Baiyang Falls are a beautiful set of waterfalls in Taroko National Park. The trail is only 2 KM long and is flat and paved with no steps. It is an easy and relaxing way to enjoy some of the best scenery in the park.
Taroko National Park is well known for its marble cliffs and canyons, and is also known as "The Marble Gorge." Millions of years ago, the rock we see today was sediment at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, but oceanic and tectonic pressure turned it into limestone, and later into marble. Later the Eurasian plate was uplifted where Taiwan is today, and a gorge was cut out of the limestone thanks to the Liwu River.
Taroko means "human being," from the Truku tribal language. Originally the Tupido Tribe settled in the area of what is now Tianxiang Taiti mesa. They built the Tupido Tribe Trail which was only 30 cm wide, and resided there until they were massacred by the Japanese in 1914. In 1917, the Japanese expanded the original trail made by the Tupido Tribe to 1.5 M and forced aboriginal tribesmen to carry goods along the trail to the east coast. This is now the Zhuilu Old Trail. Currently only 3km of the trail is open to the public. The Japanese created a national park in the Area in 1937, which was disestablished by the ROC in 1945, and then reinstated in as a national park in 1986.
The road to Baiyang Waterfall was created by the Taipower Company in an effort to build a hydropower reservoir in Taroko Gorge. However the project was not completed, to protect the natural scenery in the area. The roads and tunnels left over from the project now make up the current trail, to what would normally be an arduous hike through impossible terrain.
Baiyang Waterfall is 220 meters high, and the highest waterfall in Taiwan to fall off one sheer cliff.
How to get there:
By Car: From Taipei, Take National Highway 5 to Yilan and then drive on the Suhua Highway 9 to Hualien. A few miles before Hualien City, the gorge will be on your right. Keeping going until you reach the Baiyang Waterfall hike about 20 KM up the road.
By Train: Take the train to Hualien station, and from there you can rent a scooter or car, or take a tour bus to the gorge, and get off at Baiyang Waterfall station.
For more travel information see here.
Map: Please see below:
We have only been to Baiyang Waterfall once. It is a little far up the canyon so we usually never get to it after a long day at Taroko.
Video of the falls above.
3:52 PM we arrived at the parking lot and began our walk.
There are restrooms here, but not on the trail.
Small trail from the parking lot up to the main road.
Rock fall area above.
There is a small sidewalk next to the tunnel where you can walk safely to the waterfall.
View of the valley down below.
3:57 PM we entered the main tunnel.
4:04 PM we exited the main tunnel.
And we were welcomed by some amazing scenery.
View of the river here.
View up the river.
Bring a helmet, flashlight, and beware of snakes.
And we saw a ton of sparrow nests along the trail.
Introduction to the local foliage.
This trail is wheelchair friendly. The whole way is paved.
More mountain views.
The skies were beautiful.
Another view of the mountains.
Looking down at the river below.
More of the Marble canyon below.
Slot Canyon below.
4:19 PM, we made it .95K.
Here there is a wooden platform and some seats.
Introduction to the local wildlife.
View from the platform here.
View up the canyon.
4:24 PM, we make it to the next tunnel.
View inside the tunnel.
4:26 PM, make it to the next tunnel.
View down river.
You could take a nasty fall here.
4:27 PM make it into another tunnel.
View from the middle of the tunnel.
Another air hold.
Finally make it out of the tunnel.
View of the mountains here.
Looking up the trail.
Looking back down river.
4:34 PM, we make it to this interesting rock.
Hundreds of layers of limestone under the ocean overtime made this rock.
Looking at the river below.
Marble canyon below.
View of the trail ahead.
Water Curtain Cave is still 2.1 Km away.
Going further down the trail.
Rock slide prevention above.
View of the river below.
Looking back down river.
Some ropes leading somewhere here?
View up the canyon.
Amazing cliff coming out of the tunnel.
Coming closer to the waterfall.
Red Maple tree.
Looking closer at the Maple tree.
Beware of rock falls.
Rock fall protections.
More beautiful rocks.
4:50 PM, make it to this tunnel.
View inside the tunnel.
Coming out of the tunnel.
First view of Baiyang Waterfall, simply beautiful.
Closeup on the waterfall.
View of the pool below.
Suspension bridge and another waterfall.
Marble rock in a stream.
Looking up river.
Double waterfall and suspension bridge.
Looking back where we can from.
4:57 PM, we made it to the suspension bridge.
View from the suspension bridge.
Closeup on the second waterfall.
Looking back at Baiyang Suspension bridge.
"Standing here, you can hear the thunderous sound of the rushing water. At this point the Taxijili River river bed 's height drops quite sharply, forming a small waterfall and rapids. The impact of the powerful water flow on the rocks produces mist and whitewater. If the sun comes out there's a chance of seeing rainbow over the waterfall. The appearance of a waterfall and rapids on the Taxijili River is closely connected to the rock strata below. Unlike the area of the funnel of Nine Turns, and Swallow Grotto where the ground rock is a thick layer of marble, the rock strata under Baiyang Trail are a mix of black schist, green schist, Phyllite, Metachert, and marble, each having different properties and also affected by water erosion to different degrees. The rock above the small waterfall is metachert which has relatively good water erosion resistance, while the rock below is green schist , more easily eroded buy water. After the passage of time, the erosion of the rock by the contract flow of water created the waterfall and rapids. The terrain is a reflection of the rock in an area, diverse rock strata create a carried landscape."
View of the rapids here.
Another view of the pool.
View below the bridge.
Looking down river.
More photos of the waterfall lookout area above.
5:12 PM, we enter the next tunnel toward the curtain waterfall.
View looking down
Going through the tunnel.
Entrance to the cutrain waterfall.
5:15 PM, made it to 2.1 KM.
We then learned that things were about to get wet. We had no rain gear, and were not prepared. Luckily a couple there gave us their rain gear and I went in for some photos, but my shoes got soaked.
The entire tunnel is leaking!
This is the water curtain, a waterfall inside a cave.
Better photo of the curtain.
Photo taken with phone. It was really hard to take photos here.
Mor photos of the water curtain above.
5:34 PM, we make our journey back.
"Mountain Cave Water Curtain"
"In the dark tunnel, clear, cold water cascades from the roof of the funnel like a white water curtain, making a deafening sound. This is Water Curtain Cave. The cave was actually formed by accident, when a road was being built to facilitate the construction of the Liwu River Hydroelectric Station, when the tunnel was built an aquifer in the rock was accidentally hit, causing ground water to gush from the tunnel roof and create this special water curtain scene. As well as admiring the beauty of the water curtain you can also view a thick layer of lime on the rock wall. This is travertine that has been formed after the long-term accumulation of the Calcium carbonite in the spring water that flow across the rock walls. The spring water that gushed form the cracks in the rock has impacted the cracks in the rock in the tunnel for many years, leaving the tunnel susceptible to rick falls, so care should be taken while you enjoy the view."
Going back through the same tunnels.
Massive sheer rock face.
View up river.
Another view down river.
Closeup of rivers.
Another look down.
5:44 PM back to this tunnel.
And as it was getting dark we saw this group of youngsters come up the trail.
5:52 PM, back to this view.
6:07 PM, made it back to the main tunnel.
In total we travelled 4 KM in about a two hours and twenty minutes.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more of our blogs on Hualien to come!
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