The Swallow Grotto - or Yanzikou - Trail
The Swallow Grotto, also know as Yanzikou, is a 40 minute walking trail that is the perfect place to see the many cliffs Taroko have to offer. Walking beside the Central Cross-Island Highway offers spectacular views of the rock formations, the Liwu River, and, very often, swallows!
The Pacific Swallow (hirundo tahitica) that lives in the gorge area nests in the naturally-formed pot-holes in the cliff face and can be seen year-round.
This spectacular gorge came about due to the different hardness of the rocks. The marble found upstream is more resistant to erosion which has created a narrow and steep gorge, while the gneiss rock on the east side of the grotto is more easily eroded, bringing about a wider, flatter landscape.
Look to the opposite side of Liwu River to try and find the Rock of the Indian Chief! People claim to see a human head in profile at the right side, with its nose, mouth, chin, dimple, eye sockets, and forehead clearly visible.
Be cautious of falling rocks when walking on the trail. Park authorities provide hard hats for visitors free of charge. Be aware of passing traffic while walking along the trail.
Next to Yanzikou is Zhuilu Old Trail that you may continue to if you have a permit. Note: the receptionist at World Inn can help you apply for a permit if you wish to see this trail.