Beyond The Golden Grotto 黃金峽谷再進去 (River Tracing the Sanzhan River Part II)

Jumping off of the Ferocious Falls (殘暴一號瀑布), at the Entrance to

the Remote Platinum Grotto Itself

Venture far beyond Taiwan's famous Golden Grotto on an amazing river tracing / canyoning adventure!

River trace through a spectacular and remote slot canyon in Taiwan on an unbelievable, once in a lifetime adventure!


Beyond the Golden Grotto / The Main Campsite / The False Platinum Grotto / The Bat Cave / Ferocious Falls #1 / The Nitty Gritty / Bonus Gallery

Check out Johan's amazing video of the Golden Grotto and this section of the Sanzhan River!

Welcome to The Map Room's series about the Sanzhan River in Hualian!

This is the second in an occasional series of, hopefully, four articles about river tracing in the amazing Sanzhan River in Hualian, Taiwan. Want to see more? There are lots more pictures of this amazing place in the BONUS GALLERY!

Traces in this series:

  1. The Golden Grotto (黃金峽谷) - intermediate level trace

  2. Sanzhan River: Golden Grotto - Ferocious Falls (黃金峽谷-殘暴一號瀑布) advanced, non-technical trace

  3. The Platinum Grotto (白金峽谷) - advanced trace (to be released at a later date)

  4. The Black Gold Grotto (黑金峽谷) - advanced, technical trace, further upstream from the Platinum Grotto (to be released at a much later date)


  • I will periodically revisit this article and update it as new information becomes available. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have new information!

  • All recommendations, times, and other information are for average conditions with average water levels. Please also see important safety notes for river tracing (below).

  • GPX, route maps, and practical information are at the end of this article.

The Golden Grotto (黃金峽谷) may be the most famous destination in Taiwan's Sanzhan River (台灣花蓮三棧溪), but for those who know, it's only the beginning of the amazing river tracing this Taiwanese canyoning destination has to offer!

So you've made it all the way to the Golden Grotto (黃金峽谷) and you're looking for something more remote and challenging? Far beyond it lie the Platinum Grotto (白金峽谷) and, for truly advanced and well-equiped, multi-day river tracers, the Black Gold Grotto (黑金峽谷). Many people visit the Golden Grotto, and a few believe they have reached the Platinum Grotto, but of these very few actually have. Yet between these two amazing destinations, there is still plenty of beauty and adventure to be had!

Contrary to what many will tell you, only once you reach the First Ferocious Falls (殘暴一號瀑布) have you reached the true entrance of the Platinum Grotto

In this post I will take you to the First Ferocious Falls (殘暴一號瀑布) the edge of the Platinum Grotto itself. There is also a Second Ferocious Falls (殘暴一號瀑布) far beyond this point, but that is for another post and another day.

The False Platinum Grotto, on the way between the Golden Grotto and the real Platinum Grotto

This journey is not easy, and what lies beyond is truly difficult to reach. It's not for the faint of heart, the inexperienced, or ill prepared, but it's far from impossible to reach. If you want a real adventure, just read on!

Contrary to what many will tell you, only once you reach the First Ferocious Falls (殘暴一號瀑布) have you reached the true entrance of the Platinum Grotto


The Gauntlet

Once you pass the Golden Grotto, the Sanzhan River suddenly completely changes character. The whole canyon is covered in rocks and boulders and the trail is much more challenging. It takes a lot more time and energy to pass through this section, so we like to call it The Gauntlet. It's a lot more work... but of course that means it's also a lot more fun!

Massive, beautiful boulders completely diminate The Gauntlet. It's an amazing feeling climbing over and between them...

...and under and through them as well!

Once you exit the gauntlet, the river widens into a very deep section that must be swum across. It's beautiful and, if you like swimming, wonderfully cool and wet! But then, why would you be out here if you don't love swimming and being surrounded by incredible beauty?

If you like these pictures and want to see more, check out the bonus gallery for this article! There are many more pictures of The Gauntlet, as well as nearly every other part of this post.

The Main Campsite

Once you pass The Gauntlet, it's not much further to one of the most unique Taiwanese river tracing campsites I've yet encountered. You pass by cliffs, scramble over boulders, try not to trip over rocks, and then, suddenly, there it is!

Just past an even larger boulder than all the rest around you there is a perfect, flat, sandy opening. The second side is flanked by a boulder as big as a house, the back is a tree-covered, jungle cliff, and the front slants gently down to the riverside between two beautiful swimming areas.

The campsite feels like something out of a legend, amost as if someone found a magic lamp in the riverbed one day and wished for the perfect campsite to just appear, right there, in the middle of this remote place. I honestly don't know how it could be any better!