Nowadays Wuliaojian is one of the most popular of all hikes in the Taipei area, and needs no detailed description here; despite the many times I’ve been there, I never get tired of the place. This is one hike that no self-respecting hiker in the Taipei area can afford not to have in their repertoire, and is a fabulous day out, although it’s also certainly a leg (and arm!) stretcher!
On my most recent visit, Wuliaojian stood in at the last minute when our original plan – a two-day camping trip among the Yunei Stream ancient trees in early November, was thwarted by typhoon damage, and although several of us agreed afterwards that Wuliaojian isn’t quite as memorable and rewarding as the amazing Fengtou Ridge Walk (which I still believe is surely the finest in the Taipei area), it’s still one of the top choices for a day hike within easy reach of the capital, and none of us, I think, were too disappointed with the change of plan.
With growing popularity has come a certain amount of development, but (unlike the main ridge at Huangdidien) Wuliaojian has so far avoided the indignity of being made ‘over-safe’ by the local authorities. The ropes and handrails (believe it or not they weren’t there a decade or so ago!) make the most precarious part – the rock called the Phoenix Plume – much safer than before, and the dangerous network of ropes called the Spider’s Web that once scaled a rockface en route between the Plume and the pyamid-like summit of the ridge has long since been removed in favor of a much safer route. Make no mistake though – Wuliaojian is still a thrilling hike, a fairly challenging one, and above all, a very beautiful one in clear weather.
Various blogs give details of how to get there, and those with access to a copy of Taipei Escapes book 2 will find a description of a loop route exploring the whole ridge starting on page 181. Failing that, the trailhead is pretty easy to find. Take bus 807 from Sanxia towards Xiongkong (熊空), get off at Hozuo Bridge (合作橋) and follow the other hikers up the trail next to the bus stop, beside the large yellow sign!