Xueshan a mountain in Heping District, Taichung, Taiwan. It is the second highest mountain in Taiwan and in East Asia, at 3,886 m above sea level. It is in the Shei-Pa National Park.
Elevation: 3,886 m
Mountain range: Xueshan Range
First of all Taiwan has one of the vast networks of hiking trails which are very well maintained. Likewise most of the trail can be easily walked if you are an experienced hiker. You can also engage the local guides who would do most of the arrangements from logistics, park permits etc. when comes to safety engaging guides is better options.
And if you are an experienced hiker, you can just DIY your hikes around Taiwan easily. Over the years complexity of applying permits to some of the top mountains in Taiwan was a tedious process. With the new improved online system, one could easily apply the permits online and secure the mountain huts with less hazel. Maybe this blog helps you with your next adventure to Xueshan – the second highest peak of Taiwan. I did my hike self-guided to Xueshan and certainly it was just one of the memorable trips.
BELOW IS THE ROUGH PLAN FOR THIS ADVENTURE:
- Day1: Taipei City – Wuling Farm Trail Head – Qika Lodge
- Day2: Qika Lodge – Sanliujiu (369) Hut – Summit – Sanliujiu (369) Hut
- Day3: Sanliujiu (369) Hut – Wuling Farm Trail Head (End of Hike)
WHERE TO CHECK AND APPLY SHEI-PA NATIONAL PARK PERMITS:
Xueshan is in the Shei-Pa National Park. Most importantly you will need to apply the permits under the Shei-Pa National Park.
Below are the links where you can find all the information:
Do make sure to print out your permits at least 3 copies as you will need to deposit one copy with the ranger station at the entrance of the Xueshan Trailhead. Second copy will be needed at the 369 Hut for verification. One more copy for safekeep.
SINGAPORE TO TAIPEI:
Flyscoot and Jetstar usually cost below $300 for a 2ways return.
GETTING TO WULING FARM FROM TAIPEI TAOYUAN AIRPORT:
Taoyuan Airport MRT is a convenient way to get to the city with the express train less than 40mins from Taoyuan Airport Terminal to Taipei Main Station.
BY BUS: TAIPEI MAIN STATION >>> LUODONG STATION >>> WULING FARM
WULING FARM TO XUESHAN TRAILHEAD:
It’s around 8km walk on the taar road some part is steep road (3.5km on flat road and 4km on a steep road). And if you are lucky enough you could hitchhike this route and you will save some time.
During the peak season of Wuling Farm there are some shuttle bus which will lead the way from Wuling Farm to Xueshan Trailhead. (*subjective to availability). Hence you could make arrangements for you shuttle transfer from here.
ALTERNATIVE WAY TO GET XUESHAN TRAILHEAD:
We engaged a private transfer from Taipei direct to Xueshan Trailhead. Therefore it was much convenient and hazel free with all the transfer. Hence we got some good rest before to the climb in our private transfer. Probably it took us around 4hours to get to the trail head from Taipei City. Certainly we did not get stuck in the traffic along the route.
PREPARATION BEFORE THE TREK:
THINGS TO PACK: 3 DAY 2 NIGHTS
- Backpack (50-65L) recommend Gregory Stout 65 https://www.facebook.com/livactivSG/
- Sleeping Bag (Temp below subzero) recommend Millet Baikal 1100
- Sleeping Mat recommended Sea to Summit Ultralight https://www.outdoorlife.com.sg/
- Trekking Shoes – recommend Lowa Renegade https://www.camperscorner.com.sg/
- Trekking poles – recommend Black Diamond Distance Z-Poles https://www.outdoorlife.com.sg/
- Gloves recommend TNF Power Stretch https://www.facebook.com/TheNorthFaceSG/
- Down jacket recommended Outdoor Research Verismo Hooded
- Outer Shell recommended FJÄLLRÄVEN Keb Eco-Shell Jacket https://www.facebook.com/outsidesg/
- Stove recommend Msr Pocket Rocket 2 https://www.facebook.com/outsidesg/
- Hydration bag recommended CAMELBAK ARMY RESERVOIR https://hockgiftshop.com/
- Snow Crampons (*only needed during the snow season)
- Essentials recommended First Aid Kit, Headlamp, Water filter. Read here fore more info : https://sgtrek.com/the-ten-hiking-essentials-for-beginners/
LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN!!!
DAY 1: Taipei City – Wuling Farm Trail Head – Qika Lodge
Started around noon from Taipei city with my other 2 adventure buddies Jason^2. Our local partner William picked us from our Airbnb in Taipei city. Along the route after 2 hours we stopped by some store to refill our foods. A quick lunch takeaway from fast food and we back on route. It was almost around 4pm we arrived at the trail head. Prepared most of our gear check and done the registration at the park office. Do take note the park closes at 5pm in case the ranger is not around you will need to drop the permits letter in the letter box located at the entrance of the office door.
From the trail head to Qika lodge it’s 2.1km and we took a slow walk up hill and reached in an hour to our first destination. Since we planned to spend our night here at the lodge as it was a quite cozy place with necessity. Usually there was no ranger at this location to check and permits. We just went in and sorted our self for a good rest. Made some food for the night. The lodge there are proper toilet facilities and water also is available. We met another solo hiker at the lodge “Wen” she was on her own hiking. We called it an early night.
Day2: Qika Lodge – Sanliujiu (369) Hut – Summit – Sanliujiu (369) Hut
As it was a long day we wanted to push the summit same day due to the bad weather, we woke up around 4am to prepare our stuff, unfortunately it was heavy raining and we decided to push forward our hikes couple of hours more. Around 7am the rain had almost stopped and we back on the trail.
From Qika Lodge to Sanliujiu (369) hut is around 5.3km usually normal hikers with load may take around 4-5hous to reach the hut. The trail is very scenic along the route. After arriving at the Ku Po (Ku Slope) we rested. It was indeed a steep climb in here we took it slow. The moment once we were up the skies cleared up and we could see the whole mountain range.
From this point to an hour distance was the Xueshan East peak(3201m). we managed to the whole clear views of Wuling Quadruple Mountains. Wuling Quadruple Mountains refer to four famous mountains－Pintian Mountain (3,524), Chihyou Mountain (3,303), Tao Mountain (3,325), and Kalahei Mountain (3,133) －from west to east. This 10-kilometer-long ridge composed of four mountains is part of Xue Mountain Range extending northeast. This was basically our second plan to ascend these 4 mountains once we done with our Xueshan climb.
We could see Sanliujiu (369) hut from the East Peak of Xueshan, a 45mins hike down managed to arrive at the hut before 11.00am. It took us less than a 4hour journey from Qika Lodge to 369 Hut. After having our quick lunch and as per the plan to ascent the summit same day, we proceed to hike. The weather forecast was bad for the next day with strong winds and rain at night. Because we will not be having much chance to see the sunrise, so we decide to just continue with the summit push since the weather was clear.
Summit push from 369 hut usually take around 3hours for a fit climber, 4-5hours for slow walkers. After traversing through the trail for 20minutes we arrived black forest, the giant pine trees just an amazing view to walk through. After pushing through we arrived at the Bottom of Syueshan Glacial Cirques, and then we decided to take a quick break and proceed to the final summit push. The weather was getting worst with the strong winds at 3pm we reached the summit, quickly took pictures as the temp dropped rapidly. We descent down to the hut quickly.
By 5pm, we were down to the 369 huts safely. We met up with the ranger and sorted our accommodation for the night. Prepared our meals and rested early for the night. It was a pretty cold night and started to rain midnight. Temp was subzero.
Day3: Sanliujiu (369) Hut – Wuling Farm Trail Head (End of Hike)
Feeling fresh after a good night rest, all were very much happy about the summit and excited to go down. Around 8am we set to depart down, as everyone was fit, we started to rush down to the trail head with less break. By 11am we arrived at the trailhead it took us only 3hours to get down to the base. Luckily, we managed to catch the shuttle bus which was heading to Wuling farm. If the bus would not have saved us, we would need to walk 7-8Km downhill. It only costs us TWD100 and was all worth.
We checked in Wuling farm huts and chillout for the day. Here ended our awesome adventure to Xueshan Mountain.
Unfortunately, we had to cancel our next day plans for Wuling Quadruple Mountains hike as we had to head back to Singapore due to the new COVID-19 regulations by the Singapore Govt. Hope will be back to complete the Wuling Quadruple Mountains.