Good for: Hot Springs, hualien, taroko gorge, shakadang trail
- one hour one way
Lonely Planet review for Shakadang Trail
Formerly the Mysterious Valley Trail, this flat 4.4km hike follows the crystal-clear Shakadang River as it winds through marble canyons and boulder-strewn flats. The curving riverbed creates massive pools of bluish green water, and many outdoors groups from Hualien come here in summer to swim and river trace (although the park's board is not entirely happy about that).
Coming from the direction of the National Park Headquarters, the trailhead is to the right after emerging from the first tunnel. Follow the stairs down to the river to access the path.
The Shakadang Trail officially ends at 3D Cabin. However, if you have permits you can (theoretically) continue on the Dali–Datung Trail (大禮-大同步道; Dàlǐ–Dàtóng Bùdaò) to Dali and Datung, two isolated aboriginal villages. Apply for permits at the police station by the park headquarters. This trail should take about seven to eight hours, return.