Zimu Waterfall was an unexpected lucky find when we found out that Mugumuyu was closed (Jan 2017). The map outside the police station showed the trail and we found the perfect swimming hole with a 10-12 meter waterfall nearby. There is another waterfall further upstream but the waterfalls are actually nothing special. This is special because you can see the turquoise waters that make Mugumuyu famous but without the hassle of getting a permit and the crowds. We were told (Jan 2017) that Mugumuyu would be closed for a long time due to landslide but you can still hike this trail.
How to get there – The trail head is 16 km from Haulien Train Station on highway 9丙 near the entrance for Mugumuyu. The trailhead is across the river from the main village.
Mass transit – Bus 1139 departs every 50 minutes from Hualien Train Station and drops you off 1km away from the trailhead at Rong Shu bus stop. Bus 1131 departs every 10 minutes from Hualien Train Station and drops you off at Rong Shu bus stop.
The hike – Almost immediately you will pass through a long tunnel. You don’t really need headlamps for this but it would help. After the tunnel, the path continues to a swimming hole at a small flood control dam but you want to turn right and follow the trail on the right side of the creek. There will be various paths down to the creek but continue up to the first crossing. The first crossing might require you to get your feet/shoes wet but this is the only crossing. A small waterfall and swimming hole is located shortly after the crossing but the trail follows a path away from the creek. The trail ends at Zimu Waterfall but you can continue upstream on your own and find more smaller waterfalls.
Date visited – 1/2/2017