- A visit to the most easily accessible mountain above 3,000m in Taiwan, located in the country’s central region in the Central Mountain Range: Hehuanshan (Mt. Hehuan).
- Standing on different peaks, enjoy the majesty of the surrounding mountains and the ever-changing ethereal scenery, with the boundary lines between forest and the seas of clouds constantly shifting.
- Use hands and feet to scale the steep, sharp-pointed Mt. Hehuanjian, to witness a vestige of the Ice Age: a peak shaped like an ice bucket!
This is a tour that is a feast for the eyes, reveling in the magnificent beauty of Taiwan’s high mountains! An easy highway drive brings you to the cluster of peaks that inhabit the Hehuanshan National Forest Recreation Area, located in central Taiwan in the Central Mountain Range. This is the perfect launch-point for exploration of Taiwan’s high mountains. Visit the park’s Mt. Hehuan East Peak, Mt. Hehuanjian, and Mt. Shihmen, enjoying the magnificent panoramas of the interconnected mountain giants. In spring and summer, savor the wonderful bloom of Hehuanshan’s Yushan Rhododendron[a.1] , which seem to burst forth everywhere. The forested, emerald-green mountainsides are thickly dotted with brilliant splashes of red-pink flowers. In autumn and winter comes the chance to see the great seas of clouds roiling and curling, creating an ever-transforming dreamlike mountain world!
Beyond the easy conquering of the three aforementioned members of the Taiwan 100 Peaks, we’ll also traverse the Xiaoqilai Trail, which begins beside Hehuanshan’s Ski Lodge. This brings you through the mountain-valley terrain between Hehuanshan and Qilaishan (Mt. Qilai). The trail’s end-point is the Xiaoqilai grassland, perched atop rolling hills, which offers a thrilling vista back toward Hehuanshan and the Qilaishan peaks in the opposite direction, amidst a landscape both unique and awe-inspiring.
The distinctive shape of Mt. Hehuanjian took shape during the Ice Age, as a result of the digging and grinding of two or more adjacent glaciers that were headed in different directions. They left behind a highly peculiar landform, a peak in the shape of an ice bucket. The ascent to the peak is up the south face, with the path up dominated by rock and dirt sections. The exposed stone is rugged, and the Yushan Cane crowds in along the pathway sides.
Mt. Shihmen Trail
It is also called one of the “8 little hills” in Taiwan. It is easy to access with its smooth incline and flat area on the hilltop. When you walk along the trail, you can enjoy the long view over the grassland. It is the best place to see the sunrise in spring and autumn.
Mt. Hehuan East Peak Trail
Mt. Hehuan East Peak is the second highest among the Hehuanshan cluster, at 3,421m. The upper reaches stand towering, majestic, and independent, and the field of view on the peak is wide open. It can be reached in about an hour from the trailhead. The scenery along the trail is distinct in each of the four seasons. This is the area of greatest Yushan Rhododendron concentration, and during the May/June bloom the mountainside comes alive with pastel purples and reds.
The Xiaoqilai Trail is the first section on the Qilaishan Hiking Trail. It is comparatively gentler, and is suitable for shorter, invigorating outings. The trail’s end-point is the Xiaoqilai grassland, an expanse of Yushan Cane (a type of arrow bamboo) that undulates in breezes like waves on a sea. This is a superb vantage point for views of the powerfully majestic, black-hued Qilaishan (Mt. Qilai). It is a “secret place” unknown and unvisited by most Hehuanshan visitors.
▲The itinerary may be adjusted slightly depending on the time of the tour, the weather conditions on the day, or other special or unforeseeable factors.