We tried almost a year ago to find this hot spring but poor planning conspired against us and we got to the river but not the spring. This time, armed with a map and a better idea of the trail we managed to find it.
For anyone who lives in the north of Taiwan there is one road that you have got to drive on, the number 7 七號公路. Because of this road, the drive out to the trail head is in itself a journey worth making. The views are awesome. The road twists and turns. And the best thing is that hardly anyone is on it.
To get there follow the number 7 from Sanmin 三民, near Dasi 大溪. After Sanmin the next village is Fuxing 復興 and this is the last chance to get gas. The road then continues onto Baling 巴陵 and after an hour or so of fantastic driving it passes through Sileng 四稜. Continue on to the 59.5km mark and here is the trail. Look out for red characters painted onto the concrete barrier. They are painted on in 2 places and the westernmost one is where you need to cross over the barrier.
From here there are trails to the left and right, ignore them and follow the plastic hiking markers down. On the way there are 2 places that look like excellent camping spots.
After about 20mins the trail begins to descend steeply. There are fixed ropes in place but care is needed, especially if the ground is wet. It took us around 40mins we make it to the river.
The river is a fantastic emerald green colour and the hot spring waterfall is beautiful. There are some ropes to help with crossing the river but the water wasn’t particularly high when we went and so it wasn’t a problem.
The hot spring water is hot and it needs to be mixed in with the river water. It’s also very sulphurous but very enjoyable.
The climb back up to the road is pretty tough, especially after soaking in hot water for an hour, so it’s best to take lots of water and don’t rush back up.
More photos can be found here
I have heard that there are buses that run along the number 7 but really, the drive is as much a part of this trip as the springs and anyone with a bike should drive it.
Take lots of water as sitting in hot water will leave you dehydrated.
Don’t go after heavy rain as the river can be dangerous.
Also the map below is only a rough guide, the springs might not be exactly where I marked them.