There is no better way to fight off the summer heat than to dive into one of Hualien’s deep blue rivers. Hualien river trekking combines both leisure and sport as it allows you to explore hidden and unique areas while enjoying a relaxing time by natural pools underneath beautiful waterfalls. In winter time, you can even trace the river to a wild hot spring and bathe in warm water while admiring the astonishing landscape.
River trekking is a combination of hiking, bouldering, and climbing along rural river canyons. It’s a traditional sport in Taiwan and is in some ways similar to canyoning. River trekking involves particular techniques like climbing on wet surfaces, understanding the geographical features of rivers and valleys, dealing with sudden bad weather, and finding out possible exits from the river as needed.
There are varying levels of river trekking available for the interested adventurer. For beginners, it is advisable to choose an easier and more relaxed half-day route on which they can gradually master the skills needed to walk upstream. It may be necessary at times to swim through deep pools or climb up waterfalls. Beginner trekkers should make sure to have the appropriate safety equipment before beginning their trek.
Something for experienced trekkers?
WHERE TO GO?
River trekking has a certain level of risk. Risks that should be prepared for include the following:
⦁ Flash flooding poses a serious danger.
⦁ Sudden changes in weather, like rainstorms, which can cause rapid rise in the level and speed of the river water.
⦁ Limited visibility due to rainy or misty weather
⦁ Slippery and loose rocks
There are some rivers you can explore by yourself like Emerald Valley or Sanzhan River North Creek, but it’s still advised to go there with proper safety equipment. . Check our detailed info page for more information on keeping yourself safe while river trekking.
If you can’t swim or are not confident enough about going by yourself, you can sign up for a tour and join a small group that will be led by an experienced local guide. The guide will show you the way and sometimes also take you down secret pathways.
Prices are as follows (approx.):
Half-day river trekking: NT$900-NT$1,000.
Full day river trekking: NT$1,800-NT$2,400 (depending on the destination you choose).
RIVER TREKKING TIPS:
⦁ Go with a qualified guide who you can trust.
⦁ Realize that you will get very, very wet. Don’t bring anything valuable with you that isn’t waterproof.
⦁ Put sunscreen and insect repellent on before you set off.
⦁ If you’re river tracing when it’s cold, you’ll probably get a wetsuit, but bring a bathing suit to wear underneath. If you don’t get a wetsuit, make sure to wear quick-dry clothes.
⦁ Wear safety equipment like river trekking shoes, helmet and life-jacket at all times.
⦁ Bring a flash-light preferably a head-mounted one will be suggested.
⦁ Bring a towel, a spare pair of shoes, and dry set of clothes.
Check if a Mountain Entry Permit is required and if so, apply online or onsite before going.