Jade Mountain

Two day ascent Difficulty – 3 (out of 5)   Duration – 2 days and 2 nights (more can be arranged)

Single day ascent Difficulty – 5 (out 5) Duration – 1 day and 1 night

Jade Mountain (Yushan) is Taiwan’s tallest mountains at 3,952m (12,966 ft).   It’s located within the Yushan National Park just next to the famous Alishan National Scenic Area in the central mountains of Taiwan.  If measured from the nearby ocean floor, the Jade Mountain Main Peak rises an impressive 8,000m in only 100 km.

Jade Mountain is the most famous, and therefore most popular hike in Taiwan. Everyone with an interest in adventure, hiking, and the outdoors in Taiwan wants to be able to say that they’ve climbed it.  These factors make getting a weekend permit nearly impossible.  Despite being the most popular, it’s rarely considered one of the best amongst avid hikers.  If you only have a weekend to hike and want a great hiking experience, consider one of the many other excellent high mountain hikes that Taiwan has to offer.

TYPICAL ITINERARY

Day 0

A typical trip to Jade Mountain starts with a Taipei pick up, and then the 5 hour drive to the hostel-like Youth Activity Center near the trailhead.

Day 1

After a good night’s sleep and breakfast, checking in at the Ranger’s Station/Visitors Center requires watching an interesting video on the history, wildlife, flora, and geology of the area.  After a short bus ride to the actual trailhead, it’s time to begin the most anticipated hiking trail in Taiwan!

The trail itself is very well kept and even has a few “Eco Toilets” along it.   We would classify it as an easy trail, except that it takes about 6 hours to get to the brand new Paiyun Lodge, built in 2011.  The trail up to the cabin has no steep inclines or rope work needed, it’s just a steady, uphill walk.

Along the trail, you pass through a variety of different ecosystems, from tall grass slopes to ancient pine forests… from areas opened by recent landslides, to thick bamboo groves.  There are also the constant views of the deep valley to the south side of the trail and the occasional suspension bridge.

After dinner at the Paiyun Lodge, the sunset can be seen clearly from the West Peak (about a hour’s hike away) or fairly well from the hill next to the lodge (for those with tired legs!).  The lodge is always very crowded, so don’t forget your earplugs because Day 2 starts very early!

Day 2

Most hikers start at about 3am to make the peak by sunrise.  This is a difficult 2 hours for most, hiking in the dark through scree fields and up very steep slopes.  The thin air at this altitude and be dangerous, so don’t forget to drink lots of water and take lots of short breaks.

All that work will be well worth it as you step onto the highest peak in Eastern Asia.  On a very clear day, both the Pacific Ocean and Taiwan Strait can be seen to the east and west, respectfully.  Our favorite site is actually just before sunrise, when more stars can be seen in the sky than you’ve ever seen in your life, and the orange sun starts to light the horizon.

Tea and a quick breakfast are followed by the hike down and the long ride back to Taipei.  We promise that the elation of hiking one of the highest, and most beautiful mountains in the world won’t soon wear off!

GRADING AND FITNESS

Single Day Ascent

The single day ascent involves a tough 10-12 hours of hiking.  In getting to the peak, hikers gain 1700m.  There is some exposure to heights and high altitude.  A high level of fitness is required.  One of the criteria for getting a permit to do the single day ascent is that hikers must provide photographic evidence of themselves on top of a recognized 3000m+ peak.

2 Day Ascent

The first day involves a 6 hour walk.  The second day is usually around 10 hours.  There is some exposure to heights and high altitude.  A good level of fitness is required.  Hikers are expected to carry around 8-10kg to Paiyun Cabin.

TRANSPORT

Typically pick up and drop off is from Taipei, but other locations can be arranged, including Taoyuan International Airport. We will travel by car or small van depending upon numbers.  All of our vehicles are insured and all drivers have local licences. 

FOOD

All meals are provided for.  If you have any special dietary requests, allergies or needs, let us know and we’ll be happy to accommodate you. 

ACCOMMODATION

The first night’s accommodation is usually at the Dongpu Hostel.  It’s very close to the trailhead and despite being cramped and spartan, is the best place to stay*.  If doing the 2 day ascent, we’ll spend the next night at the Paiyun Cabin (3400m above sea-level). *Upgrades can be made to stay a hotel in the Alishan Recreational Area, about an hour from the trailhead.

GUIDES AND SAFETY

All of our guides are Wilderness First Responder certified and carry first aid kits.  They have all spent a lot of time hiking in Taiwan and are very experienced in the high mountains.  All of our guides are native speakers of English, but also speak Mandarin and are very knowledgeable about the local mountains, flora/fauna, and culture.

INSURANCE

Taiwan Adventures will provide you with $2 million NTD accident insurance.  However, you must have your own travel and medical insurance.  Our partners at World Nomads Insurance can provide you with travel insurance that covers you for high mountain hiking.  

PRICES

Prices for a 2 day hike to Yushan start from $59,000NTD for groups of up to 3 people, then each additional person is an additional $18,900NTD.  This includes guiding, transport, pick up and drop off from Taipei (other locations can be arranged), all meals, accommodation, accident insurance, and permits.  All of our trips can be customized.  If you have any additional requests, please let us know.

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