The Baiyang trail is a pretty easy hike. The trail is fairly flat, and is well maintained as far as the Baiyang Waterfall, which is about 2 KM's from the trailhead. (Actually there are several waterfalls at this location) Continuing on, about 300 meters past the waterfall, you will find the first water curtain tunnel. (where it "rains" inside) This tunnel is now closed and is blocked by a locked gate to prevent people from entering. (There is concern that this tunnel is not stable, and may collapse)
However, for those of you brave enough to cheat death, it is possible to hop over this gate. (Which I have done before) Be prepared to get wet if you enter this tunnel, though....
The trail continues to another water curtain tunnel, and then finally to the "Small Tunnel of Nine Turns". I have never ventured past the 1st water curtain tunnel, so I can't say what the trail condition is past this point.
Note: Be sure to bring a flashlight, as you will pass through a couple long unlit tunnels on this trail.
The two narrowest, and most scenic, sections of the gorge are Yentzukuo and the Tunnel of Nine Turns. The easiest way to view this section of the gorge is to park at the snack bar, which is about 1/2 Km past Yentzekuo and walk back along the walk path which is next to the main road.
There used to be a large Indian head rock formation in this area, but unfortunately it was knocked down into the river by a road crew that was trying to install a new bridge. (The bridge also plunged to its untimely demise)
Mysterious Valley is one of the best places in Taroko Gorge to cool off on a hot summer day. Along the path that is notched into a mountain side, there are many places for swimming or wading in the clear water mountain stream.
Also, Mysterious Valley has been rated as one of the top spots in the area for an afternoon Heineken/Cohiba excursion by the local expats. (There are worse things in life than cooling off in a clear mountains stream with a cigar and beer in hand...)
The trail ends at some old wooden buildings (Sanchienwu) about 4 KM's from the trail head, but for the more adventurous, it connects to another trail, which heads uphill to a couple of aboriginal villiages. (Tali and Tatung)
This area can be crowded on summer weekends, but I found that as you head up stream, the crowd quickly thins out. (Most of the locals hang out on the first KM of the path or so...)
This is pretty much the center of tourist activity in the gorge. Once you drive past Tienhshiang, the tour buses rapidly dissipate.(which is a good thing...)
There is a lot to do in this area. There are a few hiking trails in the area, including the Houran Pavilion Trail, the Paiyang (Waterfall) Trail, and also a walking bridge over to a Buddhist Pagoda and Temple.
I would recommend taking one of the hikes in this area, followed by a hot spring soak at Wenshan, if you visit Tienshiang.
The Tunnel of Nine Turns is the narrowest, and most scenic section of Taroko Gorge. This is one stop that you should not miss when visiting Taroko National Park.
The old cliff hanger road is closed to traffic, and is now used as a walking path for the throngs of tourists that pass through this area.
This is one of the few easily accessible natural hot springs in Taiwan. Good place to go and have a few beers and smoke a Cohiba or two. (Although my cardiologist does not recommend such activities)
There are a couple pools here. Two big pools for soaking and one smaller one pool for the full boil treatment...
Note: Be careful when you walk down the trail to the hot springs, as the steps on this path are steep and slick...
This is not the original Shrine. Look 30 meters to the right of the building, under the 1000 ton pile of rocks, and you will find the final resting place of the original "Eternal" shrine.. (Taroko can be an unforgiving place)
For you hikers, there is a short hiking trail that goes straight up hill from the shrine to a pavilion and then another pavilion and then over a suspension bridge to a temple. (total trip is about 1.5 KM's)
For you non-hikers there is a path down to the river where you can cool off and have a couple.
The shrine is one of the most photographed images from the gorge and offers splendid views.
It's a nice place to chill out, and there is a pleasant 1 mile short trail close to here.
This shine is to pay tribute to the ones who lost their lives building the road. It is a great place for taking pictures