Right: Eternal Spring Shrine, Taroko Gorge
The Taroko National Park is 15km north of Hualien. Taroko Gorge (Tai4lu3ge2) is easily Taiwan's top tourist destination with hiking trails offering spectacular views, hot springs, shrines and temples. The region is also the ancestral home of the Atayal tribe. An Atatyal mountain pass formed the basis of what is now the Central Cross Island Highway.
The gorge can be visited in a day trip from Hualien or you can stay in one of several resort areas. There are also camping sites in the National Park.
The Liwu River cuts through the marble walled canyons of the gorge on its way to the sea. Taroko Gorge is home to a numerous of rare plant and animal species including the endangered Formosan black bear and wild pigs.