Walami Trail – an easy hiking path with lots of wildlife

Walami Trail is a preserved section of the much longer historic Batongguan Trail. Built during Qing Dynasty in 1875, the extraordinary Batongguan Trail traverses 152 kilometers of rugged Taiwan backcountry from Yuli in Hualien County in the east to Chushan in Nantou County in the west. The Batongguan itself followes the ancient aboriginal paths that are themselves hundreds of years old. The entire park was once the region where Bunun aboriginal tribe lived. There are still many traces of the old community to be seen today on the trail.

Later widened and rebuilt during the 50 year Japanese occupation from 1895 to 1945, the Walami Trail was primarily used to connect the wild eastern section of Taiwan with the more settled northwest,. It was also a way for Japanese authorities to keep a wary eye on resistant local tribes. The name “Walami" refers to a species of fern in the Bunun language. Nowadays Walami Trail is an extremely popular hiking path that goes through subtropical jungle, cutting along cliffs, over rivers, and between lush greenery. You can do either a short 9 km day-hike or a longer 28 km two-day hike.

ROUTE MAP

You can get a detailed hiking map at Nanan Visitor Center.

ACCOMMODATION

Walami Cabin / Campground

  • Apply at least a week ahead
  • Accommodates a total of 24 persons
  •  Elevation: 1070 m
  • Please bring your own sleeping bag when staying at cabin, and remember to bring a tent, sleeping pad, and a sleeping bag when staying at the campground.
  • Facilities: solar power light, rainwater harvesting system, tables, chairs, and restrooms
  • Water Source : Yes
  • Phone Reception : No

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

  • No pets allowed and do not feed the wildlife.
  • The trail itself is easy to recognize. It’s suggested to remain quiet while hiking if you wish to encounter some wildlife.
  • Beware of the Formosan black bear, wasps, snakes, and leeches.
  • If you happened to bump into a Formosan black bear (the remaining population in Taiwan is about 600, which is not that easy to spot nowadays), keep an appropriate distance and leave the vicinity as quietly and as soon as possible. Do not leave food or trash around campsites or around your cabin because it might lure bears in search of food.
  • You’ll need to arrange government permits to do the entire 14 km hike. The first 4.5 km until Jiasin is hikabe without a permit.

PERMITS

Apply for a Park Entry Permit at least a week before a 2-days hike to make sure you can stay in the Walami Cabin. On the first day of your hike, remember to check in at the Nanan Visitor Centre and to pick up a Mountain Entry Permit at the police station if you didn’t do it online. If you plan to return the same day you can pick up a one-day pass (on the same day) at the visitor center too.

Nanan Visitor Center

Address:No. 83-3, Jhuocing Village, Jhuosi Township, Hualien County

Opening Hours:9.00-16.30 daily

Closing Days:The Center is close on the second Tuesday of each month and the following day as well if it coincides with a national holiday.

Center’s Tel:886-3- 8887560

Check our blog post about applying the permits on-line!

For more detailed info, see Yushan National Park website:

http://www.ysnp.gov.tw/css_en/default.aspx

HOW TO GET THERE?

Walami is located in Yuli Town, which is about 1hour by train from Hualien city. There is no public transportation from Yuli Town to the Walami trailhead. The best way is to come with your own car or scooter. There is a parking lot just before trailhead.

Scooter rental is possible; check the scooter rental shops outside Yuli Train Station.

If you don’t have your own transportation, a taxi from Yuli train station to the Nanan Visitor Centre will cost about NT$400, more if you want the driver to wait while you arrange permits and then drive you the last 6km to the trailhead.

WHAT TO BRING

  • Passport or copy of it (for mountain entry permit)
  • Water (at least 1.5 liter)
  • Snacks and food for two days
  • Sunscreen
  • Walking pole
  • Hiking boots
  • Gaiters to prevent leeches
  • Rain jacket
  • Plastic bags
  • Warm clothes
  • Quick dry clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Medicine and a first aid kit including some antihistamine
  • Slippers
  • Head light
  • Waterproof cover for backpack
  • Sleeping bag and mattress
  • Stove / Gas for cooking
  • Water Filter

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