TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan Tourism Bureau is recommending that the public go hiking to build a protective immunity that will better prepare them to fight infections.
In a press release on March 17, the bureau recommended hiking five peaks around Mt. Hehuan (合歡山) near the borders of Nantou and Hualien counties. These five peaks have elevations of over 3,000 meters and are easily accessible, with trailheads right beside the highway.
The Mt. Hehuan peaks are located near Wuling, the highest point on Provincial Highway 14A (Jia). The average elevation of the Mt. Hehuan area is about 3,200 meters and the attractions include views of the sunrise and sunset, a sea of clouds, starry skies, and a bloom of alpine azalea in April and May.
The following is a brief introduction to each of the peaks and the trails leading to them.
Shihmen Mountain, with an elevation of 3,237 meters, is the peak in the area that can be accessed most easily. The trailhead of the 700-meter Shihmen Mountain Trail is located opposite the Hehuan Jianshan Parking lot (合歡尖山停車場). The mountain is a great spot to observe the sunrise in spring and fall as well as alpine fauna along the trail.
Mt. Hehuan Main Peak is situated 3,417 meters above sea level. The trailhead of the 1.8-kilometer Mt. Hehuan Main Peak Trail is located beside Provincial Highway 14A (Jia), which is between Wuling and the Kunyang parking lot.
Mt. Hehuan East Peak, situated 3,421 meters above sea level, is an excellent spot to admire the distinct views of the Mt. Qilai ridge in the morning and evening. The trailhead of the 1-kilometer route leading to the peak is located just beside the Song Syue Lodge (松雪樓).
Mt. Hehuan North Peak, with an elevation of 3,422 meters, features wide ridge lines, wide open views, and great opportunities to admire blooming alpine azaleas. The trailhead of the 2.4-kilometer path is located near the Xiaofengkou parking lot (小風口停車場).
Mt. Hehuan West Peak is another 4.3 kilometers’ hike after the north peak, which covers six mountain tops. The trailhead is the same as that of the Mt. Hehuan North Peak Trail. Skilled hikers should be able to reach the west peak and return in one day.
(Taiwan Tourism Bureau photos)