Hualien, Taiwan, China
(443) feet high / (135) meters high
643 foot span / 196 meter span
Taiwan's highest footbridge opened in 2020 near the famous Taroko Gorge Scenic area. The 2.5 meter wide deck is supported by a stiffened truss suspended between a mountain anchor and a steel tubular shaped tower that looks like the Chinese "moon" character.
The main span of 196 meters is actually the fourth pedestrian crossing at this location. The third footbridge was last open in 1988 when plans began to build a more substantial structure which took 32 years. Although some sources claim a height of 152 meters the true height seems to be less.
The oldest Shanyue Footbridge was built in 1914 with little more than narrow planks and a wire mesh. In 1930 a second generation footbridge was completed with a height reported to be 75 meters. In 1941 the third version opened until it fell into disrepair in the late 1980s. Shanyue was likely the second highest footbridge in the world after the Niouc Footbridge in Switzerland with a deck more than 100 meters high.
Around 1914 the Japanese launched a military expedition into Taroko to subdue the local aborigines. This marked the beginning of the Hohuan Trail's life as a military road. As well as having to fight, the Japanese army and police were also assigned the task of cutting roads to transport cannons so they widened many trails to at least a meter wide. During this period they built the first Shanyue suspension bridge, cut a road between Patakang and Mt. Haishu, and also completed a route to Mt. Sanchiaochui.
There are reportedly 27 suspension footbridges within the Taroko Gorge National Park.
The Shanyue Bridge can only be accessed by purchasing tickets in advance as only 800 people are allowed on the bridge during the course of the day. These timed visits are separated into four periods where only a maximum of 200 people can be on the deck at any one time. So be sure to book your visit in advance.
One of the many low level footbridges within the Toroko Gorge.
Badagang No. 1 and No. 2 footbridges.
Shanyue Footbridge satellite image.
Shanyue Footbridge location map.