Jiaming Lake

Difficulty – 4 (out of 5)       Duration – 3 days and 3 nights

Once thought to be a lake created by a meteor strike some 3000 years ago, Jiaming Lake it turns out, is actually a lot older and was created by glacial movement during the last ice age  some 6000 to 7000 years ago.

It is set in the high mountains in the south of Taiwan and is one of the most beautiful and largest alpine lakes on the whole island; the widest point is some 120m across!

This hike takes you to two of Taiwan’s top one hundred mountains as well to the lake and the famous Xiangyang tree pictured in the slideshow above.

A hike to Jiaming Lake typically takes 4 days and 3 nights including travel time from Taipei.


 Day 0

We meet in the morning in Taipei and head down towards Guanshan, Taidong.  From there it’s a 2 hour drive up the Southern Cross Island Highway to Xiangyang where we camp out for the night.  The facilities are excellent with showers, toilets and an area for cooking.

Day 1

After a good night’s rest we begin our hike at the Xiangyang National Forest Recreation Area.  There’s a short walk through the forest area to get to the trailhead proper.

The hike begins in a beautiful pine forest and passes by the Xiangyang Cabin.  After a few hours we emerge from the forest and are met with spectacular views.  Xiangyang Mountain can be climbed on this day if there’s time.  Our only goal for the day is to arrive at the Jiaming Lake Hut and so there’s plenty of time to enjoy the walk and take lots of pictures.

Day 2

We get up early on day 2 and hike out to Jiaming Lake.  It takes around 4-5 hours to go there and back to the cabin.  Once at the lake, there’s lots of time to walk around it and admire some of the views from hills at the southern side.  If it’s warm enough, we can go for a swim in the lake, but be aware that even in the summer, the water temperature isn’t very high!

Once back at the Jiaming Lake Cabin, we pack up and hike back down to the Xiangyang Cabin where we spend the night.

Day 3

On the final day we hike back down to the forest recreation area and drive back to Guanshan and then on to Taipei.


The hike to Jiaming Lake is quite tough, but the itinerary allows for plenty of rest.   We typical walk for around 6-7 hours on the first day, 7-8 hours on the second day and 2-3 hours on the final day.  There is some exposure to heights and high altitude.  A good level of fitness is required.   There are no fixed rope sections.


40L pack (can be rented)
Light fleece
Heavy fleece (winter)
Socks (3 pairs)
Sturdy hiking boots
Quick drying T-shirts
Shorts/Trousers (no jeans!)
Rain pants
Hiking poles
Sleeping bag (can be rented)
Toiletries and personal medicine
Wide brimmed hat
Warm hat
Change of clothes for the drive back
Crampons (winter only – can be rented)
Ice axe (winter only – can be rented) 


Typically pick up and drop off is from Taipei, but other locations can be arranged, including Taoyuan International Airport.  Normally we catch a train from Taipei to Guanshan, Taidong and then travel by car or small van to the Xiangyang Forest Recreation Area depending upon numbers.  All of our vehicles are insured and all drivers have local licenses. 


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. 


The first night’s accommodation is at the campsite at the Xiangyang Forest Recreation Area.  The campsite has showers and bathrooms.

Once on the mountain, we stay in cabins that are provided by the forestry bureau park.  The cabins are very basic.  We will need to carry sleeping bags, cookware and food in.


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


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


Prices for a 3 day hike to Jiaming start from $54,000NT for groups of up to 3 people.  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 customised.  If you have any additional requests, please let us know.

Contact us for more information