At the beginning of October I was trying to cross the central mountain range from Taroko to Puli but the road was so miserable I decided to return to the east coast. Until Tianhsiang it was more or less fine but soon after that there was a lot of damage. At some places half of the road was missing due to earlier landslides, in general there was a lot of mud all over the place, huge rocks were lying around, the road had a lot of deep cracks, and, probably worst of all, the good old trucks were nonetheless driving around like crazy. The most shocking experience was the sight of a car hit flat by some major rocks probably not very long before.
I was driving up from Tianhsiang for about an hour when it started to turn very foggy, making the drive increasingly dangerous. All three of us in the car felt very uncomfortable, we had no idea how far we are from the peak, so eventually we opted to return to Taroko.
Wonderful place but I would not recommend it in this part of the year. Probably right before the summer typhoon season it’s fine, I guess there’s less rain then and the authorities have enough time to repair the roads by that time.
And one more hint: Pretty much all maps show a road between Puli and Taroko/Hualian with the number 14. We wanted to do that, it’s there, but it’s closed. So don’t rely on that as an alternative to the Taroko route (8?).