Mt. Da Ba Jian – How To Hike It Part 2 – 大霸尖山
by Robert Minor
DAY 2 begins with an early rise at the 99 Hut. Some hikers are up at 3:00am and out by 4:00. We got up at 4 and left at 5. You will be walking 15 km (round trip) if you do the entire route and up to Mt. Xiaobajian. It took us 7 hours including breaks to finish everything and arrive back at the 99. Depending on your fitness and pace, give yourself 7-9 hours to complete all 4 peaks round trip. As seen above, getting up early allows a chance for a beautiful sunrise.
Sign to Mt. Jia Li Peak 加利山
As soon as you leave the 99 Hut, take a left and start hiking up 2Km to the Gaodi 高地 or “high area”. The trail is well groomed and easy to follow.As soon as you reach the top of the ridge, you will see a sign to the right for one of the 100 Peaks called Mt. Jiali 加利山. (3112 meters & #86 on the 100 Peak list)
Most hikers will wait to do the hike to Mt. Jiali (20 minutes one way) at the very end of the hike. This is to take advantage of good morning weather and to save your energy for the longer hike ahead.
Trail Ridge Walk to Mt. Dabajian
The ridge walk trail to Dabajian is very enjoyable. It is relatively flat except for 2 ascents and descents. There are great views on facing east and west and even some views of cities below.
Spectacular Views of Mt. Dabajian and Xiaobajian
As you progress across the ridge trail, the views of Dabajian and Xiaobajian become clearer and closer. Dabajian is at the 11km marker so you can track your distance as you walk.
Zhong Ba Cabin 中霸山莊
About 2.5 hours into the hike, you will come to the Zhong Ba Cabin 中霸山莊. You can book to stay here, but people rarely do unless they are coming from the other direction. There was no one there when we passed by that morning.
Trail Up to Mt.Yize 伊澤山
Another of the 4 peaks you can hike on this trail is Mt. Yize 伊澤山. Mt.Yize is at 3,297meters and is #53 on the 100 peak list. There is a sign up to Mt. Yize and it takes less than 10 minutes to get to the peak. Most hikers do this peak on the way back from Dabajian. There is a great view of Dabajian from the peak of Mt. Yize.
Closing In On Mt. Dabajian
As you proceed along the trail, you get great views of a growing Dabajian and Xiaobajian. We took a lot of photos.
The Base of Mt. Dabajian
3.5 hours later, we arrived at the base of Dabajian. In the old days, you could walk through the monkey bars (good to hold on windy days) and make your way around the back to scale up ropes and metal ladders to the top. That has all been taken down for safety reasons and it is illegal to climb to the top. That said, Dabajian is a beautiful and daunting piece of rock.
Mt. Dabjian 大霸尖山
At 3492 meters, Mt. Dabajian is #28 on the 100 peak list. There is a sign chained to the ground that you can hold up. Although you didn’t actually “peak” Dabajian, nowadays, this counts and you can check it off your list.
Walk Along Mt. Dabajian Base Trail
The hike isn’t over yet. Make your way across the base of the mountain. I found this exhilarating, but others find it unnerving as at anytime something could fall on you from above. The trail across is wide and easy to walk.
Trail To Mt. Xiaobajian
Continue along the ridge and past some trees and you will end up on some boulders. On the left you may see a turn off to the Holy Ridge Trail which leads you to Mt. Snow. The rocky peak of Mt. Xiaobajian is ahead. It will take you 20 minutes to climb this. It is the most technical, and fun, part of the hike.
Hike Up Mt. Xiaobajian 小霸尖山
Getting up Xiaobajian requires some rope work and scrambling over rocks. We loved it.
Awesome View From The Top
Mt. Xiaobajian 小霸尖山 stands at 3,418 meters and is #36 on the 100 peak list. The view from the top is great. You can see the trail you walked in all morning to the west and you get a different angled view of Dabajian. It took us 4 hours to get here from the 99.
A Look Back From Top of Mt. Yize
After a nice break and some snacks, it was time to head back and hike the last 2 peaks of Mt. Yize and Mt. Jiali. Below is the view from the peak of Mt. Yize.
Time To Head Back
We followed the trail back, taking breaks and enjoying an amazing day. We headed off to Mt. Jiali and then back down to the 99. We were back at 2:00pm. It took us 7 hours which wasn’t a rushed pace but a little faster than average.
After another night at 99, we woke up a little later and headed back to Guanwu.
This trek was one of the most beautiful I have done in Taiwan. We had great weather and it was not an exhausting hike like other treks here.
Enjoy the Mt. Dabajian area. Always remember to be safe and prepare for cold temperatures or wet weather.