Best Hike I've done in Taiwan! Guanshan 3668m!

Hi guys, just wanted to share a hike I’ve done last month in the southern part of the island.

Mt. Guanshan is 3668m high and is along the South Cross Island HWY.
It is in Yushan National Park (the southern end).

I have a full page with pistures, maps and descriptions on Taiwanese Secrets (my website).

It takes 2 days so you need to have an overnight permit through YSNP at least 7 days in advance.
You also need a mountain permit, you can get this one in Meishankou, a small village before the trailhead.

I highly recommend this hike to anyone fit enough to walk a good 6 hours a day in the hills.


Nice pics Ugo. Thanks for sharing. That area really is an underrated part of Taiwan. I think immigration at the airports should refuse exit to waiguoren who have not been been across one of the cross island highways.

Good work, Ugo. Like the practical format of your entry. I’ve been thinking of adding maps to my hiking blog and you’ve inspired me to do it.

BTW, there is no bus anymore from Taidong up to the trailhead. It’s a drag as it makes getting to the trailhead for the hike to Jiaming Lake really difficult now.

Great website ugo and looks like a great hike.

I can’t believe you had the two permits and they almost sent you back for lack of the third. That’s the kind of mindless crap that makes almost makes me want to stay out of Taiwan’s wilderness and wait till I can go back home and hike/camp wherever I bloody well please without such moronic restrictions. Anyway, glad they relented. Nice pics.

Hey Mucha Man,

I’m glad to hear that from you!

I’m a fan of Pashan. You are THE reference on hiking in Taiwan.

I’ve learned so much about trails on your blog.

The Batonguan trail description is fantastic, I love food part, quite in depth!

Thanks for the bus update, I’ll have to correct that as soon as I can.

Same for you Mucha, keep up the good work!

Might see you on trail one day…

Mother Theresa, thx for the good comments. I also miss being able to run to the hills without having to worry about paperwork…


Fantastic hike! Definitely one I’d like to do.

Very nice account. I’m confused about the Overnight Permit though. In the nightmarish world of Taiwanese hiking regulations, I’ve gotten used to obtaining the Entry Permit for the National Park and the Mountain Permit from the police. But what is the overnight permit? Is that your reservation to stay in the shelter?

Remember all those bloody fools that decide to go hiking on the high mountains when there are typhoon warnings in force? The rescue helicopters crashing while trying to save their sorry asses? Or how about those greedy bastards who go up there to trap rare birds or slash the forest down to plant wasabi?
That’s why these Kafkaesque rules are still in place.

@OP: Nice work. It is indeed absolutely gorgeous up there.

Good point, redwagon.

Looks like an awesome hike. Good time of year to go, I think. It sure didn’t look too hot up there. And you got to see snow! Very cool.

Maybe next time you plan a trip you could post ahead so other people could join you. Just a thought. I would have happily tagged along on that one. What a great way to take a step back from the city life. :thumbsup:


I did Yushan shortly after my arrival here in February about 13 years ago and it was a truly unforgettable experience. Good work, Ugo; glad to hear someone is still conquering those peaks!

Very nice account Ugo. I recognize the guy in the yellow jacket, have the feeling I too have had a similar interaction with him somewhere.

Just back from a Nan-er-dwan (Southern second section) recce trip carrying FIVE bits of (never checked) paper.

Some of the finest trails around, first-class shelters in the middle, and views to impress Canadians/Swiss. How many people did I meet - not one single person from leaving the Southern Cross (no 20) till arriving at Tungpu. Went a bit mad discussing with the sanbar why it is so empty up there.

Hi Feiren,

I know it’s a bit confusing. I’ll try to explain it again…

If you only go for a one day hike (which would be kind of odd to make it all the way up here only for a day), then you can get your permits in the morning in Meishankou, at the police station and at Yushan National Park center (they’re on your right, when you drive into Meishankou - easy to locate, Meishankou is super small).

If you go are gonna sleep on the mountain - in your tent or at the cabin - then you need to apply at least 7 days in advance, but no more than 30 days, online for the Park permit. And you need to have this one ready before you apply for the mountain permit at the police station.

I recommend you have a patient Chinese friend to do the online application…

I hope this help, let me know if you need more info.


Sorry I’m still confused. I’ve obtained the park permit from the various national parks and the mountain entry permit from the police many times. But what is the third permit? This sounds like two.

Volviic, how long did your Nanerduan hike take and what were the weather condition like at this time of year.

You’re right, it is only two permits.

The overnight authorization is on the actual Park Permit.

My experience - after 9 years of climbing most of the main peaks around the island - is that there are some inconsistencies from one place to another.


Volviic, how long did your Nanerduan hike take and what were the weather condition like at this time of year.[/quote]

Hi Feiren

I spent 6 days/5 nights doing it this time, but recommend 7, 8 or even 9 days. Possible if very fit/mad to do it in 4/5 days…I emphasize VERY FIT/VERY MAD.

The weather was fantastic, very dry, but bitterly cold at night. Great views in all directions.

Consider getting permission to exit coming over Yushan main peak, and out by Tataka. The Batong trail to Tungpu has some very scary stuff to cross.

Ach - what’s a few stones? Missed my noggin by a mile!

[quote=“Ugo”]You’re right, it is only two permits.

The overnight authorization is on the actual Park Permit.

My experience - after 9 years of climbing most of the main peaks around the island - is that there are some inconsistencies from one place to another.


Mine too. I was afraid this was going to be another one. Thanks for the patient clarification.

I did Guanshan as a one day hike partly solo last Sunday.

The reason for doing it in one day was that we only managed to get our minds around it the day before.

It’s 10 hours to the summit return.

The vertical bit 500 meter before the summit is tough, the rest is fairly easy.

The fog detracted considerably from the experience, however I will still recommend it.

I will however stay in the hut next time.

Great write up, keep it coming! This one has always been on my to-do list, as are the rest of the SCIH peaks, inlcuding YuShan.

Coming from the west how long is the drive from the freeway or the end of Hwy 84?

The trail head is at the 139km mark. That would mean some 3 hours, however I did not do it in one go.