Taroko Gorge is easily one of my favorite places in Taiwan. a huge marble gorge, carved into the mountains, full of hiking trails and hidden temples... what's not to love? last spring when my friend Kelsey was visiting, we went down and stayed in the gorge for a few days to explore.
the Baiyang Waterfall trail was one of my favorite hikes. it's farther back in the gorge, so many of the tour buses don't get that far. we went in the morning and the crowds were minimal. add to that some amazing scenery, a waterfall, and a mysterious "water curtain" tunnel... and you've got a great hike.
the weather was not fantastic, but we still managed. it was misty and rained off and on the whole hike. we couldn't see the tops of most of the mountains... but the scenery at the bottom of the gorge was enough for me. the first time I visited Taroko was after a large typhoon. the rivers were flooded and muddy from all the rain and landslides. but this time? beautiful blue waters.
at the end of the trail, past the waterfall, you can continue on along what they intended to be a road. the workers started carving/blasting a tunnel through one of the mountains and discovered a water source. the water kept flowing and they had to chose a different route for the road, but you can hike through the tunnel to where they stopped. it's dark and filled with water, and thankfully past visitors have left some rain ponchos you can borrow.
PS: I swear, I tried to cut back on the number of photos in this post. I just can't help it. everything about this hike was so breathtakingly gorgeous it almost seemed unreal. even these pictures can't show you the magnitude of this place... I was shooting with a 22mm lens and still had trouble fitting it all into my frame. oh well, I still have about a dozen posts worth of photos from Taroko to share.