The Zhuilu Old Trail follows the last remaining section of the Old Hehuan Mountain Road in Hualien County, Taiwan. Also known as the Vertical Trail, it’s a nail-biting yet rewarding hike, offering spectacular aerial views of the Taroko Gorge and the Liwu River that created it.
The trek begins at Zimu Bridge and follows the north wall of the gorge before recrossing at Swallow Grotto. The route is a little more than 10 kilometers in total and takes between six and eight hours to complete, including a section that is literally cut out from the cliff face hundreds of meters up and no more than 6070 centimeters wide.
The Taroko National Park restricts the number of trekkers walking the Zhuilu Old Trail to 60 people on weekdays and 96 at the weekends. A permit is required, as is an official guide to lead the way.
Applications for a permit for the Zhuilu Old Trail must be made at least a week in advance. Hikers should ensure they are well prepared for the hike, with plenty of drinking water, food, sun protection, and good walking shoes.