Luoshan Waterfall (羅山瀑布 [Luóshān Pùbù])

Fuli Township, Hualien County, Taiwan

About Luoshan Waterfall (羅山瀑布 [Luóshān Pùbù])


Hiking Distance: 300m round trip (to upper view; officially closed due to dry rot)
Suggested Time: 15 minutes (to upper view; officially closed due to dry rot)

Date first visited: 2016-10-28
Date last visited: 2016-10-28

Waterfall Latitude: 23.18216
Waterfall Longitude: 121.29588

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The Luoshan Waterfall (羅山瀑布 [Luóshān Pùbù]) was probably the most difficult to view of the waterfalls that we had seen in the east of Taiwan.

In fact, the trail to get to the view you see in the picture at the top of this page was actually closed to the public.

Luoshan_Waterfall_023_10272016 - Luoshan Waterfall
Luoshan Waterfall

And the only other way to get closer to the falls for a better look and thus a more satisfactory experience required a somewhat dicey stream scramble.

So as you can see from the photos on this page, we wound up not doing the stream scramble and had to be content with the subpar views.

That said, it wasn’t for the lack of trying as we did try to explore all our options (as there were other trails in the area) before coming to this conclusion.

Indeed, we had the sweat-drenched clothing triggering the memories to prove it, which I’m imparting on this web page.

Luoshan Waterfall Trail Description – ascending the rotting wooden steps

Luoshan_Waterfall_010_10272016 - Looking towards the far end of the car park for the Luoshan Waterfall
Looking towards the far end of the car park for the Luoshan Waterfall

Our visit began from a pretty spacious car park (see directions below).

From the far end of the car park, there was a wide path leading towards the Luoshan Waterfall though it couldn’t quite be seen yet.

Almost immediately when the wide path began, there was an alternate path veering to the left that went up some wooden steps.

It followed along a wooden walkway going up even more steps to get higher above the ravine.

Luoshan_Waterfall_013_10272016 - The wooden path leading up to an OK view of Luoshan Waterfall was actually closed due to rockfalls and wood rot
The wooden path leading up to an OK view of Luoshan Waterfall was actually closed due to rockfalls and wood rot

With the quick elevation gain from this wooden path, it only took a few minutes to reach a corner where we got a pretty decent view of just the upper tier of the Luoshan Waterfall.

The waterfall made a plunge off a cliff and definitely made us want more out of this experience.

Well, it turned out that just to even get to this spot on the wooden path was supposed to be forbidden (as indicated by police tape discouraging usage from the bottom of the steps).

After all, it seemed like the trail was suffering from rot.

Luoshan_Waterfall_020_10272016 - Looking down at dangerous rot on the wooden walkway for the Luoshan Waterfall
Looking down at dangerous rot on the wooden walkway for the Luoshan Waterfall

So it was quite dangerous to go on this path as we had to put weight wherever we saw nails in the wood (thinking there was an additional support or plank beneath).

Any step away from the concrete supports below ran the risk of stepping through the rotted wood, which would then cause a fall into the dropoff underneath.

Anyways, it also turned out that the view we managed to get from this spot was the easiest and “safest” way to experience it (at least as far as our visit was concerned).

Luoshan Waterfall Trail Description – trying to get closer to the waterfall

I actually explored further along this wooden path, which kept climbing up more steps and encountering more overgrowth.

Luoshan_Waterfall_044_10272016 - Fallen leaves conspiring to cover up the nails that provided clues as to where I should put my weight on the wooden walk to improve the Luoshan Waterfall viewing experience
Fallen leaves conspiring to cover up the nails that provided clues as to where I should put my weight on the wooden walk to improve the Luoshan Waterfall viewing experience

Indeed, it seemed like there was also more foliage blocking what would be even more commanding views of the Luoshan Waterfall.

With fallen leaves also conspiring to obscure where I was supposed to put my weight on the rotting wooden planks, the path was definitely becoming more dangerous.

Eventually, the wooden path would loop back around past a section of the trail obliterated by a rock fall.

Ultimately, the path descended to a shelter slightly further up the wide paved trail near the car park.

Luoshan_Waterfall_049_10272016 - The rockfall that obliterated the trail to get closer to the Luoshan Waterfall
The rockfall that obliterated the trail to get closer to the Luoshan Waterfall

There was also police tape discouraging the use of this trail on this side of the looping trail as well.

When Mom asked a local about the trail conditions, they said someone had an accident here a few years back and they decided it wasn’t worth the time and effort to maintain that wooden trail.

Luoshan Waterfall Trail Description – futile pursuit on the other side of the river

So naturally, I explored the other trails in the area to see if the view of the Luoshan Waterfall would improve.

However, to make a long story short, the main path would shortly turn towards a bridge over the waterfall’s stream.

Luoshan_Waterfall_036_10272016 - The overgrown footpath on the other side of the footbridge in search of a way to experience the Luoshan Waterfall better
The overgrown footpath on the other side of the footbridge in search of a way to experience the Luoshan Waterfall better

Then, the path would ascend up a somewhat overgrown path making a very steamy climb to an area that went away from the Luoshan Waterfall.

There was also a path leading to the bank of the stream descending from the near side of the bridge.

The locals said that this was where the stream scramble to go further upstream to get closer to the lower drop of the Luoshan Waterfall was.

Unfortunately, given the high flow conditions during our visit, I wasn’t keen to do this.

Luoshan_Waterfall_041_10272016 - This was where I believe you can try to stream scramble your way upstream to get closer to the Luoshan Waterfall
This was where I believe you can try to stream scramble your way upstream to get closer to the Luoshan Waterfall

Thus, we were stuck with the unsanctioned view you see at the top of this page.

Now given the somewhat disappointing experience we had at this falls, we did have some opportunities to check out the views from behind the little food stand at the car park.

That was where we gained panoramic views looking back towards the valley.

Apparently, there was also a mud volcano down in the valley as well, but we didn’t visit it so we can’t say anything more about it.

Luoshan_Waterfall_016_10272016 - Looking away from the Luoshan Waterfall towards the parking area with a nice view towards the valley in the distance
Looking away from the Luoshan Waterfall towards the parking area with a nice view towards the valley in the distance

All told, the wooden path up to the somewhat OK view of just the upper drop of the Luoshan Waterfall would take roughly 300m round trip or less than 15 minutes total.

We can’t say anything more about the stream scramble since we didn’t do it, but I’m keenly aware than stream scrambles would typically be more difficult to do.

After all, I’d have to contend with the slippery wet boulders and the unpredictability of rock falls and flash floods so I’d imagine it would take much more time and exertion than the rotted wooden path.

Authorities

The Luoshan Waterfall resides in the Fuli Township in the Hualien County, Taiwan. To my knowledge, it is not administered by an official governmental authority. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting the Taiwan Tourism Bureau website.

Luoshan_Waterfall_005_10272016 - This was the view down the valley from the car park and food stand at Luoshan Waterfall
Luoshan_Waterfall_014_10272016 - We actually went past the barricade and followed this friendly guy whom we met at this car park to get up to the only view of the Luoshan Waterfall that was available to us
Luoshan_Waterfall_015_10272016 - It didn't take long on the ascent before we already started to get pretty decent views of the upper drop of the Luoshan Falls
Luoshan_Waterfall_018_10272016 - Then, we continued up along the rotted wooden path to get a little bit closer to the Luoshan Waterfall in the hopes of improving our experience here
Luoshan_Waterfall_022_10272016 - This was the closest and most decent view of the Luoshan Waterfall that we were able to get on this day
Luoshan_Waterfall_024_10272016 - Continuing further along the Luoshan Waterfall Trail meant more hiking on rotted planks through overgrowth
Luoshan_Waterfall_050_10272016 - Returning to the car park and trailhead after realizing that I had made a loop when I had completely explored the rotted wooden-planked path at the Luoshan Waterfall
Luoshan_Waterfall_051_10272016 - This was the closure on the other side of the looping wooden trail at the Luoshan Waterfall
Luoshan_Waterfall_030_10272016 - Naturally, I pursued other hiking trails to see if it was possible to improve the Luoshan Waterfall experience so I thought I would cross this bridge
Luoshan_Waterfall_032_10272016 - Looking back down the stream from the bridge over the waterfall's stream
Luoshan_Waterfall_035_10272016 - Beyond the bridge was an overgrown trail that kept climbing and climbing, and from looking at my GPS, it wound up going away from the Luoshan Waterfall. So I eventually turned back after becoming a sweaty mess

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Even though they share Hualien County, the Luoshan Waterfall was actually further from the capital town of Hualien City (花蓮市 [Huālián Shì]) near the town of Fuli (富里 [Fùlǐ]) than it was from the city of Taitung (台東 [Táidōng]), which was in Taitung County.

Since we drove down here from Hualien, we’ll describe that route first.

However, I’ll also describe the drive in the other direction from Taitung.

Driving from Hualien to Luoshan Waterfall

So from Hualien, we pretty much headed south on the Tai-9 Highway (台力) for about 100km south to the Hua-79 (花79) road on our left.

There was a signpost indicating that the Luoshan Recreation Area was in this direction.

Luoshan_Waterfall_001_10272016 - The car park and food stand at the Luoshan Waterfall
The car park and food stand at the Luoshan Waterfall

We then followed this local road (called the Jingping Industry Road) for the remaining 4.3km to its end at the spacious car park for the Luoshan Waterfall.

Overall, this drive would take over 2 hours to go the 110km.

Driving from Taitung to Luoshan Waterfall

From Taitung, we would drive north on the Tai-9 Highway for about 62km to the signed turnoff for the Luoshan Recreation Area on our right.

Then, we’d follow the local road for the final 4.3km to its end as in the directions above from Hualien.

This 70km drive would take about 90 minutes.

For geographical context, the Fuli was about 23km south of Yuli (玉里 [Yǜlǐ]; 30 minutes drive; nearby both Nanan Waterfall and Tiefen Waterfall), 59km north of Taitung (about 1.5 hours drive), 75km south of Fenglin (鳳林 [Fènglín]; under 90 minutes drive; nearby the Fenghuang Waterfall), and about 110km south of Hualien City (roughly 2 hours drive).

360 degree sweep examining the upper tier of the falls from a rotting lookout

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Tagged with: fuli, hualien, rift valley, eastern taiwan, taiwan, landslide, closed, waterfall



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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