Hehuan-Cilai-Nenggao hike. Getting to trailhead


I live in Hong Kong and I try to head over to Taiwan once a year for a high mountain hike. This year I’d like to do the Cilai ridge hike between Hehuan hostel and Nenggao west trailhead (via north, main, south peak), as described on the Barking Deer website: taroko.gov.tw/English/?mm=9& … 58&index=2

Planning to do it between 28Sep-2Oct.

I’m thinking of doing it backwards as transport logistics sounds easier: fly into Taichung, bus to Puli or Wushe, taxi to Nenggao west trailhead here. Then from Hehuan hostel should be easy enough to hitchhike or take a bus to Cingjing farm/Puli, from which there is public transport back to Taichung or the airport. (While if I ended at Nenggao, not sure how I could get out.)

I have two questions: would it be possible/easy/hard to get a taxi from Puli to the trailhead, which is here: goo.gl/maps/Yo6gI
How much would it cost? (Note I don’t speak any Chinese)

For the permit, last time I went to Taroko NP it was a nightmare to gets permits. I heard it has become easier now, though you still need a Taiwanese national as a contact person (not sure if they need to actually be on the hike?). Any advice what the best way is to get one?

Thanks a lot!


Are you going to hike alone? Maybe you should join a group of local hikers? Even if you are experienced and all, don’t underestimate the dangers of Taiwan’s high mountains. Also if you don’t speak Chinese (and can’t read Chinese signs) and you get lost, you might get yourself in deep trouble. Have you contacted Barking Deer? Maybe they can help you with info and contacts.

If you’ve dealt with Taroko N.P. before, you’ll already know the permits are difficult to get. The obstacle is having a Taiwanese citizen I.D. on your group list and another as emergency contact number. If you have a group of people, then perhaps Barking Deer can do the paperwork for you.
What hikes have you done in the Central Mountains before? If you haven’t done much, the important thing about that route is there is a long day’s hike between Tianchi cabin and the hut on the ridge below Cilai North Peak. You need a tent in that case. Also, and crucially, you need an absolutely perfect 3 day forecast on the Hualien side of the range.
I think the way to go is, in fact, to begin at Hehuan Hostel (actually the Ski Lodge annex of the Song Syue Lodge there), climb Cilai Shan North and South Peaks and then come down to Tianchi cabin (or camp at the pond before it and avoid the crowds) exiting on the road above LuShan. To get to Hehuan Shan, there is a 9.10 a.m. minibus from Fengyuan Bus depot near the station. Fengyuan is a big town just north of Taichung.
The process for getting permits to longer routes like this is difficult especially if you are solo. You might be better off choosing Snow Mtn. or Jade Mtn. which has cabins and solo permits are possible there and presumably Barking Deer or Taiwan Adventures could organize that paperwork for you.

Hi all,

First of all, I apologise for committing the cardinal sin of asking something on a forum and then not replying. No excuse, except that I was also busy with another two-week backpacking trip and ended up being away from the internet for longer than expected.

As you say, I know Taroko permits are difficult to get, and I’ve contacted barking deer (who, as for all my previous requests, never reply), and also Taiwan adventures, who have been more helpful. However, I’ve been overly ambitious with my number of planned trips so I’m unfortunately going to have to put this one on hold as it’s probably too late now anyway. I think I may have a Taiwanese contact which I can use for next time.

Just FYI - yes, the plan was to hike alone, partly because that’s what I’ve done before and I really enjoyed it (day hikes around Hehuanshan and overnight trip to the Sixiu), and partly because nobody I know is interested in joining me. Are there local groups which run websites I could look at? I don’t speak any Chinese, so my options are probably limited.

Also thanks for the advice regarding itinerary. I’m fine doing it from the Song Syue side too - I’m just not sure how I’ll get out from the other side. The minibus tip is very useful. I suppose I could walk the extra 10km or so to LuShan and get a public bus. Jade mountain is also on my to-do list but was always discouraged from it due to the limited permits, and Snow mountain is also on the list but I’d like to include it as part of the holy ridge circuit - which is one trip I will not do alone, so still looking for partners for it. Another one is Nanhu.

Anyway thanks for the help, like I said, I’ve postponed the trip now but will hopefully get another opportunity to do it later!


You have probably seen all the vids and read up on plenty of stuff already.
But its best not to do Taiwan high mountains alone. Unless you are Reinhold Messner of course.

Holy Ridge

hikingtaiwan.wordpress.com/2011/ … oly-ridge/


Snow mountain Winter