Until Typhoon Soudelor struck in 2015 there was a natural waterslide on the red river near Wulai. Sadly I never got to try it. On the only pre-typhoon river trace I did there it was taken over by organized river tracing groups. There are very few natural waterslides around Taipei. There's a longish one at Jiangziliao and a smaller one on the red river that survived Soudelor. They are both slightly awkward slides so I jumped at a chance to head to another one, despite its distance from Taipei.
Yunei Waterslide is just past the Xiaowulai Waterfall area in the mountains of Taoyuan County. You will need your own transport to reach it and it took almost two hours to scooter here from Taipei. I suggest not going at the weekend. While the slide and river were quiet the roads up the mountains were choked with cars heading to and from Xiaowulai.
The crumbly shale rock here has been smoothed and covered in very slippery plant matter. The slide has a couple of levels joined by a churning pool. The final level has a small rise which launches you safely away from the rock face. It's of course a lot of fun to slide down and the climb back up is quite easy. The waterfall heading out of the main pool is not slideable so don't go down that one.
The pool is a short walk away from a campground. It's an easy hike with just a couple of short rope sections on small cliffs.
The trace further up the river is enjoyable and fairly easy. There is nothing challenging to scale and in an hour or so you'll reach two beautiful tall ribbon waterfalls.
Just past these waterfalls we met a Taiwanese group. They told us they were part of a rescue team searching for a hiker who had been lost in the area for a week. They had searched many paths and were now searching the rivers. The mountains here are quite remote and the forest very thick. This person could be a few meters from a path and be invisible.
The terrain made me call into question my own plan for escape if I ever got lost hiking. I always thought I'd simply find a stream and follow it down to civilization. I completely forgot that out here the canyons are so steep a stream may end in a 30 meter waterfall. I wouldn't hike somewhere like this solo however.
Upriver at a fork a wider fall cascades over a shale cliff. This seemed like a good place to stop and we enjoyed a swim here. There were many butterflies of a pretty species that I think has evolved to blend in with dead leaves.
The waterfall is climbable with some difficulty but looking on Google the stream upriver from it narrows and ends quite quickly. The main river continues left for a long way but I have no idea what is up there.
We traced back and spent a little longer around the pool. Sadly we noticed some groups of locals had left without their garbage. A little further down from the waterslide another river joins from the right. Apparently there's a waterfall up here so that will be explored on a future expedition. The location for this place is no secret and is even on Google (but don't follow the Googles Maps directions to it!). It’s tricky enough to get to that I doubt it’ll ever be overwhelmed. Check the location and hike route here!