One of the most gorgeous and scenic places I’ve been is Sanzhan River Valley(三棧溪谷) in Hualien County. Enter the valley behind the cemetery at Sanzhan Community.
Getting to Golden Canyon(黃金峽谷) requires a longer but mild river trace up Sanzhan River(三棧溪). Actually, the views in the valley are as good as Golden Canyon itself.
The entrance to Golden Canyon is a bunch of boulders and small stream banks then a pool of water and miniature waterfall with towering canyon walls above. I read a sign at the canyon entrance indicate closures due to falling rock; seconds later, a rock from the top of the canyon wall splashed down just yards away from me. Definitely bring a helmet if you plan to venture near the entrance or inside. Well, I swam in and clambered up the cascade just far enough to be surrounded by beautiful, narrow, curving Golden Canyon, then I retreated.
The way back was, of course, no less scenic. Plan to spend all day if you want to get to Golden Canyon. The scenic valley offers many places to stop and have a picnic, relax, or even camp.