Wuliaojian in Sanxia District is one of the most popular hikes in greater Taipei. It features rope climbs, rock scrambling, and rock climbing, and has some amazing views of southern Taipei. Wuliaojian is everything but wuliao.
Wuliao Jian stands at 639 meters above sea level, and the top features five peaks in the shape of a clenched fist. The climb requires ropes for some parts, and one peak called Qiaobi Xong Peak requires a 30 meter rock climb up a near sheer vertical cliff face.
From the top you can enjoy views of Taipei such as Sanxia and Shulin Districts of New Taipei.
Currently the hike is very popular for local people especially on the weekends.
Distance: 5.5 km,
Elevation gain: 530 meters
Time needed: 3-5 hours
When to go:
Go on a sunny day when the rocks are dry, because some rock climbing is involved.
Also consider going early in the morning or on a weekday, because the trails can get really clogged with crowds of people during the day on weekends.
Gloves because you will need to slide down lots of ropes and you do not want to get rope burn. Also bring good hiking shoes and lots of water.
How to get there:
By Car/Scooter: From Sanxia Old Street, travel south on provincial highway three, and then keep left at the fork with provincial highway 7乙. The trail head is right in front of a small shop called Yuli Store (玉里商店).
By Bus: From downtown Sanxia, take bus F627 40 minutes south to Hezuo Bridge Station, which is the start of the trailhead.
Please see below:
I have been to Wuliaojian once at the request of a loyal fan who loved my video of Huangdidian, a simialr trail in Shiding District of New Taipei. He insisted that I come to Sanxia to film this hike with my drone. And I did. You can see the video below.
If you don't want to watch the video, you can check out a 360 degree spherical panorama of the top of the mountain below.
So my actually this fan who wanted me to come to Sanxia is none other than fellow foreign blogger Josh Ellis. You can check out his blog here.
We met up at the bottom of this creek near the Yuli Store. He recommended that I buy gloves for the trip so I would not get rope burn. Also he told me not to bring my high heels, which is apparently a rule many instagrammers break while doing this hike. I had only been to Sanxia twice before and I don't go there very often because it is pretty far from Nangang.
We started the hike at 9AM on a Saturday to beat the crowds. We did the hike in March of 2020 when the weather was not too hot, but it was especially hot on that day for March. Why did I wait to post this until now? I do not have a good answer.
So for the hike there are three ways you can go up (as per the photo above). One is up the left side which is the preferred route because it goes through the forest and is mostly shaded, and is the fastest route. The other two routes are longer and the rough using the mountain road is not fun because you have to walk over tons of rocks near a river, or so Josh says. Doing the entire loop would take about 5 hours, but we went back the way we came.
Joshua is the first and only person I have met on Twitter and subsequently met in person. I'm pretty busy most of the time with two toddlers and all my vacation time is pretty much planned out and involves taking my kids with me. But I made an exception for Josh because I don't know how else I would be able to climb this thing.
9:13 AM: Boulder scrambling with the aid of ropes starts pretty early on the trail. The trail is pretty steep from the very beginning.
9:16 AM: First view of the road through the trees.
9:27 AM, stuck behind some hikers on another rock scramble.
9:29 still stuck behind some hikers.
9:36: another view opens up.
10:14, the most serious rock climb so far.
10:18, view through the trees.
10:20 AM: We finally get to the serious stuff, the bare mountain top with ropes on top.
Perhaps the best view of the whole hike of Sanxia and Shulin Districts of New Taipei below.
Getting nearer to the top.
View of the valley to the south below.
Hikers resting behind us.
Josh pointed out an abandoned hotel in the valley below that he said he and Alexander were interested in exploring. Notice the Sanheyuan on the roof.
View of the valley to the east.
Another view looking northeast.
Looking straight down to the north.
Continuing on the mountain top.
Another view looking down.
Strange that there is a puddle on the top of the mountain.
View looking at the mountain top.
Looking at the top toward the north.
10:30 AM: At the end of the ridge, to get to the other side you need to repel down the Qiaobi Xong cliff. There was a long line ahead of us so we had to stop.
You can see people climbing through the woods to the top of the mountain to the side, but Josh told me there was no view from that mountain.
The top of the mountain looks totally covered in trees.
Wating for some hikers to climb up.
Another puddle on top of the mountain.
So we were trying to go down and then up that rock across from us.
A group of people enjoying the view from the rock.
There was an elderly volunteer who waited at the top of the cliff pretty much all day to make sure there were not too many people on the ropes. One mistake here and the whole hike could get closed down forever. I think someone did die here once.
10: 45 AM: After waiting in the hot sun for 15 minutes, we finally made it down.
There are two places to climb down, and both were slammed with people when we were there.
The climb up to the lone stone pillar.
View from the top of the rock.
Another view of the Qiaobi Xiongfeng rock face.
Josh enjoying the views at the top.
11:16 AM: My turn at enjoying the views from the top.
Sideways view of Qiaobi Xiongfeng Cliff.
Another vertical view.
A long line of people had gathered to wait to climb down.
Four people on one rope, doesn't seem safe.
View to the southwest.
View to the south.
View above Qiaobi Ziongfeng cliff from above.
View of the one stone face from above.
Another view from further out.
Taipei and the cliff in the same shot.
Two girls climbing down the cliff face.
11:46 AM: after getting all the pictures and drone footage I wanted, we decided to head back down. Butt there was a huge line of people in the way.
Another girl going down the other side.
Another view from the top.
Last view of Taipei.
We ended up going to the side of these people, which was not the safest thing to do.
View of the line of people from behind. It would probably take them another hour to get to the top.
12:08 AM: Josh showed me another secret cliff where we got a spectacular view.
Looking back at the top from the secret other cliff.
Looking east from the secret cliff.
12:19 we are back in the forest on our way down.
12:26 we make it to this sign post.
12:50: a major rope climb down.
1:04 PM we are pretty much all the way down.
Overall Wuliaojian is a pretty fun hike with some good views. It's not as fun though with tons of people in your way, so try to go during non-peak times. Also it can get really hot at the top because there is little to no tree cover. There you go.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more Taiwan blogs to come.
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.