The Nanhu Basin (南勢湖瀑布群) is a rarely visited part of southern Taiwan. The valley is stunning and there are numerous waterfalls that are both accessible and possibly inaccessible. We hiked what was once a nice trail but it has become overgrown during the years. We found a nice swimming hole (photo at the bottom) and a nice waterfall (photo at the top) but there was a nicer upstream another 20-30 minutes. Unfortunately we had to return to Kaohsiung for work and didn’t have time to go back there. In addition to that there was an even larger waterfall way below the road on the drive to the trailhead. This waterfall would have to be accessed from downstream of the road we were on.
Rating and length – moderately easy – 6 km (2 hours) round trip (note – the road was blocked on 10/25/2016 to cars adding 5-6 km round trip)
Accessibility – The road is awful. It can be driven in a car but only by a brave driver that abuses his car. The hike is overgrown with several washed out parts. There is no trail to the waterfalls and you will need to follow the creek.
Estimated height – 15+ meters (another larger waterfall further upstream)
Elevation – 400 meters
How to get there – Turn north off of Highway near km marker 446. The community of Shizi (Lion) has a lion statue marking the turn and then you pass under a railway bridge. Go through the village and continue straight on the left side of the river. Shortly after crossing the river there is a junction. Stay left and follow this poor excuse for a road up the mountain. There was typhoon damage in October 2016 and we were forced to park our car and walk 6 extra km. Motorcycles could pass through and it could be cleared easily if someone chose to but it is a rarely used road.
The hike – Start down an overgrown road. Stay left at one fork and the trail is easy to follow but it is quite overgrown in places and there are some places where the trail has washed out. Once you are almost at the waterfall the trail disappears in a landslide. There are signs of an old camp where the burned remnants of metal cans still remain. At this point go down towards the creek and find a way to go upstream. You will come to the small waterfall below first and shortly after you can follow the right branch to the waterfall above. We didn’t have enough time to go upstream but that is where the biggest waterfall that you could see while hiking is. It might not be accessible due to a smaller waterfall in the way.
Seasonality – Dry from December (or earlier) to April most years
Nearby Waterfalls – Kayoufeng Waterfall
Other blogs – Follow Xiaofei
GPS – parking N22.318647 E120.676805 – waterfalls N22.320567 E120.695384
Dates visited – 10/25/2016