Taking a bicycle up Taroko?

Have you ever done it? I hear some people have, and have survived.

Do you know if there’s bike rental places nearby? Probably in Hualien, but is there one any closer? (or could the ones in Hualien maybe drop you off closer to the gorge?) I’ll try and look into this by myself on the net, but thought that this is one of the #1 places where people in the know would be.

Reason is, I want to see the gorge but not a) only from the window of a bus b) pay top dollar for renting a taxi for the whole day c) ride a scooter. If you know of a good way to avoid these, please share. :slight_smile:

Any other info/tips will be greatly appreciated!

it is possible to take a bike in a bike bag on the local train to Hualien. you can leave the bag perhaps in the station luggage room, or in a scooter parking place, for a fee, i guess.

you could perhaps rent one there but i have no idea where, or even if there is such a place, but i bet that any bike you rent will be pretty horrid and heavy.

it’s a dreary 15 km ride north until you get to the gorge, but as soon as you get into the park it is stunning. be prepared for rain, i have been there maybe ten times and had one good day. the higher you cycle, the worse it will get too, especially in winter. for what the gorge proper has to offer, there is not much point going further than TienXian or whatever that town is with the large hotel about a third of the way up. from a pure cycling/hill climbing effort, though, even though the gorge widens out higher up, the actual cycling might be better, but steeper. great views sometimes. if you make it all the way to the top, and then back to Hualien (about 80km up, and 80 km back) you’re looking at a very long day.

Great bike trip. I did it over thirteen years ago when I first got here. I’ve cycled through many beautiful places and Taroko is really one of the most beautiful in the world. Get on that bike and do it! There are a few designated camping grounds where you can pitch a tent. The road out of Tian Xiang(heading west) is where the road really starts to climb, but the scenery is inspiring and the effort is worth it. Get a descent road bike, not one with shocks; they just weigh you down and are inefficient for climbing mountains…
Good luck,

Great idea - see the gorge by bike. Yes, people do it all the time.

You can hire bikes all over Hualien, but as urodacus says, they’re not the type of bikes you want to cycle all the way to the gorge on (at least 20km).
There is also a bike hire place now on the main street just before the gorge entrance, but I don’t know what they charge. Still, if you don’t have a bike yourself, I’d go for this option.

Other advice is that if you can, start early, very early. This applies especially on weekends. I normally leave the house at 6 and cycle to the gorge, getting there for 7-ish. Then I get 2 hours of blissful cycling up to Tianxiang, while all the coach parties are still at their buffet breakfasts. Cycling up Taroko and being side-swiped by large tour buses is not ideal, but that will happen to you if you start after 8am. Also, much better chance of decent weather, the earlier you get going.

If you have a good bike and can ride, then start from Hualien. There are back routes to the gorge that mean you don’t have to touch the main 9# highway, if you have an Ok map. The full round trip from Hualien-Tianxiang will take around 7-9 hours.

Forgot the important safety bit.
There are some long tunnels, poorly lit. Fast cars, trucks, Taiwan drivers etc. You’ll feel a lot happier with lights on your bike. :thumbsup:

You can also take a bus or taxi from hualien city to the start of the EW cross island highway, which is the start of Taroko Gorge and then walk the 20 km to Tienshiang and then take a bus back to Hualien. I used to do this every now and then. Good exercise.

Wow, thanks for all the tips. I think i’ll have to try renting a bike at that village at the start of the gorge, do you have any more info on where the bike rental is at? Also, I plan to do this on a weekday (Thu or Fri) if the weather is allowing, to avoid the hordes.

If all else fails then I think i’ll just have to settle for taking the bus up there. I’d still want to walk around a bit, to get a closer look, not just sit (or worse yet, stand) on the bus and try and crane my neck to see out the window.

Any other ideas? (budget wise what would be the best way)

Nice, thanks again

Oh, yeah, forgot. How long did that take you?

Also, I get the feeling that Tienshiang is as far as most people go, right? So most of the classic places to see are on the way up there?

Oh, yeah, forgot. How long did that take you?

Also, I get the feeling that Tienshiang is as far as most people go, right? So most of the classic places to see are on the way up there?[/quote]

Yes Tienshiang is generally where TAroko Gorge ends and the ““real”” East West Cross Island Highway begins. Although technically the entire gorge falls within the East West Cross Island Highway.

I took like 30 mins bus ride from the center of town to the beginning of the EW highway right at the beach there. And about 20 km away is Tienshiang so thats about a 5 hour walk leisurely walk. Nice if its a nice day and you have the time and are in shape for a 20km walk. Wear comfy clothing and shoes of course. And a water bottle is nice.

You can ride the bus back from Tienshiang. Or ride the bus TO Tienshiang (that same bus that brought you from Hualien) and then walk BACK towards the ocean, works just as well. IN fact maybe better as you would have an idea what you will be seeing along the way?

place is on the main-road, RHS, quite far down towards the gorge entrance - it’s def after the 7-11.

hello, I will be going Taiwan, hualien on 4/19 and will be cycling up taroko gorge on 4/20.

can I check what will I have to take note besides the safety gears?

Inevitable rain and bad road surface.

how about earthquakes? how long it will happen once in a while?