Taroko Gorge National Park is a Taiwanese gem known for its jaw-dropping landscapes. Towering marble cliffs pierce the sky, verdant forests cloak the landscape, and cascading waterfalls serenade the senses. This majestic Taroko mountains isn’t just a feast for the eyes. It’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, boasting a network taroko trails that cater to every adventurer’s spirit. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a nature enthusiast dipping your toes into the world of exploration, Taroko Gorge has something for you.

However, with a massive 92,000 hectares to explore, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. There’s simply too much to see in one trip. But fear not, we designed this blog post as your one-stop guide to conquering Taroko Gorge on your terms. We understand your time is precious, so we’ve handpicked some of the most iconic Taroko trails. Our selection caters to a range of experience levels. From beginner-friendly strolls to challenging hikes that test your limits, we’ll help you find the perfect path to ignite your sense of wonder in Taroko Gorge.

Beginner Taroko Trails

For those seeking a leisurely stroll and breathtaking views, Taroko Gorge National Park offers a variety of beginner-friendly trails. Beginner trails, often categorized as 景觀型 or “scenic trails,” cater to a wide range of hikers, including families, children, and the elderly, providing an ideal introduction to hiking for those new to the activity. People charaterizes scenic trails by their open nature, smooth surfaces, and gentle slopes. Moreover, safety features and informative signs are also abundant, making them ideal for families with young children and visitors of all ages and fitness levels. Unlike more strenuous hiking and mountaineering trails, most hikers can complete these paths in half a day, requiring only light gear. This makes them perfect for those who want to experience the beauty of Taroko Gorge without exerting themselves too much.

Tunnel of Nine Turns Trail 九曲洞步道

tunnel of nine turns trail

Source: settour.com.tw

Don’t miss the Tunnel of Nine Turns Trail in Taroko Gorge National Park! This short and easy 700-meter trail packs a punch with stunning views. It’s perfect for families and anyone seeking a scenic walk (it takes about 30 minutes).

The trail starts at the west end of the Tunnel of Nine Turns, a series of tunnels carved by the Liwu River. Walk through these tunnels for breathtaking views of the gorge walls and rushing river below. Afterward, the trail emerges onto a walkway clinging to the gorge side. Here, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views: towering cliffs, lush forests, and the Liwu River.

Be aware that the Tunnel of Nine Turns Trail, while easy to follow, can get crowded in summer. Parking can also be a challenge since there’s no parking lot at the trailhead due to narrow roads. Take a motorcycle, bus, or park elsewhere and catch a bus to the trailhead.

If you need help getting to Taroko, check out our detailed Taroko transportation guide.

Swallow Grotto Trail 燕子口步道

swallow grotto trail

Source: smiletaiwan.tw

Spanning approximately 1 km, the Swallow Grotto Trail is a prime spot for enjoying the breathtaking views of the gorge. The Swallow Grotto Trail probably gives the biggest bang of your buck. It can be completed in just 30 minutes one way but also offers an impressive array of vistas.

The trail lets you experience sights you can’t see from a car. This includes Mountain Moon Bridge, the dramatic marble gorge rocks, pothole formations, plants clinging to vertical cliffs, flitting swallows, and the impressive Chieftain Rock. The trail gets its name from the swallows that love the area. The long-term erosion by the Liwu River and groundwater created numerous “potholes” in the limestone walls, which attract these birds for feeding and flying around.

To see the Indian Chief Rock (resembling a chief with its feathery-looking vegetation), head to the observation platform at Chin-heng Park. Parking is available at the Zhuilu Old Trail toll booth or Chin-heng Park. But remember to arrive early, especially on weekends, to find a spot.

Shakadang Trail 砂卡礑步道

taroko trails

Source: smiletaiwan.tw

The Shakadang Trail, a 4.1-kilometer journey for adventurers in Taroko Gorge, offers captivating scenery at a comfortable 60-meter elevation. This moderately challenging hike takes 4-6 hours to complete round trip. Dramatic canyon vistas, crystal-clear streams, intricate rock formations, and verdant forests unfold around every bend.

Originally named the “Mystery Valley Trail,” this Taroko Trail carves a path along the creek’s cliffside, echoing the cultural heritage of indigenous settlements that once thrived here. Named after an upstream Truku village, it’s an engineered marvel known for its accessibility. Stunning emerald pools and geological wonders dot the trail, which is also a haven for diverse wildlife thanks to the clear waters and dense foliage. Viewing platforms provide opportunities for rest and observation, making this a favorite among visitors and a paradise for eco-tourists. If a full trek seems daunting, you can turn back at key points like the Five Houses or the large water pipe crossing for a shorter adventure.

If you love mountains and outdoor activities, you cannot miss out Taiwan’s Sun Moon Lake:

Baiyang Trail 白楊步道

taroko waterfall and trails

Source: travelerluxe.com

The Baiyang Trail is a one of the most unique Taroko trails that offers a chance to experience tunnels, waterfalls, suspension bridges, and even a water curtain cave – all while being accessible to everyone. This inclusive, barrier-free trail is suitable for wheelchairs and strollers, making the park’s beauty a reality for visitors of all abilities.

The trail sits at a comfortable elevation of 480 meters and stretches over 2.1 kilometers. Plan for a round trip that takes about 2-3 hours to complete. As you journey from the entrance towards the Water Curtain Cave, be prepared to pass through seven tunnels. Having a flashlight or using your phone’s light is recommended for these sections. The cave itself can have high water volume and be quite chilly, so packing a raincoat is a good idea for added comfort.

Finding the trailhead might be a bit of a surprise – it’s tucked discreetly inside the Ming Tunnel at the 168.6-kilometer mark on Route 8. Luckily, there’s parking nearby. Your adventure begins as you emerge from the Ming Tunnel, located about 500 meters from Tianxiang. The first leg involves navigating a 380-meter tunnel, which might feel daunting for those who dislike enclosed spaces. Don’t worry though, the trail itself is flat and easy to walk. After traversing the remaining six tunnels of varying lengths, you’ll be rewarded with the trail’s highlight – the Water Curtain Cave. This natural wonder features cascading water forming a refreshing “curtain” at the cave ceiling, offering a welcome respite for hikers.

Green Water Trail 綠水步道

taroko mountains

Source: vacation.eztravel.com.tw

If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the crowds of Taroko Gorge, look no further than the Green Water Trail. This hidden gem offers a tranquil immersion in nature, away from the more popular routes.

This lesser-frequented path holds historical significance as part of the ancient Cross-Hehuan Mountain Trail. Used by the Truku tribe for communication between villages, it was later expanded by the Japanese during their campaigns in the area. Today, the Green Water Trail remains well-maintained, allowing you to experience both natural beauty and a glimpse into the past.

The trail sits at a comfortable elevation of 410 meters and stretches for a manageable 2 kilometers. Plan on spending 1-2 hours to complete your hike. Conveniently, the trailhead is located right next to the Green Water Geology Exhibition Hall. This is a fantastic opportunity to enrich your experience by learning about the fascinating geological formations of Taroko Gorge. Explore exhibits showcasing rock folds, faults, joints, and the unique mineral structures that shaped the landscape.

Moderate Taroko Trails

The moderate hiking trail (健行型步道), offer a more challenging terrain that demands a reasonable level of fitness. These trails typically feature steeper inclines, uneven surfaces, and occasionally rocky or root-strewn paths. They present hikers with a moderate physical challenge. While not as strenuous as advanced trails, they require a moderate level of endurance and agility. Visitors can expect to encounter various natural obstacles along the way, such as ascents and descents that may test their balance and stamina.

While moderate trails offer more challenging terrain with steeper climbs, uneven surfaces, and rocky sections, the rewards are truly worth the effort. Adventurers are greeted with stunning views, secluded natural wonders, and a tremendous sense of accomplishment upon reaching the finish line. To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, proper preparation is key. Sturdy footwear, plenty of hydration, and possibly even trekking poles for the more demanding parts are all essential for navigating these trails with confidence.

Dakalun Trail 得卡倫步道

taroko stairs

taroko views

Source: hl-net.com.tw, taroko.gov.tw

Calling all avid hikers! The Dakalun Trail offers a challenging climb that will test your limits. Brace yourself for a nearly 1,800-step wooden staircase ascending steeply into the sky. This 1,300-meter trail, with an elevation gain of 300 meters, will take about 3.5 hours to complete round trip. It’s a workout for your legs, heart, and overall stamina, so be honest about your fitness level before embarking. Make sure to pack plenty of water and snacks to keep your energy levels up throughout the climb.

Located next to a large parking lot on the west side of the northern Taroko Plateau, the Dakalun Trail is named after the Taroko region’s indigenous Dakalun tribe. While challenging, the trail itself is well-maintained and winds through beautiful low-altitude broadleaf forests. The reward? Breathtaking panoramic views!

Take breaks at scenic viewpoints with wooden benches and informative signs. You might catch glimpses of landmarks like the Bell Tower on the Changchun Shrine Trail, the Zhuilu Cliffs, the Taroko Visitor Center, the Jinwen Bridge, the mouth of the Liwu River, and even Fushih Village. The Dakalun Trail also connects to the Dali-Datong Trail, which we’ll explore next.

Dali-datong Trail 大禮大同步道

taroko trails

Source: klook

The adventure doesn’t stop at the top of the Dakalun Trail! It seamlessly connects with the Dali and Datong Trails, opening doors to further exploration. Imagine reaching secluded indigenous villages, conquering the picturesque summit of Mount Liwu, or even completing a thrilling loop route that connects with the Three Houses and Shakadang Trails.

However, this extended journey of Taroko trails is for experienced hikers only. The distance stretches over 15 kilometers and requires a higher level of fitness. Additionally, obtaining a mountain entry permit beforehand is crucial.

Reaching the Dali Trail from the top of Dakalun allows access to the remote villages of Dali and Datong. While a day trip to Dali Village is possible, tackling Datong Village in a single day is a much tougher feat. Most visitors opt for a two-day adventure, spending a night in either Dali or Datong before descending the next day. The Dali Trail itself presents a unique challenge with uneven terrain and steep inclines, often requiring hikers to use both hands and feet for navigation. Due to the demanding nature of the trail, pacing yourself and realistically assessing your abilities are crucial. Electrolyte supplements like salt tablets or energy drinks are also recommended to prevent cramps during this challenging trek.

Challenging Taroko Trails

Ready for an adventure that pushes your limits? Taroko National Park offers 17 challenging trails, including the legendary Zhuilu Old Trail and the summit climb of Hehuan Mountain. These hikes are no joke – expect remote locations, rugged terrain, and high altitudes, with many trails reaching above 3,000 meters.

The harsh and unpredictable mountain environment demands careful preparation. Some trails require overnight stays due to their length and remoteness, so pack comprehensive gear and supplies. Don’t go it alone! Hiking with experienced companions or guides familiar with the terrain is highly recommended, as solo hiking is strongly discouraged due to the inherent risks. Challenge yourself, but prioritize safety first!

Zhuilu Old Trail 錐麓古道

zhuilu old trail

zhuilu old trail

Source: o2.tours, beclass.com

Step back in time and hike a piece of history on the Zhuilu Old Trail. Originally built by the Japanese during World War II as part of a larger mountain route, it’s now one of the best-preserved sections. Perched at a dizzying 700-800 meters elevation, the trail clings to sheer cliffs. Imagine a narrow path painstakingly carved by hand out of the marble surface! Gaze up at towering 700-meter cliffs that seem to scrape the sky, then peer down a 500-meter drop where the Liwu River winds like a ribbon below and the highway looks like a thread.

The full 10.3-kilometer trail takes 7-8 hours to complete, but difficulty is considered low to moderate. Keep in mind that sections are often closed due to rockfall or maintenance, and visitors may only be able to explore the first 3.1 kilometers. Located next to the Swallow Grotto Trail, the Zhuilu Old Trail is famous for its breathtaking views and heart-stopping drops. The Japanese even nicknamed it a “crab-like crawl along the wall” where conversation is impossible!

Despite no longer requiring a mountain entry permit, the Zhuilu Old Trail requires advanced online park registration due to its limited capacity. With only 96 weekday and 156 weekend visitors allowed, it’s one of Taroko National Park’s most coveted hikes. This is also the park’s only paid trail, with an entrance fee of NT$200 for adults and NT$100 for children. With its challenging terrain and unforgettable views, the Zhuilu Old Trail is a must-do for experienced hikers with a thirst for adventure.

Zhuilu Old Trail is selected as one of the best hikes in Taiwan. There are more than Taroko trails in Taiwan, check out the other amazing hikes here: Hiking in Taiwan – 7 Best Trails to Visit.

Green Water Wenshan Trail 綠水文山步道

taroko trails

Source: hiking.biji.co

The Lushui Wenshan Trail is not for the faint of heart. This challenging trek features steep inclines that will have you using both hands and feet to navigate. If you’re new to mountainous trails, this one might be best to skip for now. But for seasoned adventurers, conquering Lushui Wenshan will take your mountaineering skills to the next level and leave you with a serious sense of accomplishment.

The trail offers flexibility – you can choose to enter from Lushui and exit at Wenshan, or vice versa. Sitting at an elevation of 600 meters and stretching over 5.5 kilometers, the hike typically takes 5-6 hours to complete. Prepare for steep climbs, dramatic cliffs, and a diverse range of plant and animal life along the way. The trail also winds past remnants of three former Taroko tribe villages, offering a glimpse into the area’s rich history. And the reward for your effort? Breathtaking panoramic views, especially stunning in autumn and winter when the mountains come alive with vibrant foliage.


In conclusion, Taroko National Park offers a diverse range of hiking trails suitable for hikers of all skill levels. For beginners seeking gentle and accessible paths, the park provides a selection of landscape-oriented trails that offer scenic views and easy walking conditions. These trails are perfect for families, seniors, and anyone looking for a leisurely stroll amidst nature’s beauty. Moderate trails, featuring slightly steeper terrain and longer distances, provide a step up in difficulty for those looking to challenge themselves further. These trails offer a more immersive experience into the park’s natural wonders while still being manageable for most hikers with average fitness levels.

Finally, for the adventurous and experienced hikers craving a more demanding trek, Taroko National Park boasts a selection of challenging trails that traverse rugged terrain, steep inclines, and breathtaking vistas. These trails offer a true test of endurance and skill, rewarding those who conquer them with a profound sense of accomplishment and a deeper connection to the park’s wild and majestic landscapes. Whether you’re a beginner, a moderate hiker, or seeking a challenging adventure, the range of Taroko trails has something to offer for every outdoor enthusiast.

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