For anyone interested in hiking, Taiwan’s Yushan, or Jade Mountain, is the top prize on the island. Topping out at 3,952 meters, Yushan is the highest mountain in Taiwan, and though that may sound daunting◆, it is a fairly accessible climb. Best yet, it’s in the island’s largest nature preserve.
Located in central Taiwan, Jade Mountain is just one of the more than 30 mountains in Yushan Park that soar over 3,000 meters. Covering an area of 114 square kilometers across Nantou, Chiayi, Kaohsiung, and Hualien County, the park is home to an array of wildlife. Approximately 50 species of mammals◆ call the park home, and visitors can keep an eye out for the 151 species of birds and 228 species of butterflies that inhabit the area.
If you’re set on trekking up Yushan, the best time of year, and the most popular, is from June to November. Typhoons may impact plans during the summer months, and autumn dates will require several more layers◆ to stay warm. The mountain can be tackled in a single day, but you will need to reach Paiyun Lodge◆ by 10 in the morning to be allowed to summit◆, which means you will have to set out from the trailhead◆ while it’s still dark (with a flashlight or headlight). If you want more time, you can spread the hike out over multiple days and spend a night at the lodge. Whichever you choose, you’ll need a sturdy pair of hiking shoes that have already been broken in as well as a pack with water, food, extra layers, and a first aid kit◆.