Wutai and Shenshan have become very popular weekend destinations but Ali Waterfall is still off the beaten path. There is a good reason for that since the path has mostly been washed away and the road is really rough. During the summer and after recent rains there will be dozens of waterfalls along side the road. Near the end there are a few small waterfalls that actually flow across the road in addition to the larger Ali Waterfall.
Some maps show Hwy 24 going over the mountains or planned to go over the mountains. That is never going to happen. The last 5 kilometers are in bad shape (construction ongoing though) and the road completely ends at Ali Waterfall. There is an old remnant of the road remaining but landslides have made the route directly to Ali Waterfall quite treacherous. Some ropes have been put in to make it possible but I would recommend against it. The view from the end of the road (the photo above) is quite nice and there is a large rock (2 meter diameter) that provides a nice spot to relax for several people.
Rating and length – easy – maybe 4 km round trip
How to get there – Take Hwy 24 through Sandimen and continue into the mountains towards Wutai. After Wutai the road becomes awful. In many places it is nothing more than broken slate rocks before becoming overgrown two track with several washed out spots. There are also several spots where waterfalls flow over the road. There is one junction in the road at red gate. The right fork going up goes to Ali Village and rejoins with the left fork after Ali Village. There are a few bad stretches of road before Ali Village but it seems that cars can make it that far and then walk the remaining 2 km to the waterfall.
The road to Ali has been under construction at various times in the last year and might even be totally closed to walkers.
The hike – It is an easy on an old road. Go around the red gate and follow the road until the end. You will pass by a small waterfall below Ali Village. Follow the road until it ends at a viewpoint of Ali Waterfall. You can also hike through the nearly abandoned Ali Village but please respect the homes even if they aren’t being lived in right now.
You can climb up and down some rocks and get to Ali Waterfall but this is fairly dangerous and I advise against it. The rest of the trail is in unknown condition but eventually goes to Ghost Lake and over the mountains to Zhiben.
GPS data – N22.714814 E120.764739
Other info – You will need to go through a mountain checkpoint to travel on highway 24. The process is very informal for day trips and you will only have to show ID (passport or ARC).
Date visited 9/13/2015, 5/8/2016 and 9/11/2016