Mt. Hehuan North Peak hike 合歡山北峰

Other peaks near HehuanHehuan West Peak      Hehuan East Peak       Mt. Shimen     Mt. Qilai North and Main Peaks

by Robert Minor

 

If you fancy a hike up to experience the beautiful central mountain range of Taiwan, but don't feel you have the stamina or the gear, you need not worry. Even hiking a few of Taiwan's 100 peaks is accessible for most.

 

One such peak is the North Peak of Hehuan Mountain. Read here for (Hehuan East Peak and Shimen Mountain Peak). Hehuan North Peak is #34 on Taiwan's 100 peaks.

 

From the town of Puli, visitors and tourists enjoy making the mountain drive up Route 14 into Ching Jing Farm and the Wuling Pass. This road then takes you down the other side of Taiwan to Hualian.

 

Once you cross over the Wuling Pass, you will come to the Service Station of Mt. Hehuan at about the 34-35 km marker. At this station there is a place to park , get hot water, buy some noodles and hang out and enjoy the vistas of the Central Mountain Range.

 

Blue Skies Adventures organizes hiking and outdoor trips for those living or visiting Taiwan.

 

If you are into camping, you can set up an illegal tent site here at night or as we did, in the parking lot below the service station. See photos.

 

Hehuan Mountain North Peak
Hehuan Mountain North Peak

View of the Mt. Hehuan Service Station. We camped illegally in the parking lot below with about 10 other cars. However, at 6:00am park officials came by to wake us and tell us to take down our tents as there is no camping there. We obliged and were not fined. It seems it is known that people will camp, however, it is a parking lot and they want it to become one before more tourists arrive.

 

Hehuan Mountain North Peak
Hehuan Mountain North Peak

 

No camping or cooking in the lot. We did anyways as did some other groups.

 

Hehuan Mountain North Peak
Hehuan Mountain North Peak

 

The Mt. Hehuan Service Station has bathrooms, hot water, maps, and a shop selling instant noodles and snacks.  There are tables to sit and relax for lunch.

 

Hehuan Mountain North Peak
Hehuan Mountain North Peak

 

When you are ready to hike, (you should start in the early morning before 10am as the weather can change often at this altitude in the early afternoon.) Strap on your small backpack with water and some snacks and walk down the road to the 37 km marker.  Here, on your left, you will see the Hehuan Mountain North Peak Trailhead.

 

The trail is clearly marked by a sign and some stairs starting the hike.

 

Hehuan Mountain North Peak
Hehuan Mountain North Peak

 

The trail is very clear and well laid out. There are some stairs, but most of it is a dirt path. The trail starts out steep for about 30 minutes and then levels out into a gradual climb. There are distance markers on the side at every 100 meters. The total distance to the peak is 2 kilometers. It takes most people 1.5-2 hours depending on how fit you are and how well you acclimitize to the high altitude.

 

Hehuan Mountain North Peak
Hehuan Mountain North Peak

 

Hehuan Mountain North Peak
Hehuan Mountain North Peak

 

The vistas are beautiful on a clear day. You can see many 100 peaks including the famous Chilai Mountain North and Main peak which is at your back as you climb up the trail. In the picture below, there was a dusting of snow on the Chilai North Peak.

 

Hehuan Mountain North Peak
Hehuan Mountain North Peak

 

Hikers can also spend the night on the trail. At about the 1km marker there is a plateau with many areas flattened and cleared out by campers. Hikers who want to stay on the peak or climb the to the West Peak (same trail but 5.5 km longer) can camp here and get a better start. See the area below.

 

Hehuan Mountain North Peak
Hehuan Mountain North Peak

 

After following the trail about 2km, you will come to a clearing and see the large marker of the Hehuan North Peak at 3422meters.  There is a nice space to take photos, have a snack, talk to other hikers (Taiwanese hikers are usually cooking tea, coffee, noodles, and enjoying the day). There are plenty of wonderful views to photograph and enjoy. Be proud you have hiked #34 of Taiwan's 100 peaks!!

 

Hehuan Mountain North Peak
Hehuan North Peak

 

Hehuan Mountain North Peak Hike

 

Distance to Peak: 2 kilometers

Time to Peak: 1.5-2 hours

 

 

What To Bring Up Hehuan North Peak

 

Although it seems short, don't underestimate the north peak. The weather can change quickly. In the spring and summer, you may get rain. In the fall, you may get clouded in. In the winter you may get clouds and cold temperatures.

 

Always be prepared for the elements. Here is a short list to pack in your day pack:

 

  • 2 liters of water. Keep hydrated. You are over 3,000meters! It's easy to get dehyrdated at that altitude
  • hat and sunscreen
  • rain gear
  • some food to snack on (apples, oranges, nuts, crackers)
  • good hiking boots or shoes. No sandals
  • warm clothes depending on season. In winter, it snows up there!
  • your cell phone for an emergency
  • camera

 

Getting There

 

Car is the best way to get there.

  • From National Highway 3, turn onto National Highway 6. (It starts about 30 minutes south of Taichung City).
  • Drive Highway 6 until it ends in Puli (30 minutes)
  • Take a left and start heading up provincial route 14.
  • It takes about 45 minutes to get to Mist Plaza below Ching Jing Farm. There is a Starbucks there.
  • From Mist Plaza it is another 45 minutes to the Wuling Pass. It's a winding and tight road.
  • After Wuling Pass, the road begins to go down again and after 3 km you will come to the Mt. Hehuan Service Station. Be careful not to stop at the first set of buildings. That is for the Hehuan East Peak.

 

 

Do you need a permit to climb Hehuan North Peak?

 

You need a permit, HOWEVER, no one seems to get one and no one is there to check. Since this is a trail that can be done quite easily, the park service doesn't enforce it.

 

Blue Skies Adventures organizes hiking and outdoor trips for those living or visiting Taiwan.

 

Click here for Shimen Mountain Hike

Click here for Hehuan East Peak Hike

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