Thursday 5 February 2009

Wuliaojian - 五寮尖

This is actually review of a hike that I've done a few times now and without doubt it's my favourite day hike within easy reach of Taipei. The trail starts next to the Hezuo Bridge 合作橋 just south of Sanxia 三峽. Next to the bridge there's a small store that sells water, chocolate, beer and the like as well as the white gardening gloves that Taiwanese people often wear when hiking. I remember the first time we came here we all laughed at the number of people with these gloves on but there are so many fixed ropes on this trail that it's a good idea to get a pair. My hands were covered with blisters from not wearing them.

The trail goes up steep to begin with and but eventually levels out as you follow the ridge. It's pretty easy to stay on the trail, just keep an eye out for the tags left by other hiking groups.

After roughly a couple of hours you come to the main attraction of Wuliajian, an exposed section of the ridge from which you need to lower yourself down using fixed ropes. There are 2 places to go down. The furthest one being the more difficult and more interesting.

It's a bitch of a place to be on a hot, busy weekend as there's often a queue to get down - make sure you have sun protection. At the bottom and to the left there is a route up to the top of a small peak where you can get great views of the ridge you've just come down.

After coming back down you can follow the trail past the ridge and down. At the bottom there is a large tree and several choices. Turn right to get back to the bridge at the start. Go behind the tree and there is a rough trail that leads up the a peak or to the left you can get to the same peak but via a much easier route.

From the peak there's a trail that continues over the back - I still haven't explored this so I'm not sure where it leads.... next time


Take lots of water and sun protection for this one. Waiting on the ridge to get down can be a painfully slow process. Gloves are a good idea otherwise the ropes will take a toll. DON'T do this hike on wet or windy day, it's just too dangerous and wouldn't be fun anyway.

There isn't any public transport to the trail head. I always drive there (see the map below). Or you can take an MRT on the blue line to Yongning 永寧 and then take a taxi from there.


  1. Just found your blog. Hmm, interesting name ;). Great stuff. Like you, Wuliaojian is my favorite day hike in the north. My first time on the ridge was 12 years ago, before the marquis style ropes and supports were in place. Suicidal.

    I've been meaning to get back to hike WLJ this season so I can blog about it but the weather hasn't cooperated. This is one hike you can't do in bad weather.

  2. Thanks. Yeah, Wuliaojian is a fair weather hike, for sure!

  3. We just did the hike on a fortuitous weekend in December, not a soul in sight and the weather was beautiful.

    Great views, the ridge is simply amazing, and true enough, rain would make a dangerous companion.

  4. Hey, just wanted to thank you for having such a helpful blog。 I’ve been poaching hiking trips off of your for the past month and my friends and I have had a blast! We were hoping to due this one this week, but due to rain we went to Santiaoling Waterfall Trail (三貂嶺) instead。 It was one of the best times we’ve had in Taiwan。 We even rain into a large family having a get together and the way out and they insisted we join them for the feast。 I haven’t eaten that well since Christmas back in the States! 

    Thanks again for your effort and I hope you guys keep going!

  5. My boys, ages 8 and 13 would LOVE this hike, but do you think it's too dangerous, especially for my 8 year old? Both are very agile and love to climb, but... Also, if you start at the bridge and return, how long should you expect to spend hiking at a medium pace? And being a person who tends to get lost or not fully understand directions, is it easy to follow or easy to get lost? Thanks for the info.