The road to Ali Waterfall

Note #1 – this is nowhere near Alishan.  Ali Waterfall is at the end of Hwy 24 past Wutai in Pingtung County, Taiwan.

Note #2 – this road doesn’t go over the mountains nor will it ever go over the mountains despite what some maps suggest.

Note #3 – the road from Wutai to Ali Waterfall shouldn’t be driven in a car.

The road is in perfect shape before Wutai Village.  Lower Yila Waterfall can be viewed from the roadside and is quite spectacular.  Upper Yila Waterfall is barely in view above the bridge.  I hiked to it a few years ago and randomly met a friend at the waterfall.  The trail is now completely destroyed and the trailhead is closed off.  You can hop over the warning tape but it isn’t the most spectacular waterfall and the hike is now terrible.  My friend said that before Typhoon Morakot Upper Yila Waterfall was twice as high but landslides have significantly filled in the valley.

3 years ago I visited Shenshan Waterfall.  At the time Shenshan Village was a ghost town.  It appeared deserted and it was quite depressing but now there are almost a dozen beautiful restaurants and it looks like a fun place.

I also did not know that there was an upper and lower Shenshan Waterfall.  I wrote about Upper Shenshan Waterfall on my waterfall guide and later found out from guide readers that there was another Shenshan Waterfall.  I finally visited Lower Shenshan Waterfall and it is an amazing swimming hole with crystal clear blue tinted water.  And there is a nice waterfall.  One thing that we could not figure out is why they have fenced off the trailhead.  According to a friend they recently built the large, rock viewing platforms and did a lot of other work in the area.  I am concerned that there was an accident and somebody was hurt or drowned here.

Wutai and Shenshan Villages are located very close to each other and they have been built up very tastefully with many examples of aboriginal art all over both villages.  If we had more time I could have done an entire photo blog just on the two villages.  This is one example of how they have incorporated their aboriginal art into the buildings and walls of the village.

After Wutai the road becomes a mixture of road, pavement and partially washed out two track.  Cars could drive across this and park in Ali Village but they shouldn’t drive all the way back to Ali Waterfall.  It is an easy walk (flat) back to the waterfall though.

Directions to Ali Waterfall

There were 3-4 waterfalls that ran across the road.  My little 150cc Hartford motorcycle has done very well on our many adventures during the last 5 years.

Ali Waterfall is at the very end of the road.  It is probably 200 meters high with at least half of it out of the photo but viewable from other spots.  Originally someone made official plans to extend Hwy 24 across the mountains but that plan has long been abandoned.  The road used to go further (towards Ghost Lake I think) but a huge landslide immediately to the right in the photo has mostly cut off access to the waterfall.  There are some ropes installed that allow you to access the waterfall but the view is nice from the end of the road.  To the left of the photo the road/trail is overgrown and difficult to follow.

It was a little strange running into another foreigner with his family in the middle of nowhere at this waterfall.  I later found out that I had seen him at a local elementary school where a few of my students go.  He was picking up his son and I was passing out flyers to parents.  We had a nice chat about Taiwan while I waited for my friends who believe they are mountain goats and went down the landslide to base of the waterfall.  The waterfall also looked nice down there in their photos but I prefer something that resembles a trail.

Directions to Ali Waterfall

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