re a seasoned climber or a beginner, it’s advised to go with a qualified guide who can provide instruction and ensure your safety throughout the climb. Additionally, be mindful of the weather conditions and check for any restricted areas or regulations before embarking on your climbing adventure.


For climbers who are new to the sport or looking to improve their skills, Taroko National Park also offers climbing schools and guided tours. These programs provide hands-on instruction and guidance, ensuring a safe and enjoyable climbing experience for participants of all levels.


Remember to respect the natural environment and leave no trace behind. Preserve the beauty of the rocks and cliffs for future climbers to enjoy. Take only memories and leave footprints as you conquer the heights of Taroko.


Whether you’re a seasoned climber or someone looking to try something new, Taroko National Park offers a thrilling rock climbing adventure. Push your limits, conquer the cliffs, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Canyoning Adventures

For the ultimate adventure in Taroko National Park, canyoning is a must-try activity that combines hiking, swimming, rappelling, and sliding down natural watercourses. With its rugged terrain and abundance of waterfalls, Taroko offers exhilarating canyoning experiences that will leave you feeling invigorated and in awe of nature’s raw beauty.


One of the top canyoning spots in Taroko is the Zhuilu Stream. This stunning watercourse takes you through narrow gorges, over cascading waterfalls, and beneath towering cliffs. As you navigate the stream, you’ll have the chance to swim in refreshing pools, slide down natural rock slides, and even rappel down waterfalls. It’s a heart-pounding adventure that will test your agility and push you out of your comfort zone.


The Jiuqudong (Tunnel of Nine Turns) is another exciting canyoning destination. As the name suggests, this adventure takes you through a series of tunnels with twists and turns, offering a unique canyoning experience. Within the tunnels, you’ll encounter rushing streams, slippery boulders, and breathtaking rock formations. The Jiuqudong provides an unforgettable journey into the depths of Taroko National Park, where you’ll feel like you’re exploring a hidden world.


It’s important to participate in canyoning with experienced guides who know the terrain and can ensure your safety throughout the adventure. Guided tours typically provide all the necessary equipment, including wetsuits, helmets, and harnesses. They will also provide instruction on canyoning techniques, allowing even beginners to enjoy this thrilling activity.


When canyoning in Taroko National Park, be mindful of the environment. Respect the natural surroundings, follow the rules and guidelines set by the park, and practice leave no trace principles. By treading lightly and preserving the beauty of the canyons, you’ll help ensure that this incredible adventure remains available for future generations.


Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or simply looking for a new and exciting experience, canyoning in Taroko National Park will take you on a wild journey through stunning landscapes and thrilling watercourses. Gear up, dive in, and get ready for an unforgettable canyoning adventure in this natural wonderland.


Whitewater Rafting

If you’re a thrill-seeker looking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure in Taroko National Park, whitewater rafting is an activity that will undoubtedly deliver. With its fast-flowing rivers and challenging rapids, Taroko offers an exhilarating whitewater rafting experience that will leave you soaked, adrenaline-fueled, and craving for more.


One of the popular spots for whitewater rafting in Taroko is the Liwu River. This majestic river cuts through the heart of the Taroko Gorge, creating thrilling rapids and breathtaking scenery along the way. Rafting on the Liwu River allows you to not only test your paddling skills but also immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes, surrounded by towering cliffs and cascading waterfalls.


Whether you’re a novice or an experienced rafter, there are options for every skill level on the Liwu River. Guided tours provide all the necessary equipment, including helmets, life jackets, and rafts designed to withstand the river’s force. Expert guides will ensure your safety and provide instruction on paddling techniques, allowing you to navigate the rapids with confidence.


For those seeking even more excitement, the Xiuguluan River offers advanced whitewater rafting opportunities. Known for its strong currents and challenging Class III and IV rapids, the Xiuguluan River provides an intense whitewater experience that will put your rafting skills to the test. This section of the river is recommended for experienced rafters who are looking for a thrilling adventure.


When embarking on a whitewater rafting adventure, it’s important to wear appropriate clothing and footwear that can get wet. Sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses are also recommended for sun protection. Prior to your trip, check the weather conditions, follow any safety guidelines provided by your guides, and be prepared for a wet and wild adventure.


As with any outdoor activity, it’s crucial to respect the environment and follow the principles of leave no trace. Ensure that you properly dispose of any rubbish and refrain from disturbing the natural habitats along the riverbanks. By practicing responsible rafting, you can help preserve the beauty of Taroko National Park and its rivers for future generations to enjoy.


Whitewater rafting in Taroko National Park offers an exhilarating and unforgettable adventure. So, gather your friends, strap on your life jackets, and get ready to conquer the rapids as you immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of this national park.


Wildlife Viewing Opportunities

Taroko National Park is not only a haven for adventure seekers but also a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. With its diverse ecosystems and lush forests, the park provides abundant opportunities to spot a wide array of animal species in their natural habitats.


One of the notable wildlife attractions in Taroko is the Formosan macaque, a type of monkey found throughout Taiwan. These playful and intelligent creatures can often be spotted swinging from tree branches or foraging for food near the park’s trails. Keep a respectful distance and observe their behaviors as they interact with each other, offering a fascinating glimpse into their social dynamics.


Deer are another common sight in Taroko National Park. The Formosan sika deer, known for its distinctive antlers, can be found grazing in meadows and forested areas. Keep a sharp eye out for these graceful animals as they blend seamlessly into the natural surroundings.


The park is also home to a variety of bird species, making it a prime destination for birdwatching enthusiasts. From colorful pheasants to rare migratory birds, Taroko offers a wealth of avian diversity. Bring your binoculars and keep an ear out for their melodic calls as you explore the park’s trails and lookout points.


Other wildlife species that can be spotted in Taroko include butterflies, reptiles, and amphibians. The park’s rich biodiversity provides habitats for a wide array of creatures, adding to the excitement of your wildlife viewing experience.


To increase your chances of spotting wildlife, it’s advisable to visit Taroko National Park during the early morning or late afternoon, when animals are more active. Move quietly and avoid sudden movements to avoid startling the wildlife. Remember to keep a safe distance and never feed or approach the animals, as this can disrupt their natural behavior and cause harm to both them and yourself.


Respecting the park’s regulations and guidelines is crucial to preserving the wildlife habitats. Keep noise levels low, do not litter, and stay on designated trails to minimize your impact on the environment and ensure the long-term conservation of the park’s flora and fauna.


Embarking on a wildlife adventure in Taroko National Park allows you to connect with nature on a deeper level and appreciate the natural wonders that dwell within the park’s boundaries. So, grab your camera, binoculars, and a sense of wonder, and get ready to immerse yourself in the fascinating world of Taroko’s wildlife.


Taroko Gorge Exploration

At the heart of Taroko National Park lies the magnificent Taroko Gorge, a geographical marvel that stretches over 19 kilometers and reaches depths of over 1,000 meters. Exploring this awe-inspiring gorge is an essential part of any visit to the park, offering a unique opportunity to witness its grandeur up close.


As you venture into Taroko Gorge, you’ll be greeted by towering marble cliffs, carved by the Liwu River over thousands of years. The sheer scale and dramatic beauty of the gorge are truly mesmerizing, making it a photographer’s dream and a sightseer’s paradise.


The Shakadang Trail is a popular route for exploring Taroko Gorge on foot. This scenic trail follows the turquoise waters of the Shakadang River, taking you through a narrow canyon adorned with lush vegetation and unique rock formations. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the surroundings as you stroll along the trail, marveling at the captivating natural beauty that unfolds before your eyes.


Another highlight of Taroko Gorge is the Eternal Spring Shrine. Built in memory of the workers who lost their lives during the construction of the Central Cross-Island Highway, this iconic shrine is perched above a cascading waterfall. Take a moment to appreciate the serenity of the surroundings and the symbolism of the shrine, as it stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the human endeavor.


For a more adventurous exploration, the Baiyang Trail is a must-do. This trail leads you through a series of tunnels, uncovering hidden waterfalls and breathtaking natural scenery along the way. As you navigate the dark tunnels, prepare to be mesmerized by the sights and sounds of nature that await you on the other side.


Seeing Taroko Gorge from a different perspective is also possible by taking a tour along the Liwu River. Hop aboard a boat and cruise along the river, allowing you to admire the imposing cliffs and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the surrounding nature. It’s a serene and memorable way to experience the grandeur of the gorge.


When exploring Taroko Gorge, it’s important to follow the park’s regulations and guidelines. Stay on designated paths, respect any safety warnings, and be mindful of the environment. Help preserve this natural wonder for future generations to enjoy by practicing responsible and sustainable travel habits.


Taroko Gorge is more than just a geological marvel; it’s a testament to the power and beauty of nature. Explore its wonders, immerse yourself in its grandeur, and allow yourself to be captivated by the sheer magnificence of Taroko’s crown jewel.


Indigenous Cultural Experiences

Immersing yourself in the rich indigenous culture of Taroko National Park is a journey that will deepen your understanding and appreciation of Taiwan’s heritage. The park is home to the Taroko tribe, one of the indigenous groups that have inhabited the area for centuries.


Visiting a traditional Taroko village provides a unique opportunity to learn about their customs, traditions, and way of life. Engage with the locals, who warmly welcome visitors, and gain insights into their cultural practices. Discover their intricate weaving techniques, observe traditional dances and music performances, and taste their delicious cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients.


Participating in a hands-on workshop is another way to immerse yourself in the Taroko indigenous culture. Learn the art of crafting traditional handicrafts, such as bamboo weaving, pottery, or wood carving, under the guidance of talented artisans. Not only will you gain new skills, but you’ll also deep dive into the cultural heritage of the Taroko people.


Exploring the indigenous history and traditions of Taroko can also be done through guided tours and cultural centers. Take a guided tour with indigenous guides who will share stories and legends of the land, offering a unique perspective on the natural and cultural treasures of the park. Visit the Taroko National Park Headquarters Museum, which showcases artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays that highlight the indigenous history and cultural significance of the area.


Understanding and appreciating the customs and traditions of the Taroko people involves respect and sensitivity. When engaging with the indigenous community, it’s important to follow their protocols and practices. Seek permission before taking photographs, listen attentively, and ask questions to foster a meaningful cultural exchange.


By embracing the indigenous cultural experiences in Taroko National Park, you not only support the preservation of their traditions but also contribute to the overall appreciation and recognition of Taiwan’s diverse cultural heritage. It’s an opportunity to forge connections, gain new perspectives, and create lasting memories as you delve into the authentic cultural tapestry of Taroko.



Taroko National Park offers a world of adventure, where stunning natural landscapes and exhilarating activities combine to create unforgettable experiences. From hiking the scenic trails and river tracing through rugged canyons to cycling along picturesque routes and scaling towering cliffs, Taroko has something to offer every adventure enthusiast.


But Taroko is more than just an adrenaline playground. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in the wonders of nature, witness diverse wildlife in their natural habitats, and appreciate the rich cultural heritage of the indigenous Taroko people. Exploring the breathtaking Taroko Gorge, wandering through traditional villages, and participating in indigenous cultural experiences provide unique opportunities to connect with the land and its people on a deeper level.


As you embark on your adventure in Taroko National Park, it’s essential to respect the environment and follow the guidelines set by the park. Leave no trace, practice responsible travel, and be mindful of the delicate ecosystems and wildlife that call Taroko home.


Whether you’re seeking a thrilling escapade, a peaceful retreat into nature, or an immersive cultural experience, Taroko National Park delivers. Its diverse offerings and stunning beauty will ignite your sense of adventure and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.


So, pack your hiking boots, strap on your helmet, and open your heart to the wonders that await you in Taroko. Let the beauty of the landscape, the rush of adrenaline, and the richness of the culture envelop you as you embark on an extraordinary journey in this natural paradise.