Everything You Need to Know to Prepare for Climbing Yushan in 2023 || PLUS How to Get the Yushan Permit

Reaching New Heights: Conquering Yushan, Taiwan’s Tallest Summit

Yushan is also known as Mt. Yushan, Yushan Mountain, Yu Shan, Yu Mountain, Jade Mountain, or Mount Jade. 

Yushan West Peak Sunset

There are so many variations in the Yushan name that we’ve dedicated a whole section to it later.

For the purpose of this article, we will refer to Yushan as Yushan, Yushan Mountain, or Yushan National Park – depending on what fits the best.

The other names comes from the translation of Yushan from Chinese (玉山), which means Jade Mountain. 

Yushan Mountain is the highest mountain in whole of Taiwan. It’s also the highest mountain in the western pacific region. 

Yushan’s highest peak is 3,952 m (12,966 ft) above sea level. However, it should be noted that Yushan is not just one singular mountain (like, say, Mt. Fuji). It is however a mountain range within Yushan National Park.

There are several peaks to Yushan mountain (which we will go over later) and multiple routes to climb Yushan. Yushan National Park covers 105,490 hectares in total. 

So we’re going to cover everything you need to know about Yushan Mountain, getting from obstaining the permit to reaching the peak and pretty much everything inbetween.

We’ve been through all the trouble to try and test all the measures, so you don’t have to! 

Climbing Yushan || Yushan National Park Introduction

Climbing Yushan || Yushan National Park Main Peaks

Climbing Yushan || When to Visit Yushan National Park

Climbing Yushan || How Difficult is it to Climb Yushan Peak(s)

Climbing Yushan || Altitude Sickness and Yushan National Park

Climbing Yushan || Where to Stay in Yushan (Paiyun Lodge, Dongpu, Others)

Climbing Yushan || What To Bring When Climbing Yushan Mountain

Climbing Yushan || How to Apply to Climb Yushan (10 Steps to the Yushan Permit)

Climbing Yushan || Transport to Yushan National Park

Climbing Yushan || Climbing Mt Yushan Itinerary (1 day, 2 day, 3 days)

Climbing Yushan || Yushan National Park Wildlife

Climbing Yushan || Yushan Important Things to Note

Climbing Yushan || Climbing Yushan FAQs

Yushan || Yushan Mountain Introduction

Yushan mountain range until ‘recent’ history was under the sea. Recent here is around 250 million years ago…  It was the clash of Eurasian Plates that caused its creation. And the Yushan National Park area.

It is one of the five famous peaks in Taiwan, alongside Snow Mountain, Xiuguluan Mountain, Nanhu Mountain and North Dawu Mountain. It is also a sacred mountain for the Bunun and Zhou tribes. 

Up for an adventure?

Because Yushan is so famous, in 2005, it was given pride of place at the back of Taiwan’s highest denomination note – the $1000 NTD note

You can climb Yushan in all four seasons. They will provide a different backdrop for Yushan, including blossoming flowers in Spring and snowcapped mountains in Winter. 

Just remember to always take your waterproofs- it rains around 140 days per year on average!

You have to generally be lucky with snow, though, as it snows less than 25 days in a year on Yushan on average. 

Hiking Yushan is not difficult. Indeed, an oft-cited main difficulty of climbing Yushan is not the actual hike itself, but rather simply getting the permit. But don’t worry, we’ll cover that later.

We will mainly be covering climbing the main Yushan peaks in this article. Though it should be noted, there are many other hikes to do in and around the Yushan area.

 👉 The best places for information on this are the information centres Shueli, Nanan, Meishan, and Tataka (Tataka is the main one that we will be talking about below). 

NOTE: Some older blogs talk about needing TWO permits to enter Yushan. Now, you are provided with both permits (park & police Yushan permits) when you apply. Just make sure you have both permits and you print them out, too. But you shouldn’t need to do applications twice. 

Now, let’s take a look at how you go about climbing Yushan. 

How To Get Over Homesickness || Beating Homesickness in Taipei Thumbnail

How To Get Over Homesickness || Beating Homesickness in Taipei

How to Get Over Homesickness? Whether you’re in town to study Mandarin or planning a longer stay, homesickness is real. Here’s 5 top tips to overcome it.

Yushan || Yushan Main Peaks

Yushan Peak
Yushan Sea Clouds (at West Peak)

Main Peak (玉山主峰), 3,952 m (12,966 ft)

Eastern Peak (玉山東峰), 3,869 m (12,694 ft) – 1.2 km (0.7 mi) from Main Peak

Northern Peak (玉山北峰), 3,858 m (12,657 ft)

Southern Peak (玉山南峰), 3,844 m (12,612 ft) – 3.1 km (1.9 mi) from Paiyun Lodge (排雲山莊)

Western Peak (玉山西峰), 3,467 m (11,375 ft) – 4 km (2.5 mi) from Paiyun Lodge (排雲山莊)

Above are the main peaks you can climb at Yushan.

Main Peak

The Main Peak at Yushan is where you want to go if you only make one peak! It’s the highest point in Taiwan. And the highest point in the Yushan Mountain range!

Could you make it to the Main Peak? Image credits

Western Peak

Western Peak is one of the nicest peaks. Once you get to Paiyun Lodge, you can go behind to start the West Peak trail. It’s a pretty nice easy trail with not much ascent, but it does go up and down a lot through the forest. It should take you between 2-4 hours to complete.

 👉 The best time is sunset. You will get an amazing view if you hit the peak just before sunset then walk down. After watching the sunset, make your way down through the forest paths carefully.

Make sure to bring a torch!

North Peak

When going up the trail for the Main Peak you will find a path that veers off to the North Peak. This will be another 2-4 hours. It is easy to go there, but getting back is very taxing. It is about double the difficulty of West Peak.

You could go here after reaching the main peak summit if you still have time.

East Peak

East Peak is a more dangerous technical climb. You need extra permits to climb here and you need to prove your ability as well as sit through instructional videos etc. It’s a whole other ball game.

Front Peak

You will pass Front Peak as you are hiking up the main trail to Yushan peak. It adds on at least another 2 hours to your ascent (more like 3-4 hrs). It is a difficult very steep upwards climb.

Most people leave their bags at the bottom and climb up without them.

You can also take guided tours up Mt. Yushan but they get pretty pricey. Private trips start from around $70,000TWD for groups of 1 to 3 people.

You can also hire a porter to carry your stuff if you want a lighter load (around $10,000) but you really don’t need to – since most of the stuff you will be carrying is stuff you might need on your hike, for example, water and extra clothing etc.

You definitely don’t need a private tour to climb Yushan, but it’s another thing to consider.

A firsthand account of climbing Jade Mountain!

Yushan || When to Visit Yushan Mountain 

Yushan is open all year round, except for occasional closures around January/February time. It’s a good idea to make sure the trails are open before you plan your Yushan hike! 

Although if it’s bookable and you can get your permit, it’s likely to be open. The only exception is in the event of severe weather conditions, such as very heavy snow (winter) or a typhoon (summer). 

You can also check the weather at Paiyun Lodge (the place where you stay near the summit at Yushan) to see what the weather at the summit is like. Although, you should note that this is still around 500m below the summit. It is going to be a lot colder at the actual summit…! 

You can use this link (⬇️) to guide you on how many clothes to bring. But use it as a guide only. The weather in the mountains changes quickly in Taiwan and you don’t want to be caught short without adequate equipment and clothing. 

 👉 Check the Weather at Yushan


My hike to Yushan was in winter technically, as it was at the start of December. But the weather conditions were more like Spring/Autumn. So I’m going to put my experience here and save the winter hike in Yushan information for hiking in the snow and deep winter in Yushan only. 

I might be a bit biased as my Yushan hike experience was entirely perfect… But let me tell you why hiking Yushan in Spring/Autumn is, in my opinion, the best time. 

We hiked at the start of December. The weather on the ground in Tainan where we were coming from was 20 degrees Celsius and so it was already feeling a bit chilly (compared to Tainan usually). As you get up higher to the mountain area it will get a lot crisper and colder. And all the way up to the top of Yushan in the dead of night just before dawn it was minus 5 degrees Celsius. So, very very cold. 

Climbing Yushan in Winter (?!)

Why do I think that’s perfect?

Well, a few reasons. Firstly, when you start the hike, you get to wear all your clothes and gear so you feel like you’re not carrying it for no reason.

Then as you continue your hike and the sun pokes its head out of the mountains, you will start to get very warm.

Actually, we were very lucky the weather was amazing and the sun was so strong – so when we were hiking it was actually pretty warm that we stripped down to our base layers. Then once you get near the summit and stop exercising so much, you can pile your clothes back on and get cosy. 

OK, it was a little cold for sure. But for me, the trade-off of likely sunny weather vs. probable rain is enough to make hiking Yushan in Autumn and Spring a top choice over Summer. 

Plus, the likelihood of seeing Alishan and Yushan’s famous sea of clouds is much more likely in Autumn/Spring in Yushan due to a combination of colder weather and generally better visibility. 


Summer is the rainy season in Taiwan.

It may be nice and warm and you won’t have to worry about bringing so many clothes to the top of Yushan and so you can pack a bit lighter. However, you are much more likely to encounter rain, clouds, and even typhoons. Typhoons can make your trip to Yushan very dangerous, whilst rain and clouds can just make it not so pleasant. 

I’d been in Taiwan for about three months before I climbed Yushan. During this time, I did two other hikes. Both times were incredibly wet and rainy and to be honest pretty draining and cloudy and awful. So I was expecting the same thing for Yushan. 

Of course, you can get lucky in summer to have a clear and warm day. But rain is much more likely than in the colder months. Plus, the sea of clouds is most visible and likely during the colder months and Spring/Autumn in Yushan. 

Summer is the most popular season to climb Yushan. This means it might be more packed than usual and also harder to get the permit to climb.

Former Name of Taiwan 🏝 Isla Formosa and Taiwan History Thumbnail

Former Name of Taiwan 🏝 Isla Formosa and Taiwan History

When discussing the former name of Taiwan, Formosa & Isla Formosa come up as previous names of the Island, but how turbulent has Taiwan’s history been?


Winter climbing in Yushan is a whole different ball game. And when I say winter, I am referring to Yushan during the depths of winter and snow. 

I chose to hike Yushan during winter however I did feel like it wasn’t a super wintery experience, so I chose to write about it in the Autumn/Spring section. Hiking Yushan in winter doesn’t mean there will definitely be snow and ice, although there is a larger likelihood.

Climbing Yushan in the snow is a popular activity among Taiwanese and foreigners alike, but there are some things you need to know. 

If it’s snowing, you will need to make sure you have the correct equipment. This includes a helmet, crampons for your shoes, and an ice axe.

Plus, you need to know the basics of how to use these items. They’re not tricky, but you should be able to attach your crampons and be able to understand the basics of using an ice axe. 

If you don’t have these items and it is snowing or icy, you will be stopped by the staff at Paiyun Lodge and not able to climb to the summit. Trust me, if it’s snowy and icy you will need these things as it gets very steep up there and there are some points you will need to pull yourself up with the help of the metal ropes on the edges.

Yushan || How Difficult is Climbing Yushan Mountain

Yushan is not a technical climb. But it should also not be taken lightly. 

Climb Yushan
Climb Yushan: Signposts along the way

It’s a moderate hike. And I say moderate because there are some really simple bits, and some pretty technical bits and things you should watch out for. 

Let’s break it down! 

Yushan Hike: Easy Bits

Most of the Yushan hike is easy and accessible. It’s a pretty touristy and well-trodden trail so there is no need for extensive mapping (for the popular routes) and you’ll also have a signal on your phone most of the time. There is little room for you to get lost (none really) and it is well-signposted. 

Yushan Hike: Difficult Bits

Altitude sickness is a real danger in Yushan. Above 3,000m, the altitude can affect you pretty badly.

There is a serious risk of altitude sickness. This can come in the form of a racing heart rate or headaches, or worse symptoms such as vomiting and fainting.

Once you’re at the vomiting stage it is time for you to head back down, unfortunately. Altitude sickness is no joke and the only way to cure it (apart from temporary altitude sickness pills) is to head back down. 

It can affect your heart, breathing, and head. In fact, when we stayed at Dongpu lodge already my heart was going a lot quicker than usual. At Paiyun Lodge around 500m from the summit, I hardly slept at all and my heart was beating in general at least 20 bpm extra than it usually does at rest.

Also, my pulse oxygen went down below 80% whilst I slept which is something I’d never seen before (it’s usually around 95%). 

My two other teammates both got hit with a bit of altitude sickness more than I did. They both had headaches that didn’t really stop until we started going down, so they had a night and day of headaches which isn’t so fun. 

The other thing that makes Yushan tricky is the fact some parts can be really steep. Although it’s generally not too challenging, you should be aware of the ascent you’re climbing and make sure you’re in generally good shape. 

If you are worried about the climb at all, I’d say it’s one of the easier climbs I’ve done in terms of technicality, however, it is long. So if you’re not fit, you may find it tiring. 

It’s an idea to stay at Dongpu Lodge the night before to give yourself some more time and also get used to the higher altitude. 

Taiwan Cherry Blossoms 🌸 The Best Places to Catch the Flowers in Taiwan Thumbnail

Taiwan Cherry Blossoms 🌸 The Best Places to Catch the Flowers in Taiwan

Taiwan Cherry Blossoms | In recent years more and more tourists have been visiting Taiwan as well as mainland China to see the pink spotted landscape

Yushan || Altitude Sickness and Yushan National Park

Over 3,000 meters, you might start to feel the effects of altitude sickness.

It is wise to bring altitude sickness pills with you. You can get these from the pharmacy in Taiwan. There are two main types; one to help you cope with altitude and pills to help you in an emergency and could save your life.

If you’ve never been up high altitudes before, it is a smart idea to stock up on some before you go. They’re cheap and easy to access- but it’s always worth speaking to a medical professional first!

You may start to feel light-headed as the air gets thinner, you may get headaches, your heart may beat faster and you may get heart palpitations, you may have trouble sleeping, and your blood oxygen might go right down. You may even get to the point where you have to throw up. This is when it is starting to get very dangerous.

Listen to your body and be aware that altitude sickness can be very dangerous.

Often, the only way to cure it is to go back down.

Yushan || Where to Stay When Climbing Yushan Mountain

Firstly, a few things to consider when you’re thinking about climbing Yushan. 

Climb Yushan
  1. Will you stay over at all? (It can be done in one day). 
  2. Will you stay overnight before you enter the trail? 
  3. Will you stay at Paiyun Lodge (the most common option?) 
  4. Have you applied for your permit in advance? 

Here’s my personal take on those questions:

1- I’d recommend staying over for the full experience but sometimes you may not be able to get the permit. If you’re in a rush and desperate to climb Yushan then you could do it in one day. It’s going to be tiring and more dangerous in terms of altitude sickness, but it’s possible. We cover that later. 

2- You could stay overnight beforehand near the trailhead or in Alishan. This is a good option for those without a car and for those with more time that want to acclimatise to the altitude beforehand. For this option, see Dongpu Lodge below. 

3 – Paiyun Lodge is the standard option to stay at when climbing Yushan – but there are other options you can consider. (See below). 

4 – Whatever you decide, you need to make sure you have applied in advance and received your permit. Otherwise, you can’t climb the trail and you won’t have a bed at Paiyun Lodge. 

The following section covers all you need to know about where to stay when climbing Yushan.

Dongpu Lodge

Climb Yushan

Dongpu Lodge is the main and most popular option for those that want to arrive at Yushan trailhead the night before climbing. It is a hostel-style lodge that provides basically facilities closest to the trailhead. 

There are shower rooms and toilets – but little hot water. There is plenty of electricity and sockets to make sure your devices are charged! 

It’s very basic but an absolutely fine place to stay for a hiking experience and is a great option for those with more time that want to get used to the higher altitude as well as those that don’t want to get up so early on the day of the hike! 

Some blogs state that Dongpu can provide breakfast and dinner. I asked them and they said that it’s not possible to book. So maybe they only do that during the summer months or it just wasn’t possible for me during that time. Either way. Always good to call in advance to make sure. 

Dongpu also offers shuttle bus transfers from the Alishan transport hub in case you don’t have a car. This should also be booked in advance. You can get to this transport hub via bus or cab from Chaiyi. The transport hub at Alishan is also the last 7/11 stop you’ll have before you enter the Yushan area – so make sure to stock up here! 

Yushan Paiyun Lodge

Yushan Paiyun Lodge
Yushan Paiyun Lodge

Paiyun Lodge can accommodate 116 people. It is the number one most popular option to stay at Yushan when climbing Yushan. It’s 8.5 hrs from the Tataka Trailhead (i.e. 3-5hrs for most). 

It’s the most standard choice and I’d definitely recommend it for first-time climbers of Yushan. I’m already planning my second hike to Yushan and considering staying here again (it’s quite nice) but also looking at other options to mix it up a bit. 

Paiyun Lodge is situated about 3-5 hours from the trailhead. If you start your climb up Yushan in the morning, you should get to Paiyun Lodge around or before lunchtime ish. If you climb slower, you are likely to get there around 2-3 ish.

If you still have energy left in you, you can leave your stuff at Paiyun Lodge and then go climbing the west peak in time for sunset. You won’t regret it! 

Once you arrive at Paiyun Lodge, you should hand in your permits to the station on the right-hand side, then sort out your bed, sleeping bags, and food arrangements. 

 👉 You should have booked your food and sleeping bag in advance if you did want to eat and borrow a sleeping bag. The best deal is the full set which includes dinner the night you get there, breakfast at 2 am for your morning hike, brunch for when you come down from the peak, and a sleeping bag for the night. 

Yushan Paiyun Lodge
Yushan Paiyun Lodge

You will then be shown to your bunkbed-style hostel room with 10 people in each room. It can get very noisy but actually, it’s very spacious with ample space for you to roll around a bit in your sleep as well as space to leave your belongings. 

Downstairs, there are toilets (men and women together and it’s outside) although you need to bring your own tissue paper. There is also a water station that offers hot water. Apparently, you can also drink the tap water up there. But that’s up to you! 

Once you have your meal slot booked, you eat food then at around 6ish, you’re expected to keep quiet as people go to sleep ready to be awake at 2 am to hike to the summit for sunrise. 

Overall, your stay at Paiyun Lodge will be very pleasant. It’s easier than bringing a tent up and if you borrow a sleeping bag too, it means you save a lot of space and weight in your bag. 

Yushan Paiyun Lodge
Yushan Paiyun Lodge

It offers a nice place to leave most of your stuff as you go off to tackle the summits. And you can also spot the sunset from very close by (even just from the balcony outside) if you don’t want to go all the way to the West Peak. 

Remember not to go inside with your hiking boots on! Slippers are provided, or you could bring your own. 

Phone Charging / Power Outlets

There are some notes online about there being no charging ports. This isn’t entirely true. There are actually a few plug sockets – whether they are intended for public use or not is another matter.

Nevertheless, there are a few on the first floor and seems to be one in each room. The one in the room didn’t work for me and you had to fight a little for the ones downstairs but I actually managed to recharge my devices again with no problem. 

 👉 Although you should probably still bring power banks to be on the safe side.

Phone Signal at Yushan 

You should note that SOME people will have a phone signal and SOME won’t. For me and my group, it was 50/50 and this was dependent entirely on our providers. It seems that Chunghwa has almost full phone signal and 4G the whole way (even at the peak of Yushan you still get one or two bars). 

Other providers, on the other hand, have little or no phone signal even after half the hike up. So you might want to warn people in advance you may be unreachable for a day or so. 

Staying at Yushan (other options)

There are also other options to stay at Yushan if you don’t mind bringing your own tent. 

Again, you have to apply for these places in advance. 

Guangao Campground: camping place with 28 people capacity (bring your own tents).

Yuanfeng Cabin: Cabin with 15 people capacity and another 9 with their own tents. 

Loaning River Campground: camping place with 24 people capacity (bring your own tents).

Taiwan Weekend Getaways // The Top 5 Weekend Trips from Taipei Thumbnail

Taiwan Weekend Getaways // The Top 5 Weekend Trips from Taipei

Top 5 Weekend Trips from Taipei // #1 Teapot and Banping Mountain : #2 Jiǔfēn 九份 : #3 Wūlái 乌来 : #4 Baishawan 白沙湾 : #5 Surfing at Wai’ao Beach 外澳海滩

Yushan || What To Bring When Climbing Yushan Mountain

The things you’ll need to bring for climbing Yushan are different depending on the season. 

We’ll cover that in a minute. Firstly, let’s cover the things you need regardless of the season. 

40L backpack


Altitude sickness tablets

First aid kit

Walking shoes

Water (2l)

Food / snacks

Warm clothes for the summit 

At least one change of clothes

Powerbank & charging cables


Earplugs / eye mask 


Water bottle for hot water

Permit printed 




These are the basics you’ll need for climbing Yushan. 

Below are some extra details about what you might need according to the season. 

Climbing Yushan in Summer Equipment

Extra suncream / both cold and warm clothes (don’t underestimate how cold it gets at the top even in summer compared to at 0 altitude) / a lot of water. 

Climbing Yushan in Winter Equipment

Ice axe / helmet / crampons / hat / winter gloves / lots of under layers / changes of clothes / more layers / heat pads to keep warm / more layers. 

Climbing Yushan in Autumn/Spring Equipment

Hat / winter gloves / lots of under layers / changes of clothes / more layers / heat pads to keep warm / more layers. 

If you are staying at Paiyun Lodge you can RENT sleeping bags. You should do this in advance. Otherwise, you should bring your own sleeping bag. 

There is no need to bring a tent unless you are staying at a different campsite aside from Paiyun Lodge. 

Optional: Sleeping mattress (the beds at pain are hard and I kind of wish I’d brought at least a mat or something). 

Yushan || How to Apply to Climb Yushan Mountain (10 Steps to the Yushan Permit)

OK – this is probably the most useful thing in this article and what everyone is looking for, right? 

It took me a while to figure out how to apply and to make double and triple sure that I had applied for everything correctly. And even then I still wasn’t sure. 

So we’re here to help! 

Here are 10 easy steps to get your Yushan permit. 

  1. Decide if you’re doing day or two day hike.
  2. Check there are spaces available for your date(s).
  3. Get a group together.
  4. For a group you need; a team leader, a team name, an emergency group contact. 
  5. Plan your route. 
  6. Get your group’s details to fill in the application form. 
  7. Apply AT LEAST ONE MONTH BEFORE you intend to climb. This is when applications close. 
  8. Wait to hear back. 
  9. Once you get permission, you need to pay ASAP. If you don’t pay within the time limit, your spot will be given away.
  10. Prepare for your Yushan trip with reading up and packing. Print your permits (available 5 days before the hike). And getting some last-minute cardio practice in! 

OK those steps are pretty simple and easy and really it’s all you need. 

But we’re also going to walk you through how the application online looks. Since you also need to plan out your route and have your place to stay which can be confusing again. 

Filling in the Yushan Application Trail Route

Yushan Permit 2 Days Application

Hiking Route: Main: Yushan Trails

Secondary: 2 days (Tataka – Yushan Trails – Tataka) (Paiyun Lodge Advanced Application)

Schedule: Start Paiyun Mountaineering Center – Tataka Trailhead – Yushan Peaks (whatever you want to hike, usually people pick the Main Peak).

Yushan Permit 2 Days Application
Yushan Trail
Yushan Trail

Primary Route: Choose Yushan Trails

Route: Yushan Trails Day Hike

Schedule: Paiyun Mountaineering Center – Tataka Trailhead – Mt. Jade Main Peak – Tataka Trailhead – Paiyun Mountaineering Center

Yushan || Transport to Yushan National Park

Again, climbing Yushan is actually easier than figuring out how to get there. 


The absolute easiest way to get to Yushan is by driving yourself. You have to make sure you enter and exit the park area within the permitted times and you should be aware that there are also limited parking spots at the bottom of the trail entrance and Tataka trailhead. Nevertheless, the trailhead is kind of in the middle of nowhere and having your own car will be way easier than any other way. 

Nevertheless, like me, you may not yet have passed your Taiwanese driving license and forgot to sort out an international driving permit before you came to Taiwan. 

So, don’t fear. There are other ways to get to the Yushan National Park Area! 


How are you getting to Yushan?

There are public buses available and to be honest, I’m not going to put them here since I don’t know where you’re coming from.

Obviously, there are so many ways to get to one place depending on if you’re coming from near, far, north or south. 

What I can tell you is that Google Maps is surprisingly really reliable even with the most remote locations in Taiwan in terms of bus stops and times. Generally, get out Google Maps and it will do the rest. 


You may want to consider getting a taxi from Chaiyi train station if there are at least 3 or 4 of you to make it worth the money. It will generally be a little more expensive than getting public transport – but genuinely only a little bit more expensive. So it’s kind of worth it (what I did!). 


I read a blog where a girl was hitchhiking. Generally, in Taiwan, this is very safe but if it were me, I wouldn’t want to rely on people like that just before a big hike. 

Plus, those mountain roads can be quite scary to walk on with people driving pretty quickly and sometimes you don’t see a car for a while – especially early or late at night. 

What’s more, you’re wasting both energy and time waiting for a car and walking… I’d have this as a last resort. Not impossible but surely not preferable when you’re about to hike Taiwan’s biggest mountain. 

Yushan || Climbing Mt Yushan Itinerary (1 day, 2 days, 3 days)

Climbing Yushan 2 Day 1 Night Itinerary (Main Peak, West Peak)

7am: start your journey (depending on where you’re coming from this may be way later or earlier).

9am: Arrive at Tataka, check-in, get the shuttle bus, and start your hike.

12pm-2pm: Arrive at Paiyun Lodge & check-in.

3pm: Hike up West Peak for sunset (should be around 1-3 hours round-trip. Ideally you summit before sunset, then stop on the way back.)

5-6pm: Dinner at Paiyun Lodge.

6pm: Sleep.

Yushan Trail
Yushan Trail

2am: Get up and have breakfast.

3am: Start hike to top of Yushan.

5-6am: See the sunrise, take photos.

8am: Back to Paiyun Lodge. Rest and have brunch.

10am: Start your descent back down Yushan.

If you find yourself with more time or you’re a speedy hiker, you might want to consider tackling Front Peak and Northern Peak, too!

Climbing Yushan 3 Day 2 Night Itinerary (Main Peak, Front Peak, West Peak North Peak)


Afternoon: Head to and arrive at Dongpu Lodge.

5pm: Have dinner.

7pm: Try to sleep / start to wind down and get some rest!


6am: Wake up and get going!

7am: Arrive at Tataka, check-in, get the shuttle bus, and start your hike.

9am: Hike up Front Peak on your way up (another 2+hrs up and down).

12pm-2pm: Arrive at Paiyun Lodge & check-in.

3pm: Hike up West Peak for sunset (should be around 1-3 hours round-trip. Ideally you summit before sunset, then stop on the way back.)

5-6pm: Dinner at Paiyun Lodge.

6pm: Sleep.

2am: Get up and have breakfast.

3am: Start hike to top of Yushan.

5-6am: See the sunrise, take photos.

6/7am: Start your North Peak ascent!

10am: Back to Paiyun Lodge. Rest and have brunch.

11am: Start your descent back down Yushan.

Climbing Yushan 1 Day 0 Night Itinerary (Main Peak)

6/7am: Arrive at Tataka, check-in, get the shuttle bus, and start your hike.

10am latest: Arrive at Paiyun Lodge

10am: Start hike up the summit.

12pm: Hit the summit, take photos.

2pm: Back to Paiyun Lodge. Rest and have some food, fill up on water.

2pm latest: Start your descent back down Yushan.

If you find yourself with more time or you’re a speedy hiker, you might want to consider tackling Front Peak and Northern Peak, too!

Yushan Day Hike: approx 20-25km, 1392KM elevation gain. 

8.5km: Yushan trailhead to Paiyun Lodge

2.4km: Paiyun Lodge to Yushan main-peak

10.9km: Yushan main-peak to Yushan trail head

If you don’t manage to get the permit to do the two-day hike for Yushan or if you don’t have time, then going up and down in one day is a very viable option. 

If you have more time, I’d definitely recommend spending as much time there as possible. Yushan has multiple peaks and there is no reason to rush your time there – especially if it’s good weather. 

Nevertheless, let’s have a look at what a day up and down Yushan might be like. 

 👉 You should stay near the Tatajia Trailhead the night before in order to start your climb in time. You could consider staying in Dongpu which is just beneath the trailhead. Or you could stay in Alishan nearby. 

You need to start the early morning as you should arrive at Paiyun Lodge by 10 am. If you don’t get there early enough, they may not let you complete the climb. And you need to check in here with your permit – you can’t just breeze on past. 

If you don’t get to Paiyun in time, they won’t let you up as you need to head to the summit and back down to Paiyun again (anything between 2-4 hours), and then out of the Yushan area by the end of the day.

Ideally, you want to be out of the trailhead before 5:30pm in time for the sunset and also to get the shuttle bus that will take you back to the main start area. 

Taiwan Aboriginal || The Truth Behind Taiwanese Aborigines Thumbnail

Taiwan Aboriginal || The Truth Behind Taiwanese Aborigines

Taiwan Aboriginal || Taiwan has a deep and rich history of thousands of years, dating back to the days of Taiwan aboriginal inhabitants.

Yushan || Mt. Yushan Wildlife

Yushan Wildlife
Yushan Wildlife

Along your Yushan hike, you’re likely to come across lots of different wildlife. Some will be friendly, some not so much.

Yushan is home to everything from butterflies to black bears. So you’re going to want to watch out. Black bears are no joke and you should be prepared if you meet one… 

However, don’t worry too much. Yushan is a pretty touristy trail and I doubt if you stay on the trail you’re likely to come across many black bears. Although they are definitely there.

When I was getting in the taxi up to the trailhead, the driver who is local and hikes a lot told me that she has seen a black bear once when hiking in the Yushan area. 

So aside from bears at Yushan, you are likely to come across lots of other wildlife. Of course, you may see various birds – some of them very colourful and friendly – insects, and also some reptiles. The more exciting or larger wildlife you might get to see though includes the deer and monkeys

Want to learn how to say more than 100 animals in Chinese? Check out our ultimate guide here!

Actually, we were lucky enough at the very start of our hike (we hadn’t even reached the trailhead by this point) to see our first Yushan deer. It’s a very peculiar deer. Short, stubby, and with small horns. You’ll know it as soon as you see it. 

They’re very cute and kind of look like a capybara crossed with a deer. 

Along the trail, we also saw a weasel as well as some spiders. 

Yushan || Yushan Mountain Important Things to Note

  • Consider applying during the week not the weekend to avoid the crowds.
  • Consider applying off-peak (i.e. not in June-November)
  • Consider going a the start or end of winter for some of the most magical and rain-free weather.
  • Don’t underestimate the change in weather (hot and cold) and don’t forget there may be heavy rain and wind that make your journey more difficult. 
  • Be aware that some of the trail is quite high up and scary. If you’re afraid of heights it might not be great. You should cross some bridges that are a bit scary. Also, you should make sure you’re careful close to the edge. There has been someone who has fallen to their death during the climb.
  • Make sure to drink enough water to avoid altitude sickness and keep yourself hydrated. 
  • You can bring water but also there is availability to fill it up at Paiyun Lodge. 
  • You MUST get a permit beforehand. 
  • Check the weather beforehand. 
  • There is limited parking at the trailhead and transport must be booked in advance since it can be a bit difficult to organise if you’re not driving yourself.
Check out what our students are doing when they’re not climbing mountains!

Yushan || Climbing Yushan Mountain || FAQs 

When is the best time to Climb Yushan?

It depends when you want to go, really. Summer is the most popular time but it is rainy season. Autumn/Spring may be less rainy and busy. Winter there may be snow.

How do I get the Yushan Permit?

Follow our detailed and simple steps to getting a Yushan permit! (Above!)

Is Climbing Yushan Difficult?

No, it is not a difficult technical climb. Getting the Yushan permit is often cited as more difficult than actually climbing Yushan itself…

Can I Climb Yushan?

As long as you’re in alright shape, you can climb! Yushan is very hiker friendly. It’s a simple climb that’s well-signposted. If you feel ill at any point, turn back!

Can I climb Yushan Without a Permit?

No. You cannot climb Yushan without a permit.

Which Yushan Peaks Should I Climb?

If you have the time, why not all of them!? If not, make sure you tick off the main peak and west peak at sunset if you can.

Want more from LTL?

If you wish to hear more from LTL Language School why not join our mailing list.

We give plenty of handy information on learning Chinese, useful apps to learn the language and everything going on at our LTL schools!

Sign up below and become part of our ever growing community!

BONUS | Want to study the local Taiwanese dialect known as Hokkien? We provide Hokkien classes in person and online.


Leave a Reply

You will get a reply from us
Your email address will not be published. Name and Email are required.