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Traditional Route to Angel's Teardrop: Jiaming Lake Trail and 100 Peaks - Mt. Sancha and Mt. Siangyang

Posted by:  Anusha Lee
Published date: March 27, 2023
Last update:
Jiaming Lake Trail (or Chiaming Lake), aka God's Lost Sapphire and Angel's Teardrop, is the second-highest alpine lake in Haiduan Township, Taitung, Taiwan. The stunning views from the lake, Mt. Sancha, and Mt. Siangyang (or Xiangyang Mountain) make this high mountain hike one of Taiwan's most popular 100 Peaks.
Jiaming Lake
I did my second Jiaming Lake hike with my favorite hiking group, LOHAS.
There are at least 2 routes to Jiaming Lake, the traditional out-and-back route and the Jiemaosi route. I've done both. This post is the traditional route.
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The Jiemaosi route to Jiaming Lake
Taiwan Hikes is an affiliated partner of HolaTaipei.

Table of Contents:

Trail Information

Trail Name: Jiaming Lake National Trail (Traditional Route)
Distance: 26 km (16.3 miles)
Route type: Out and back
Days/Hours Needed: 1 to 4 days
Total Ascent/Descent: 2,288m/2,288m
Best Time to Go: All year round. Many sections are exposed without shade. It can be windy on the ridges, too. Please do sun protection when you hike.
Permits: Please see How to Apply for Permits for details.
Difficulty Level: trail difficulty
Peaks or Places to Reach:
  1. Mt. Siangyang 向陽山, 3,603 meters (11,820.1 feet) above sea level. There's a Class 3 Triangulation Stone on the peak. The views are incredible.
  2. Mt. Siangyang North Peak 向陽山北峰, 3,435 meters (11,270 feet) above sea level. It's a pointed rock at the top and near the place to see Guanshan Big Cliff.
  3. Mt. Sancha 三叉山, 3,496 meters (11,469.9 feet) above sea level. There's a Class 1 Triangulation Stone on the peak. The views are fantastic. In September 1945, after the surrender of the Empire of Japan in World War II, an airplane carrying a war of prisoners crashed near Mt. Sancha. More details later.
  4. Jiaming Lake 嘉明湖, 3,310 meters (10,859.6 feet) above sea level. Please note that try to arrive at Jiaming Lake before 10 am. Otherwise, the weather changes quickly, and you probably won't see the blue Jiaming Lake.

Additional Information:

  1. Camping is allowed by Jiaming Lake.
  2. Many sections are exposed to the sun. Please do sun protection.
  3. It can still be cold in summer.
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How to Apply for Permits to Hike Jiaming Lake, Accommodation, and Order Meals. Or Hire Me.

How to Apply for Permits to Hike Jiaming Lake

Jiaming Lake, Mt. Sancha, and Mt. Siangyang do not belong to any national park in Taiwan. So, hikers only need to apply for a Mountain Entry Permit (let's call the police permit).
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Click Mountain Entry Permit Application
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Pur your personal information.
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Put your Emergency Contact Person and the dates you want to hike.
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This will pop up if your desired hiking dates are available to apply for a permit.
You will find both Jiaming and Chiaming Lake spellings on this database. If you also want to hike to Mt. Sancha and Mt. Siangyang (most people do), please search for Chiaming with an uppercase C. Both refer to the same lake but with different spellings. Welcome to the translation hell.
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Search for the destination. The uppercase matters.
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Then, finish the rest of the form.
However, the difficult part is hiking has to secure a bed at Jiaming Lake. For international visitors and those with ARC, you can try the Priority Reservation for Foreigner (Advanced Application.)
You can download my guide "How to plan and apply for hiking permits in Taiwan" by clicking the image below for details.
If this guide helps, it would be fantastic if you could give me a 5-star rating. Thank you very much!

Water Source, Cabins, and Campsites to Stay

Siangyang Cabin 向陽山屋
Siangyang Cabin, 2,880 meters above sea level, is at 4.3 km and can accommodate 70 hikers. There is a small stream close to the cabin. There's no campsite here. Hikers need to apply for their stay.
This one is first come (apply), first serve, and much easier to get a bed than at Jiaming Lake Cabin.
Phone receptions are good here.
Jiaming Lake - Day 1: Siangyang Forest Area
Bio-toilets at Siangyang Cabin
Jiaming Lake Cabin 嘉明湖山屋
Jiaming Lake Cabin is 3,380 meters above sea level at 8.4 km and can accommodate 70 hikers.
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Jiaming Lake Cabin
The campsite can accommodate up to 6 people for each spot. This cabin has water tanks, which may not be enough during drought. Hikers need to carry extra water at Siangyang Cabin.
Phone receptions are good here.
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
The campsite next to Jiaming Lake Cabin
Siangyang Campsite 向陽營地
This campsite is at Siangyang Forest Recreation Area, NOWHERE near Siangyang Cabin.
Meals and Sleeping Bag Rental
Most hikers hire on-site porters for their sleeping bags and meals (including breakfast and dinner). My hiking mate insisted on hiring on-site porters to carry our meals and sleeping bags. It cost me NT$1,500 for Siangyang and Jiaming Lake Cabin. If I could choose, I'd rather carry everything on my own.

Hire Me: Simplify Your Taiwan Hike with Our Services

Tackling the intricacies of permit applications and deciphering public transport routes in Taiwan can be daunting. We're here to make your hiking adventure hassle-free.
Our service takes care of all the nitty-gritty details, from permit applications to transportation arrangements, weather reminders, and more. Let us handle the complexities, so you can focus on the breathtaking trails and unforgettable experiences. Visit our commission page or click the button below for all the details.

How to Get There (No Public Transport Available) and Traffic Control

The bad news is no public transport to Siangyang Forest Recreation Area. The only available public transport is to take a train to Chishang or Guanshan.
siangyang-forest-recreation-area
No public transport to Siangyang Forest Recreation Area
The good news is that Jiaming Lake Trail is popular, and you might be able to share a hired van with other hikers. Many B&Bs in Chishang or Guanshan take hikers, and you can ask the owners for help.
If you can't find people to share the van, the single trip to Siangyang Forest Recreation Area is NT$2,000. Round trip is NT$4,000.
Some hikers rent scooters to Siangyang Forest Recreation Area. The driving/riding time is around 2 to 3 hours on the winding road. It can be dangerous sometimes.
siangyang-forest-area-map
Map of Siangsang Forest Recreation Area

Southern Cross-island Highway (Tai 20 Highway) Traffic Control

The Southern Cross-island Highway is constantly under construction due to typhoons and heavy rains. Therefore, there is traffic control to ensure the safety of all parties. However, I can't find a specific website about the traffic control time. If you decide to drive, you can check Guanshan Police Station's Facebook page or ask them for help.
tai-20-highway
View from Taiwan Provincial Highway 20
You can find parking lots at Siangyang Forest Recreation Area. When I was writing this post, Siangyang Forest Recreation Area was closed for construction. The opening date is not announced yet. Hikers can only take Songjing Trail and Songtao Trail to Jiaming Lake Trail.

Map/GPX Data, Different Routes with Pros and Cons, and What I Recommend

Route map for Jiaming Lake - Traditional Route Updated by Anusha Lee on plotaroute.com

Click Menu in the map to download, print, or share the map.
You can see more options after clicking the Play button.
Click timer to change the speed to meet your condition.
There are several ways to do Jiaming Lake with the traditional route. When I was writing this post, I just did the Jiemaosi route.
For the traditional route, you can do it in 4, 3, and 2 days, or even in one day if you are super fit.

4-day Hike:

Day 1:
Your place ➔ Siangyang Forest Recreation Area ➔ Siangyang Cabin (2,855m)
Day 2:
Siangyang Cabin ➔ junction (3,488m) ➔ Mt. Siangyang (3,603m) ➔ junction ➔ Jiaming Lake Cabin (3,380m)
Day 3:
Jiaming Lake Cabin ➔ Jiaming Lake ➔ Mt. Sancha (3,496m) ➔ Jiaming Lake Cabin ➔ Siangyang Cabin (or stay at Jiaming Lake Cabin)
Day 4:
Siangyang Cabin ➔ Siangyang Forest Recreation Area ➔ Home
Pros:
This is the most relaxing route if you can have extra days off.
You can spend more time at Jiaming Lake.
Cons: Getting Jiaming Lake Cabin beds two days in a row might be challenging. So, you can apply for Siangyang Cabin for Day 3 night.

3-day Hike

Day 1:
Your place ➔ Siangyang Forest Recreation Area (2,311m) ➔ Siangyang Cabin (2,855m)
Day 2:
Siangyang Cabin ➔ junction (3,488m) ➔ Jiaming Lake Cabin ➔ Jiaming Lake ➔ Mt. Sancha (3,496m) ➔ Jiaming Lake Cabin (3,380m)
Day 3:
Jiaming Lake Cabin ➔ junction (3,488m) ➔ Mt. Siangyang (3,603m, sunrise) ➔ junction ➔ Siangyang Cabin ➔ Siangyang Forest Recreation ➔ Home
Pros:
The chance to get a Jiaming Lake Cabin bed is higher, and you can adjust the high altitude at Siangyang Cabin.
You can see the sunrise at Mt. Siangyang.
Cons:
You will miss the sunrise at Jiaming Lake for sure. You can see the sunrise on the way to Jiaming Lake Cabin; the views are still stunning. Yet, it feels like you miss out on something.
Jiaming Lake - Day 1: Siangyang Forest Area
Beautiful clouds on the way to Jiaming Lake

3-day Hike (I Highly Recommend This Itinerary)

Day 0 (Transport Day):
Your place ➔ the B&B in Chishang or Guanshan in Taitung
Day 1:
Siangyang Forest Recreation Area (2,311m) ➔ Jiaming Lake Trailhead (2,659m) ➔ Siangyang Cabin (2,855m) ➔ junction (3,488m) ➔ Mt. Siangyang (3,603m) ➔ junction ➔ Jiaming Lake Cabin (3,380m)
Day 2:
Jiaming Lake Cabin ➔ Jiaming Lake ➔ Mt. Sancha (3,496m) ➔ Jiaming Lake Cabin (3,380m)
Day 3:
Jiaming Lake Cabin ➔ Mt. Siangyang (sunrise) ➔ Siangyang Cabin ➔ Siangyang Forest Recreation ➔ Home
Pros:
You don't need to get up super early to see the sunrise at Jiaming Lake like previous itinerary.
You can see the sunrise at Mt. Siangyang.
Cons:
You will miss the sunrise at Jiaming Lake for sure. You can see the sunrise on the way to Jiaming Lake Cabin; the views are still stunning. Yet, it feels like you miss out on something (or just me.)
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
Jiaming Lake Trail is more challenging than I thought.

2-day Hike

Day 1:
Your place ➔ Siangyang Forest Recreation Area (2,311m); Jiaming Lake Trailhead (2,659m) ➔ Siangyang Cabin (2,855m) ➔ junction (3,488m) ➔ Mt. Siangyang (3,603m) ➔ junction ➔ Jiaming Lake Cabin (3,380m)
Day 2:
Jiaming Lake Cabin ➔ Jiaming Lake (Sunrise) ➔ Mt. Sancha (3,496m) ➔ Jiaming Lake Cabin ➔ Siangyang Cabin ➔ Siangyang Forest Recreation ➔ Home
Pros: Time efficient.
Cons: Physically demanding, especially on Day 2.

1-day Hike (Only for Super Fit)

Day 0 (Transport Day):
Your place ➔ the B&B in Chishang or Guanshan in Taitung
Day 1:
Siangyang Forest Recreation Area (2,311m) ➔ Jiaming Lake Trailhead (2,659m) ➔ Siangyang Cabin (2,855m) ➔ junction (3,488m) ➔ Mt. Siangyang (3,603m, optional) ➔ junction ➔ Jiaming Lake Cabin (3,380m) ➔ Jiaming Lake (Sunrise) ➔ Mt. Sancha (3,496m) ➔ Jiaming Lake Cabin ➔ Siangyang Cabin ➔ Siangyang Forest Recreation ➔ Home
Pros: Time efficient.
Cons: Extremely physically demanding.
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Trail profile from the map publisher, Sunriver Culture 上河文化.

My Itinerary

Day 1: A Short Hike to Siangyang Cabin and Sea of Clouds

09:03 We left B&B around 7 am and arrived at Siangyang Forest Recreation Area before 9 am. After submitting our police permits at the police station, we checked in at Siangyang Station.
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Siangyang Station officer gave us a presentation about what to do and not to do, especially Formosan Black Bear, and how to use the bio-toilet.
Jiaming Lake - Day 1: Siangyang Forest Area
Some Taiwanese hikers obviously don't know how to poop properly.
Since Jiaming Lake Trail is popular, Forestry Bureau needs to maintain the trail constantly. Hikers are encouraged to carry an extra 1 kg of sand to help keep the trail, and they will be rewarded with cute postcards and stickers when they return.
Jiaming Lake - Day 1: Siangyang Forest Area
A scale is close to the checkpoint with marks.
If you want, carrying 5 kg of sand is also welcome. I carried an extra 5 kg because the scarf reward was so cute. When I first did this hike, we dumped the sand at 3.8 km in October 2022. When I did this hike again in March 2023, I saw several locations, and one was at 5.5 km.
09:19 After everything was set, we headed to Siangyang Cabin. When you see this sign, you can take either of them to Jiaming Lake Trail.
Jiaming Lake - Day 1: Siangyang Forest Area
This one was closed when I did Jiaming Lake again in March 2023.
I might spend too much time taking photos. But the trees were beautiful, and I saw the beautiful sea of clouds through the trees.
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It was comfortable to walk on the pine needles.
10:20 Reached 1.5 km checkpoint. There was an observation deck to see the views. If you don't have a hiking permit, you have to return from here.
Jiaming Lake - Day 1: Siangyang Forest Area
You'll see this deck and an old checkpoint at 1.5 km.
10:48 Arrived at 2.7 km trailhead. We saw many cars from rescue teams. Later, we learned a hiker got injured on the trail.
Jiaming Lake - Day 1: Siangyang Forest Area
We saw rescue teams parked their cars at 2.7 km.
10:51 We crossed a bridge. The trail was easy to follow.
11:52 We reached the designated area to place the extra sand at 3.8 km.
Jiaming Lake - Day 1: Siangyang Forest Area
I was happy to have a lighter backpack.
12:15 We reached Siangyang Cabin at 4.3 km and had lunch. This was our destination for the first day.
Jiaming Lake - Day 1: Siangyang Forest Area
Siangyang Cabin
There is a creek next to Siangyang Cabin with plenty of water. Each bed inside this cabin is divided by curtains for privacy. Bringing your sleeping pat is optional.
Jiaming Lake - Day 1: Siangyang Forest Area
Siangyang Cabin provides curtains for each bed.
14:01 Honestly, I was bored by doing so little hiking on the first day. It was my fault. After all, I didn't involve much in the planning for this hike because I was busy moving to a new apartment.
I decided to explore more on the trail by scaling up. Then, something caught my attention. It was a feathered fellow, White-whiskered Laughingthrush, aka Taiwan Laughing Thrush 金翼白眉, an endemic species in Taiwan.
Jiaming Lake - Day 1: Siangyang Forest Area
White-whiskered Laughingthrush, aka Taiwan Laughing Thrush 金翼白眉
I saw the incredible views through the trees on the trail, including Mt. Guan or Guanshan, 3,668m.
14:54 I reached Black Water Pond at 5.3 km. I followed the footpath inside, and I wasn't disappointed.
I was so glad to go this far because I saw the stunning sea of clouds. The clouds looked like cotton candy, and the peaks of those surrounding high mountains looked like islands floating in the air.
Jiaming Lake - Day 1: Siangyang Forest Area
I stayed here for one hour till I felt satisfied and returned to Siangyang Cabin.

Day 2: Stunning Sunrise at Somewhere and Wrong Timing at Jiaming Lake

Unlike Day 1's short hike, we had a long day. We got up around 2 am, got breakfast, and packed our backpacks.
03:15 Left the cabin in the dark. The lack of proper sleep wore me out. I felt exhausted and had to drag my feet on the trail. We passed Siangyang Famous Tree 向陽名樹 at some point, but it was too dark to see.
05:20 When we saw the sky getting brighter, we stopped somewhere near Guan Shan Big Collapse Wall (said on the sign) 關山大崩壁 or Guanshan landslide at around 6.4 km, waiting for the sunrise. Another name of the cliff used by the map publisher, Sun River Culture, is Siangyang landslide 向陽崩壁.
The sun and clouds displayed a splendid show for us, but I couldn't help but think how it would be to see this by Jiaming Lake. Well, our itinerary sucked, but to be honest, this was stunning.
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
The warm orange hues helped me beat the morning cold.
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
We stayed here a little bit longer to enjoy the stunning views.
06:31 We reached the junction to Mt. Siangyang and Jiaming Lake Cabin. Many hikers took a break here. So did we.
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
It is 5.6 km to go to Jiaming Lake from here.
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
The rock scrambles are after the giant boulder before reaching Jiaming Lake Cabin.
06:54 We reached the rock scrambles.
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
Those rock scrambles are steep.
Saw Jiaming Lake Cabin.
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
07:04 Jiaming Lake Cabin is at 8.4 km. We checked in with the cabin officer first. He gave us a briefing about the amenities and things we needed to know. We applied for a campsite because it was easier to get than beds at the cabin. Then, he asked us whether we wanted to stay inside the cabin because empty beds were available. I said 'No' right away.
The officer let us take a look inside the cabin. Each bed isn't divided by curtains, but it looks decent.
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
One of the most popular mountain cabins in Taiwan.
And this view from the hallway was phenomenal.
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
The sea of clouds was right in front of the cabin.
08:10 Headed to Jiaming Lake with a light backpack.
We saw Jade Mountain (Mt. Jade, Mt. Yu or Yushan, 3,952 meters) at an empty sign. Someone used pebbles to arrange the words Jade Mountain in Chinese. The clouds spilled over the mountain ridges flowing into the valleys.
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
Jade Mountain with clouds spilling over the ridges.
Mt. Siangyang North Peak was near the sign, but I didn't go there. When I did this hike again in March 2023, I still didn't go.
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
Mt. Siangyang North Peak near the sign.
Mt. Sancha looked close, but it was still another hour away.
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
The mountain in the center is Mt. Sancha. Still a long way to go from here.
09:00 Unfortunately, the good weather decided to go back to sleep. My heart sank when seeing the blue sky on the Jiaming Lake side disappear.
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
The weather at Jiaming Lake changes quickly.
09:34 We reached the junction to Mt. Sancha. Either way will take you to Jiaming Lake, and the distance is almost the same. We decided to go to Mt. Sancha first.
09:57 We arrived at Mt. Sancha, 3,496 meters, with a Class 1 Triangulation Stone at the peak. The blue sky from the Jade Mountain side gave me hope, and I tried my best to hike to Jiaming Lake, which was 20 minutes away.
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
While I was at Mt. Sancha, the weather in the north was still good.
When we descended from Mt. Sancha, the clouds took over the sky over the Jiaming Lake side.
10:13 Passed the junction to Jiaming Lake close to the helipad and Mt. Sinkang 新康山 (3,338 meters), which was 14.3 km away from there.
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
The helipad near Jiaming Lake. The weather became foggy in the south.
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
Junction to Mt. Sinkang.
10:16 We arrived at Jiaming Lake at 13 km. I'm pretty sure the disappointment was written all over my face. Well, at least I still could see the lake.
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
Jiaming Lake
We stayed here for 80 minutes, circling the lake and hoping the sky would be cleared up. But the fog above Jiaming Lake was getting thicker. Finally, it was time to leave. Then, it started drizzling.
14:19 We returned to Jiaming Cabin, and I was already soaking wet.
jiaming-lake-cabin-drying-space
It's good to have a space to dry raincoats at the cabin.
There are hangers for hikers to hang their wet clothes if you can find a spot for yours.
We had dinner around 5:40 pm and went to bed afterward. It was cold, and the porter's sleeping bag wasn't warm enough. I got up around 7:45 for the toilet. Then, I saw the moon casting light on the clouds. I went inside the tent quickly to get my tripod for photos. This scene was comforting.
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
The sea of clouds kept me company through the night.

Day 3: Incredible Sunrise at Mt. Siangyang and Shadow

We left Jiaming Lake around 3:30 am after breakfast. When we left Jiaming Lake, the porter at the kitchen said the sunrise at Jiaming Lake would be incredible, except that we were heading in the opposite direction.
04:34 Reached the junction of Mt. Siangyang.
05:06 We arrived at Mt. Siangyang, 3,603 meters, which was still early for sunrise.
The sky started turning vivid blue mixed with an orange hue at 5:20 am. Hikers began showing up at Mt. Siangyang, too. The sea of clouds in the distance was visible.
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Waiting for the sunrise.
05:47 The orange hue cast a warm glow on Jade Mountain.
Jiaming Lake Trail - day 3
The sunrise at Jade Mountain must be stunning at that moment.
The 360∘ views at Mt. Siangyang were stunning. However, when I turned to the west side, I saw something I couldn't comprehend at first. I couldn't figure what why there was a triangular shadow in the east.
Jiaming Lake Trail - day 3
This is my first time seeing the mountain's shadow in the air.
When the sun went higher, the shadow went lower. I realized that that was Mt. Siangyang's shadow. That was my first time seeing a phenomenon like this.
Jiaming Lake Trail - day 3
We stayed there for 70 minutes, and the weather became bright and sunny.
Jiaming Lake Trail - day 3
My peak photo
08:13 We were back at Guan Shan Big Collapse Wall. This English translation on the sign was driving me crazy.
Jiaming Lake Trail - day 3
The sign says Guan Shan Big Collapse Wall.
Jiaming Lake Trail - day 3
The cliff was truly splendid.
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Looking at the trail ahead of us
08:29 We finally saw the Siangyang Famous Tree. The sign there said it was Juniperus Squamata 玉山圓柏. The common name is Yushan Sabina, which is common in high mountains in Taiwan. Its distinct shape earns it the name of a famous tree. Many high mountain trails have their own famous trees.
Jiaming Lake Trail - day 3
Mt. Siangyang and her north peak and Mt. Sancha from Siangyang Famous Tree.
However, half of this tree collapsed years ago.
Jiaming Lake Trail - day 3
Juniperus Squamata 玉山圓柏
10:04 Arrived at Siangyang Cabin and took a 30-minute break.
While returning to the trailhead, I saw a snake lying in the middle of the trail. I thought it was dead, and I didn't want it to be smashed by hikers. So, I removed it aside, and it came back to life, which startled me. But I guess the poor thing was terrified, too.
Jiaming Lake Trail - day 3
My rare snake sighting.
11:51 We returned to Siangyang Station and claimed our rewards for carrying extra sand. This is my new scarf.
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Happy to claim my reward for carrying an extra 5 kg.

About Jiaming Lake, Mt. Sancha, Mt. Siangyang, and A Plane Crash

About Jiaming Lake 嘉明湖

Jiaming Lake is the second-highest alpine lake in Taiwan, at 3,310 meters (10,859.6 feet). The highest one is Cui Pond 翠池 (3,520 meters/11,548.5 feet) near Xueshan/Snow Mountain in Taiwan.
The widest length of Jiaming Lake is 120 meters, and the width is 80 meters, with an area of 1.9 hectares (4.7 acres) and a depth of 6 meters.
Jiaming Lake
Our guide Rose posing at Jiaming Lake
No streams are coming into this lake. When I wrote this post, a news story reported that Jiaming Lake was shrinking due to the drought.
It is said Jiaming Lake is an impact meteor lake. When the sky is blue, the reflection on the lake looks like sapphire. So, it is also called God's Lost Sapphire 上帝遺失在人間之藍寶石 or Angel's Teardrop 天使的眼淚. It's also called Egg Pond because of its oval shape.
The indigenous Bunan people call Jiaming Lake Cidanuman Buan, meaning the moon's mirror.

100 Peaks: Mt. Sancha 三叉山 and the Airplane Crash

On September 10, 1945, after the surrender of the Empire of Japan in World War II, two airplanes flying from Okinawa, Japan, to Manila, the Philippines, crashed in eastern Taiwan due to typhoons.
Mt. Sancha plane crash debris. Photo by Xiao Tsai
Our guide Xiao Tsai saw the plane crash debris near Mt. Sancha. Photo by Xiao Tsai.
One crashed in the sea, and the other crashed near Mt. Sancha, Taiwan. The one that crashed near Mt. Sancha carried 25 people, including 11 American, 4 Dutch, and 5 Australian war of prisoners, and 5 cabin crews, and all perished.
A Bunan hunter saw the plane down and reported it to the police. The government (still under Japanese rule then) sent the first rescue team of 8 people on September 18 and a second team of 89 people on September 27 to search for the victims.
Mt. Sancha plane crash debris. Photo by Xiao Tsai
Our guide Xiao Tsai saw the plane crash debris near Mt. Sancha. Photo by Xiao Tsai.
Unfortunately, a second typhoon hit on September 30 while the team was still in the high mountain. 26 members died due to the harsh weather.
Mr. Bruce Liu has a detailed post about this tragedy. You can find some English content about those victims and where they were buried in his post.
However, the remains of some rescuers were not totally recovered and got a proper burial. Guanshan Police Station Historical Museum exhibits the wreckages retrieved from the crash. In addition, there's a stele to commemorate those victims at Guanshan Waterfront Park.
LOHAS did a training near Mt. Sancha and visited the crash site in 2023. Guide Xiao Tsai was very kind to lend me those photos he took.

100 Peaks: Mt. Siangyang 向陽山

Mt. Siangyang is the second-highest mountain in Taitung County. The most famous landscape near Mt. Siangyang is Guan Shan Big Collapse Wall (Guanshan Big Cliff) 關山大崩壁.
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
Mt. Siangyang (left) and her north peak (right). This is the ridgeline we hiked.
This expansive cliff is at 7km of the trail southwest of Mt. Siangyang. The gap between the top of the cliff and the bottom is 800 meters (2,625 feet). The rocks constantly fall on this cliff.
jiaming-trail-guanshan-cliff-wall-3
Guan Shan Big Collapse Wall (Guanshan Big Cliff)
When the red hue of the sunset casts on Mt. Siangyang and makes it look like an extensive red leaf, Mt. Siangyang is also called Mt. Hongye, Red Leaf Mountain.
Jiaming Lake Trail - Day 2
Beautiful sunrise view near Mt. Siangyang

Siangyang Forest Recreation Area

Siangyang Forest Recreation Area 向陽國家森林遊樂區 is at 154k at Southern Cross-island Highway 南部橫貫公路 (shown Taiwan Provincial Highway 20 on the map), one of the 3 cross-island highways in Taiwan.
Jiaming Lake Trail - day 3
Beautiful forest at Siangyang Forest Recreation Area
There are 4 trails in this recreation area: Songjing Trail (1.2 km long), Siangyang Trail (0.5 km long), Siangsong Trail (0.7 km long), and Songtao Trail (1.6 km long).
If you don't hike Jiaming Lake, this park is great to visit. Those 4 trails are relaxing, and you will find an observation deck on Songtao Trail to enjoy the incredible views.
You may not find garbage bins inside this area. That's because there are reports of Formosan Black Bears, aka Taiwanese Black Bears/White-Throated Bears, digging out garbage bins. Therefore, those bins are either removed or locked to protect this endemic species in Taiwan. The best solution is to bring the garbage with you.
Hikers who go to Jiaming Lake will have to take either A. Songjing + Songtao (2.8 km) or B. Siangyang + Siangsong + Songtao (2.8 km) to the actual trailhead of Jiaming Lake. However, you can take a different route and return to Siangyang Forest Recreation Area.
Jiaming Lake - Day 1: Siangyang Forest Area
Cute little flowers I saw at Siangyang Forest Recreation Area.
When I did my second Jiaming Lake, I saw clouds floating around this area.
siangyang-area
Clouds and fogs floating around at Siangyang Forest Recreation Area

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English Posts

Jiaming Lake – A Hike to a Beautiful High-Mountain Lake

Posts in Chinese Only

Hiking Biji: Jiaming Lake 健行筆記: 嘉明湖
工程師愛爬山: 嘉明湖三天兩夜
Taiwan Hikes' Partner: HolaTaipei Travel
I hope you enjoy this post. Have you done Jiaming Lake? How did you do this hike? If you've never been to Jiaming Lake, are you planning to do it? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.
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