Taiwan – Mt Hehuan / Hehuanshan
Hehuanshan, 合歡山 (Mt Hehuan, also known as Joy Mountain) is a series of peaks in Central Mountain Range (中央山脈) that makes up the backbone of Taiwan. The peaks lie on the boundaries of Nantou and Hualien counties and is within the Taroko Gorge National Park. Being one of the the most accessible high altitude hiking trails in Taiwan, it is a popular destination among the locals. The east peak (3421m) and north peak (3422m) of Mt Hehuan are higher than the main peak (3416m). In the past, a military training area was built in the proximity of Mt Hehuan. The mountain range also features the remains of a ski lift, reportedly used by Taiwan's elite during the martial law period and inaccessible to most people. The unreliability of snowfall has meant that the ski lift was abandoned years ago.
The peaks are among the “Hundred Peaks” (百岳) identified by Taiwanese as great mountains of Taiwan. Jade Mountain (玉山) and Snow Mountain (雪山) are ranked #1 and #2 respectively. Mt Hehuan Main Peak is ranked #37, East Peak #35, North Peak #34, and Mt Shimen #66. Mt Shimen is also the easiest and shortest hike among the 100 peaks.
About The Trek
There is no need to camp nor stay in a mountain hut for this 2 days/1 night Mt Hehaun trek. Trekkers return to a hostel or hotel, near the base of the mountain, for an overnight stay at the end of each day's trek. Day one of the trek covers Mt Hehuan Main Peak (3417m), Mt Shimen (3237m) and East Peak (3421m). Day 2 trek will be to Mt Hehuan North Peak (3422m). All the trailheads are in close vicinity of the Hehuanshan Visitor Centre and Wuling Pass, the highest point for a vehicle in Taiwan.
The trail to Mt Hehuan Main Peak is mostly on well marked tarred road with viewpoints along the way and a couple of old military watchtowers. Mt Shimen is a short trail that starts gentle but soon arrives at a series of irregular steps that lead you to the top. The trailhead of Mt Hehuan East Peak is right behind Song Syue Lodge. The trails starts as a dirt path until you reach the staircase, well-maintained wooden stairs that bring you all the way to the top. Look out for the dilapidated ski lift station along the way and the enchanting view behind you as you trudge up. Mt Hehuan North Peak's trail will offer more variation in terms of terrain. It is nearly all natural path with the first part being a steep ascent over some rocky paths. As you level out on a ridge and a sprawling grassy land, the summit is not far away.
It is possible to trek in Taiwan all year round. However, it is advisable to avoid the typhoon season (July to September). In winter to early spring (late December to February/March), there can be ice and snow, making the climb more challenging, undesirable or inaccessible.
The popular trekking seasons are:
- Spring (March-May)
- Autumn (October-November) and
- Winter (December)
No trekking experience is required. Anyone with an average level of fitness can complete this trek. The trek will bring you to an elevation of slightly above 3000m. You will be trekking on an average of 6-7 hours a day with a 3-5kg backpack load.
Equipment and Gear
You can wear a quick dry t-shirt, trekking shirt or light weight thermal with trekking pants. You will need a fleece jacket and an outer shell jacket. Bring rain gear and waterproof your backpack.
A packing list will be provided to all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to learn about the layering system and choose the right gear/equipment for your trek.
This Mt Hehuan trip is part of our Start Trekking initiative. Through Start Trekking, we hope to encourage more people to take up trekking as a way to keep fit and embrace the great outdoors.
The Start Trekking package fee include a trip leader from Singapore and is based on a group size of 10 - 20 people.
You can also form a private group for this trek. For enquiry, send an email to us at email@example.com
|Day||Description||Meals||Altitude at Rest Point|
|Day 1||Arrive in Taipei. Flight arrival before 1pm. Transfer to Lushan.||-/-/D||1200m|
|Day 2||Transfer to trail head -Trek to Mt. Hehuan Main Peak (3417m) - Mt. Shimen (3237m) - Mt Hehuan East Peak (3421m) - back to trail head. Transfer to Lushan.||B/L/D||3150m|
|Day 3||Transfer to trail head -Trek to Mt. Hehuan North Peak (3422m) - back to trail head. Transfer to Taipei.||B/L/D||346m|
|Day 4||Depart Taipei||B/-/-|
- Return airport transfers in Taipei (non-deductible if not utilised)
- All land transfers as in itinerary (non-deductible if not utilised)
- Meals as indicated in itinerary
- Twin/Triple sharing accommodation
- Trek support: Trekking guide
- Permits & Fees: Conservation, National Park fees and permit
- Taiwan insurance on rescue fee by land transfer. Helicopter evacuation is handled by the states.
- International air tickets, airline taxes and fuel surcharge
- Visa Fee (if any).
- Single Supplement
- Meals not indicated in itinerary
- All tipping
- Climbing certificate
- Personal porters
- Personal travel insurance (mandatory to cover travel agent insolvency and trekking up to 4000m)
- Personal expenses like shopping, laundry etc
- Personal travel & trekking gear – warm clothing, shoes, backpacks etc
- Emergency evacuation and medical expenses
- Compensation for damaged or lost of personal items (eg: climbing/trekking gear and equipment, cameras and any valuable items etc)
- Any expenses including accommodation, meals & transfer outside the stipulated trek/climb itinerary – i.e. any person leaving the group for personal travel, illness/injury or any form of extension of stay
Support from Ace Adventure Expeditions
We provide pre-trip support to prepare you for the climb:
1. Trip briefing and information kit
2. Gear list and gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Training guideline kit
4. Rope skill workshop (For climbs that require rope up and/or fixed rope skill)
For Start Trekking : Training and Gear/Trekking Health Knowledge Sessions
To help you prepare for your first trekking adventure, we have included a training session and a gear/healthcare knowledge session prior to your trip.
The training session will cover all the basic trekking techniques on footwork, pacing, how to use the trekking poles etc.
The trekking gear/ healthcare knowledge session will cover the layering system, footwear, hydration and high altitude health concerns such as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) etc.
Our Local Operator
We carefully select and establish strong working relationship with our local trek operator to ensure safe participation by everyone. Our local climbing guides have extensive experience in guiding treks in Taiwan, possess intimate knowledge of the local surroundings, conditions and culture and are trained in wilderness 1st aid and emergency rescue.
Training: Regardless of your level of fitness and physical conditions, it is advisable to train prior to embarking on a trekking or mountain climbing trip.
Pure cardiovascular fitness is NOT enough.
Focus your training effort in the following areas, assuming that you are in good health and injury-free:
- Climbing conditioning – stairs and load training.
- Cardio training - Jogging/running and interval training like CrossFit or HIIT.
- Strength training for the lower body, shoulder, back and core
- Flexibility training - eg: Yoga and stretching exercises
A good two months of training would be a good preparation for this trek.
A recommended training guide specific to the trek or climb will be given to you upon signing up.
Refer to our Grading chart for an overview on the technical difficulty and fitness required for this trek.
Refer to our Training Guide for tips on trekking and mountain climbing training.