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100 Peaks: Complete Guide of Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Stunning Views, Treacherous Terrains, and Scary Cliff Hike

Posted by:  Anusha Lee
Published date: April 14, 2023
Last update: October 13, 2023
Wuling Quadruple Mountains, aka Wuling Sixiu 武陵四秀, refers to Mt. Tao (Taoshan, aka Peach Mountain), Mt. Chiyou, Mt. Pintian, and Mt. Kalahei at Shei-Pa National Park in central Taiwan. This hike is a popular 100 Peaks trail full of stunning views, scary cliff climbing, taxing long hiking, and more.
dabajian-wuling-4-beauties-ridge
Wuling Quadruple Mountains from the other side
In this post, you will find out how to apply for permits, how to take public transport to the actual trailhead without walking at Wuling Farm, and different routes to enjoy those spectacular high mountains in Taichung, Taiwan.
wuling-farm-from-above
The amazing view from Taoshan, looking at Mt. Zhongyangjian (3,703 meters) and Wuling Farm
This hike is doable by yourself. Cris from HolaTaipei Travel and I planned this hike for almost one year, getting the permits and canceling them at least twice (because we took turns testing Covid positive), and finally did the hike on November 28, 2022. Moreover, we got 3 days of perfect weather. So, the wait is worth it.
Cris-HolaTaipei-2
Cris and I did this 4-day hike together.

Table of Contents:

Trail Information

Trail Name: Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail or Wuling Sixiu 武陵四秀. Si means 4, and Xiu means Beauties in Chinese.
Distance: 29.2 km (18.1 miles.) We did around 44 km (23.4 miles.)
Route type: Loop + out and back
Days/Hours Needed: 1 to 4 days
Total Ascent/Descent: 2,777m/2,790m
Best Time to Go: All year round. Some sections and those peaks are exposed without shade. It's windy and cold at those peaks, too. So please do sun protection and stay warm when you hike.
Permits: Required. Please see How to Apply for Permits
Difficulty Level:
Peaks to Reach:
  1. Mt. Pintian 品田山, 3,524 meters (11,561.6 feet). Hikers must tackle the notorious Pintian V Cliff, before reaching Mt. Pintian. The views are breathtaking from the top.
  2. Mt. Chiyou 池有山, 3,303 meters (10,836.6 feet). There is a Class 3 Triangulation Stone on the top. The views are amazing, too.
  3. Mt. Tao, aka Tao Mountain or Taoshan, 桃山, 3,325 meters (10,908.8 feet). If I can only choose one of Wuling Quadruple Mountains to hike, Taoshan is the one. The views are spectacular.
  4. Mt. Kalahei 喀拉業山, 3,133 meters (10,278.8 feet). There is a Class 2 Triangulation Stone on the top. Nothing much to see from the peak, but the views are great before reaching Mt. Kalahei.
  5. Mt. Shilun 詩崙山, 3,194 meters (10,479 feet). Mt. Shilun used to be one of Wuling Quadruple Mountains, but later it was replaced by Mt. Pintian. No views there.
Cabins or Campsites to Stay: Xinda Cabin and Campsite
  1. Hikers need to apply for beds or a campsite in advance. At 3,175 meters, Xinda Cabin can accommodate 34 hikers.
  2. Xinda Campsite can accommodate around 6 or 7 tents to sleep up to 20 hikers.
  3. Water source: there are water tanks at the cabin, but hikers may need to go to the stream not far away to draw fresh water during drought seasons.
  4. Hikers can also find bio-toilets near the cabin.
  5. Phone reception is decent.
  6. Cost for a cabin bed or campsite: free.
Cabins or Campsites to Stay: Taoshan Cabin and Campsite
  1. Hikers need to apply for beds or a campsite in advance, and now it's still first come, first serve, which is challenging to get a slot. At 3,725 meters, Taoshan Cabin is a small one that can only accommodate 19 hikers.
  2. The bio-toilets are behind the cabin, and this is also one of the best spots to see the sunset, just with the smell.
  3. The campsite can take up to 2 or 3 tents.
  4. The water source relies on the tank to collect rain.
  5. Phone reception is not stable.
  6. Cost for a cabin bed or campsite: free.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail Day 4
Taoshan Cabin in the rain

How to Apply for Permits to Hike Wuling Quadruple Mountains, Accommodation, and Order Meals (Optional)

National Park Permits (Park Permits):

National Parks set up a new website saying the application process is easier, but I still think the old one is relatively better (but still could be better). Here is the Shei-Pa National Park application website.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Permit Application
International visitors can apply for Advanced Applications.
Read and check all the boxes required and click “I Agree.”
Please pick a team name. Then select Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail.
Here are “schedule” references for 3-day and 4-day hikes.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Permit Application
Route reference if you do 3 4-day hike.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Permit Application
Route reference if you do a 4-day hike.
Please note that the Advanced Applications are only for hiking Xue Mountain (Xueshan) Trail and Daba Peaks (Mt. Dabajian) Trail. There are no Advanced Applications preserved for Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Permit Application
Advanced Applications only have two trails to choose.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Permit Application
If you want to hike Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail, you need to go through the Standard Application.

You don't need to apply for Police Mountain Entry Permit (short for Police Permit)

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!

How to Get There by Public Transport to Wuling Villa without Walking an Extra Distance

Xueshan/Wuling Farm Free Bus Guide

Here's a flowchart about how you get to Wuling Farm or the trailhead.
You take Kuokuang Bus 1751 from Yilan Transfer Station, or Kuokuang Bus 1764 from Luodong Transfer Station, and get off at Wuling Visitor Center.
Wuling Farm Visitor Center and Bus Stop
Taking Kuokuang Bus 1751 or 1764 is easier than bus 866.
I also have a detailed free guide with the trains, buses, and the links to the stations/stops to Xueshan/Wuling Farm on Gumroad. Or click the image below.

From Lishan:

You can take Fongyuan Bus 865 and 866 from Lishan to Wuling Far. However, the timetable changed due to the landslide and construction at the Central Cross-island Highway. It's too complicated for me, let alone those who don't read Chinese. So, I'll say don't try this one unless you have no choice.

Where to Stay Before Your Hike:

If you take Lion Travel's bus, you start hiking after getting off the bus. If you stay at B&B near Wuling Farm, you will need to have your own transport or walk to Wuling Villa.
Some hikers stay at the guest house of Huanging Temple 環清宮貴賓樓 at Huanshan Village 環山部落, which is around a 30-minute drive to Wuling Farm. The cost is NT$500 per person per night for a bunk bed. In addition, this temple provides pickup services for hikers.

Sleeping Bags/Meals:

Cris and I carried our own gear for this hike. Some hikers order sleeping rentals and meals from porters. If you hire porters to carry your meals and sleeping bag, it's NT$1,000/person/night at Taoshan Cabin, and NT$900 for Xinda Cabin.

Map/GPX Data and Different Routes

Date of Hike: Solo hike on August 22, 2021

Route map for Wuling Quadruple Mountains 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.

4-Day Hike to 4 Peaks (This is What Cris and I did):

Day 1: Your place ➔ Wuling Villa (2,086m) ➔ Wuling Suspension Bridge (1,894m) ➔ junction to Taoshan and Mt. Chiyou ➔ junction to Taoshan Waterfall and Mt. Chiyou Trail ➔ Taoshan Waterfall ➔ junction to Mt. Chiyou Trail ➔ Find somewhere to camp at Mt. Chiyou Trail
Day 2: Your tent ➔ Sancha Campsite/Junction to Mt. Chiyou and Taoshan (3,206m) ➔ the 2nd junction to Mt. Chiyou ➔ Mt. Chiyou (3,303m) ➔ back to junction ➔ Chiyou Famous Tree ➔ Xinda Cabin (3,172m) ➔ Mt. Pintian (3,524m) ➔ back to Xinda Cabin
Day 3: Xinda Cabin ➔ junction to Mt. Chiyou and Taoshan ➔ Taoshan Cabin (3,272m) ➔ Taoshan (3,325m) ➔ Mt. Shilun (3,194m) ➔ Mt. Kalahei (3,133m) ➔ back to Mt. Shilun ➔ back to Taoshan ➔ Taoshan Cabin
Day 4: Taoshan Cabin ➔ Taoshan ➔ junction to Taoshan Waterfall ➔ Wuling Suspension Bridge ➔ Wuling Villa

3-day Hike (the Most Popular Itinerary) to 4 Peaks:

Day 1: Your place ➔ Wuling Villa (2,086m) ➔ Wuling Suspension Bridge (1,894m) ➔ junction to Taoshan and Mt. Chiyou ➔ junction to Taoshan Waterfall and Mt. Chiyou Trail (skip Taoshan Waterfall) ➔ junction to Mt. Chiyou Trail ➔ Sancha Campsite/Junction to Mt. Chiyou and Taoshan (3,206m) ➔ the 2nd junction to Mt. Chiyou ➔ Mt. Chiyou (3,303m) ➔ back to junction ➔ Chiyou Famous Tree ➔ Xinda Cabin (3,172m)
Day 2: Xinda Cabin ➔ Mt. Pintian (3,524m) ➔ back to Xinda Cabin ➔ junction to Mt. Chiyou and Taoshan ➔ Taoshan Cabin (3,272m)
Day 3: Taoshan Cabin ➔ Taoshan (3,325m) ➔ Mt. Shilun (3,194m) ➔ Mt. Kalahei (3,133m) ➔ back to Mt. Shilun ➔ back to Taoshan ➔ junction to Taoshan Waterfall ➔ Wuling Suspension Bridge ➔ Wuling Villa
Pros: You don't need to take too many days off.
Cons:
Day 3 will be long and strenuous. If you feel ok, I suggest Taoshan (a 10-minute walk from Taoshan Cabin), Mt. Shilun, and Mt. Kalahei on Day 2.
If the weather is good on Day 3, you can get up early to catch the sunrise at Taoshan, get back to sleep, and get ready to go home.

2-Day Hike:

Day 1: Your place ➔ Wuling Villa (2,086m) ➔ Wuling Suspension Bridge (1,894m) ➔ junction to Taoshan and Mt. Chiyou ➔ junction to Taoshan Waterfall and Mt. Chiyou Trail (skip Taoshan Waterfall) ➔ junction to Mt. Chiyou Trail ➔ Sancha Campsite/Junction to Mt. Chiyou and Taoshan (3,206m) ➔ the 2nd junction to Mt. Chiyou ➔ Mt. Chiyou (3,303m) ➔ back to junction ➔ Chiyou Famous Tree ➔ Xinda Cabin (3,172m) ➔ Mt. Pintian (3,524m) ➔ back to Xinda Cabin
Day 2: Xinda Cabin ➔ junction to Mt. Chiyou and Taoshan ➔ Taoshan Cabin (3,272m) ➔ Taoshan (3,325m) ➔ Mt. Shilun (3,194m) ➔ Mt. Kalahei (3,133m) ➔ back to Mt. Shilun ➔ back to Taoshan ➔ junction to Taoshan Waterfall ➔ Wuling Suspension Bridge ➔ Wuling Villa
Pros: No need to apply for the hard-to-get Taoshan Cabin or carry a tent.
Cons:
Physically demanding.
Some hikers did Mt. Chiyou and Mt. Pintian on Day 1 and returned to Sancha Campsite (the junction to Mt. Chiyou and Taoshan) to stay there for one night. Then, they finish the rest on Day 2.
Not staying at Taoshan Cabin makes it easier to make this trip, but you will need to carry your sleeping bag and tent.
Or you can skip Mt. Shilun and Mt. Kalahei to make the hike even less strenuous.

1-Day Hike (Not for Everyone):

Do the 2-day-hike Route in 1 day.
Pros: super-efficient and hike light.
Cons:
You have to start hiking at 1 or 2 am.
Extremely physically demanding.
Wuling_Quadruple_Mountains_-_4_Days
The trail profile if you want to do all those peaks in 1 day.

Other Variations:

Some hikers separate those 4 mountains into 2 hikes: Chiyou + Pintian and Taoshan + Kalahei. If the cliff climbing is too much, you can skip Mt. Pintian. Or you can only do Chiyou + Taoshan because the views are spectacular at both peaks. Moreover, there's nothing much to see at Mt. Kalahei.
Some people do Taoshan only in one day. However, this itinerary is doable, and there is no need to do the hike super early. The views at Mt. Taoshan are stunning.

My Itinerary: 4-Day Hike

I did the 4-day route mentioned above with Cris from November 28 to December 1, 2022. Although most people say doing Wuling Quadruple Mountains in 4 days is relaxing, trust me, it's still not. I remember Cris and I sighed when we saw the deep valley down and up again to Taoshan, not to mention those times I had to drag my feet to move.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed it a lot. Will I do it again? Not Mt. Pintian. Doing cliff climbing once is enough for me. I was surprised (and glad) that I didn't burst into tears on the spot when seeing the cliff.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
Definitely never again

Day 1: Beautiful Taoshan Waterfall, Wildlife Encounter, and A Great Spot to Camp

Our initial plan was to camp somewhere near Wuling Villa, but the monkeys at Wuling Farm made me concerned. Luckily, I researched again before our hike and found a possible campsite, which was great.
07:10 We met at North Exit 2 near Lion Travel's counter at Taipei Train Station and left at 7:30.
While our bus exited Hsuehshan on National Freeway 5 in Jiaoxi, we saw Xueshan and Mt. Dabajian. It felt surreal because we would see those two mountains from the other side in 2 days.
Snow Mmountain and Dabajian from Jiaoxi, Yilan
I saw Xueshan covered in snow and Mt. Dabajian in Febuary 2022 on the bus in Jiaxi.
Our bus took 3 breaks to let us go to the toilets and stretch our legs. We stopped at Nanshan Village 南山村, the popular stop for many hiking trails in Taiwan.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 1
Nanshan Village has a few cheap B&Bs for hikers to stay.
11:53 We arrived at Wuling Farm. Our bus had to drop passengers at several hotels. Our guide Miss Lee was very friendly and helpful. She saw we were there for the hike and asked us whether we wanted to get off at Wuling Villa. Of course, we did.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 1
Wuling Farm toll station
11:29 We got off at the parking lot near Wuling Villa. This ride saved us at least a 5.3 km walk and energy. Wuling Farm is beautiful but carrying a 15 kg backpack is not fun.
Wuling Farm in Taiwan
Wuling Farm is a beautiful place, but I didn't want to carry heavy backpack wandering here.
12:45 Passed Wuling Villa.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 1
The peak on the right is Taoshan.
12:52 We passed the mailbox and submitted our documents in the box. Shei-Pa National Park set up new QR codes for hikers to check in and out, but many hikers complained those were not working properly. So, we still put our documents in the box.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 1
Cris demonstrated how to submit the documents in the mailbox.
Soon, we passed Wuling Suspension Bridge.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 1
The famous Wuling Suspension Bridge
13:12 We arrived at the junction to Taoshan Trail (we took this one on the way back) and the waterfall. We had a short lunch break here.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 1
If you want to head to Taoshan first, you should turn here.
The trail from Wuling Villa to Taoshan Waterfall is open to everyone without hiking permits. The footpath is accessible, but, however, ascending to Taoshan Waterfall might be too steep for some people. From here, it was a zigzag trail all the way up to the waterfall.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 1
The round trip from Wuling Villa to Taoshan Waterfall is 4 hours.
14:22 We turned right to Taoshan Waterfall at the junction. There are toilets near the waterfall.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 1
Taoshan Waterfall and the toilet
The distance to the waterfall was around 400 meters from the junction. So, we hid our backpacks somewhere near the junction. Waterfalls are common on the trails in Taiwan, but I am still excited whenever I see them.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 1
Taoshan Waterfall closer look
While walking here, we heard several loud cries, and I guessed those were from Reeves's muntjac. They look like medium-sized dogs but cry like their tails are being stepped on. I saw one limping in front of me.
14:58 We returned to the junction and turned left to Mt. Chiyou Trail. It was steeper from here.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 1
Time to embrace the steep Chiyou Trail
16:09 We reached 1.2 km and camped here. This place is big enough for two tents. It was quiet here, and this was the best camping experience I've ever had until I did a hike to Jiemaosi (post coming soon.)
We woke up early in the morning. Obviously, we forgot those hikers who did one day hike. But, overall, we had a good night's sleep in the wild.

Day 2: Stunning Views at Mt. Chiyou and Embraced the Scary Climbing at Mt. Pintian

06:30 We started our second-day hike.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
Typical terrains at high mountain trails in Taiwan
07:40 We passed 2 km on Chiyou Trail.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
We saw Taoshan from the trail.
07:57 While scaling up, we saw Xueshan, aka Snow Mountain, or Mt. Sylvia. We even could see Sanliujiu Cabin.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
Xueshan Glacial Cirque. Xheshan is the mountain on the left of the cirque. Do you see a cabin, Sanliujiu Cabin, in this photo?
09:10 We reached Sancha Campsite at 3.5 km, aka the junction to Taoshan (right) and Mt. Pintian (left). We took a short break here.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
Sancha Campsite, also the junction at 3.5 km
You will see many places called Sancha Campsite, like Black Water Pond, on the trails in Taiwan. Sancha means junctions in Chinese, a good word to learn in Chinese.
09:39 We arrived at the rock slope and saw a sign pointing the path to Mt. Chiyou. There are two junctions to Mt. Chiyou, and this is the first. We took the next one.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
Rock slopes are common terrains on high mountains in Taiwan. This is the first junction to Mt. Chiyou.
Those rock slopes look intimidating, but it's safe if you take time and be cautious. Unfortunately, sad accidents still occur. A judge went missing and ended up dead around here in September 2022.
09:47 We reached the second junction to Mt. Chiyou, and it was time to put down our heavy backpacks.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
The 2nd junction to Mt. Chiyou
10:06 We arrived at our first peak of the Wuling Quadruple Mountains! We were the only hikers there, and the views were amazing! All the major high mountains were in front of us: Xueshan, Mt. Dabajian, Mt. Xiaobajian, Hehuanshan, and those I've done in the past!
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
Mt. Chiyou, our first peak
After a while, other hikers showed up. We let them enjoy the peak and sat there to enjoy the views. No words can be fround to describe how I felt. Those I could think of were blessed, lucky, and in awe.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
Mt. Zhongyangjian and Mt. Nanhu
From Mt. Chiyou, we saw Xinda Cabin and the winding trail to the notorious Mt. Pintian - still a long way to go.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
Mt. Pintian. Do you see the cabin and the trail scaling up to Mt. Pintian?
10:58 We returned to the junction and picked up our backpacks.
11:14 We reached the Chiyou Famous Tree. It was cloudy when I saw this beautiful tree for the first time in August 2022. Now it was sunny and looked so different. We took a 10-minute break to enjoy this tree.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
Chiyou Famous Tree from the Xinda Cabin side, the most popular spot to enjoy this tree
11:54 We passed the junction to Mt. Dabajian. I took this one to my second Mt. Dabajian visit.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
The junction to Mt. Dabajian
11:58 We arrived at Xinda Cabin! We took a 20-minute lunch break and packed the essentials for Mt. Pintian.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
Xinda Cabin and the water tanks
The trail to Mt. Pintian was steep, and the first section was exposed grassland. Then the path led us into the woods.
Before entering the woods, I looked back to see our trail. Mt. Chiyou looked like a pyramid, and the tents next to Xinda Cabin were like blue dots from here. I couldn't believe we had come this far.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
Looking back at Mt. Chiyou. Do you see the blue tents near Xinda Cabin?
The woods were mixed with pine trees and dwarf bamboo. I saw the ridgeline of Mt. Dabajian and Mt. Xiaobajian through the trees on my right.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
From now, the trail was flat till we reach Mt. Pintian V Cliff.
14:14 We reached Mt. Pintian Front Peak, 3,445 meters. The views were striking, with Mt. Dabajian on one side and the abyss-like valley on the other. I cursed myself for doing this.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
Mt. Dabajian and Mt. Xiaobajian
We took a short break. Then, Cris popped up the inevitable question: are you ready? “I will never be ready” was what I wanted to tell him. But instead, I said, let's do it, with a fake brave smile.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
I cursed when I saw this cliff we were going to tackle.
Cris took the lead. He descended slowly, reached a safer place, and kindly turned to tell me where to go. There were ropes to grab, but seeing the cliff still made my heart stop. After all, this Pintian V Cliff has claimed many lives.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
I can't think of any better word other than scary to describe this.
It felt like a century before we reached the bottom of the Pintian V Cliff. The views were amazing there. After catching our breath, we started climbing up.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
I looked up the cliff waiting for us from the bottom of Piantian V Cliff.
After reaching the top, I looked back at Mt. Pintian Front Peak.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
Mt. Pintian Front Peak
From here, the trail was easy compared to the cliff. Another 20 minutes passed, and we were closer to Mt. Pintian.
15:24 Mt. Pintian, finally! The views were incredible here.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
We reached Mt. Pintian!
Some hikers said they saw Turtle Island in Yilan from here. We didn't see it because we were surrounded by clouds. Not complaining.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
The sea of clouds in the distance. Cris sat the trail to Mt. Buxiulan, 3,438 meters, where the scarier Pintian Cliff is.
We stayed there for 25 minutes. The strong wind became too harsh for us to stay any longer.
15:55 We were back to the cliff and ready to do the scary descending.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
Returned to Pintian V Cliff.
16:24 We made it back to Mt. Pintian Front Peak safely.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
Other hikers were descending on Pintian V Cliff.
17:07 We returned to our cabin before it got dark and called it a day.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
We saw the stunning sunset on Mt. Nanhu and Mt. Zhongyangjian.
Doing Mt. Pintian took longer than we expected. If you are uncomfortable with heights, prepare extra time for this hike. Take it slow, and there is no need to rush. Safety first.

Hugged by the Clouds at Taoshan and A Long Way to Mt. Kalahei

We didn't get up super early, and we almost missed the sunrise. I only took a few photos, but unfortunately, they are blurred.
06:40 We left Xinda Cabin.
07:25 We arrived at Chiyou Famous Tree. We spent longer here taking photos. This tree is probably the most photogenic one I've ever seen on the trails in Taiwan.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
The most photogenic tree in the high mountains in Taiwan, Chiyou Famous Tree
07:46 We were back at Sancha Campsite/junction to Taoshan.
The sea of clouds was getting thicker. I was thrilled but also anxious that the good weather would be gone when we reached Taoshan. Based on my experience, the good weather could be gone in one section in the high mountains. Yet, I couldn't proceed any faster.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
Mt. Nanhu, Mt. Zhongjian and sea of clouds
Unfortunately, we made a wrong turn near the junction. We saw ribbons on the trees, but we also saw a footpath. We checked our map and decided to try the one without ribbons. A few minutes later, we turned back. So, if you do the hike here, please follow the ribbons.

The Trail Terrains in Taiwan: Gap between Topographic Maps and Reality

According to our topographic map, the terrain looked flat. However, it's a different story when you set foot on the trails in Taiwan.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
When hiking in Taiwan, the distance of the trail often means nothing. The trail terrains do.
The intertwined tree roots, the rocks, up and downs that are too small to be shown on the map, and other things will drive you crazy when hiking. The gap between the topographic map and reality is what we saw on the way to Taoshan, a rugged and jagged terrain.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
We climbed over the tree roots from time to time on the way to Taoshan Cabin.
That's why some tough trails are short but still labeled as challenging. Hiking 10 km (not 10 miles) can take the whole day in Taiwan. That's why one of my favorite guides Xiao Tsai, doesn't put the mileage on his trips. It means nothing sometimes.
09:24 We finally reached the bottom of the valley and saw a post numbered C11. It says 1.2 km to Taoshan - time to embrace ascending.
wuling-quad-day3-03-terrain-3
Time to embrace steep ascending
10:29 We arrived at Taoshan Cabin. We took a 20-minute break. Lucky for us, the weather was still good.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
We could see Mt. Dabajian ridge from Taoshan Cabin, but I didn't take photos of this view.
We ate some food, took the essentials, and were ready for the rest of the Wuling Quadruple Mountains.
First, we saw a mountain with some gadgets on the top. Please don't be fooled by this one. The real Taoshan is behind it.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
We call this fake peak 假山頭 in Taiwan, meaning the peaks without a name on the map (or the ones to fool us.)
11:54 It took around 10 minutes to reach Taoshan from the cabin. The 360∘ views at Taoshan were stunning!
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
Mt. Pintian, Xueshan and the Holy Ridge were behind us.
The most famous high mountains in Taiwan can be seen from here. The sea of clouds made the views even 10 times better. Cris and I were so thrilled.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
Some of the views from Taoshan. I collage two photos together.
After having a good time at Taoshan, another deep valley awaited. The thought that we had to come back again was disheartening, but we still had to go.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
The trail to Mt. Shilun and Mt. Kalahei
The hike from Taoshan to Mt. Shilun was mostly in the woods with intertwined tree roots and up and down.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
Rugged terrain but manageable
12:26 Arrived at Mt. Shilun, 3,194 meters. No views here.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
Mt. Shilun
We continued to Mt. Kalahei. After around 30 minutes, we exited the woods and saw an open area covered with grass. The sea of clouds still kept us company.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
Endless sea of clouds
13:34 We reached our last one of Wuling Quadruple Mountains, Mt. Kalahei, 3,133 meters. There was no view here because of the tall grass. However, the surroundings could be completely different when the Japanese first set up the Class 3 Triangulation Stone 100+ years ago.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
Our last peak for this trail: Mt. Kalahei
We took a short break, and it was time to turn back. From now on, the earlier downhills became uphill.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
More intertwined tree roots
16:17 Eventually, we made it back to the last deep valley before Taoshan. I was exhausted, hoping I could still catch the last glimpse of sunset at Taoshan.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
My heart was crying when I saw the hill before Taoshan.
The slope before Taoshan was disheartening. I stopped several times to catch my breath.
16:32 We were back in Taoshan and still had time to see the sunset.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
We made it back to Taoshan in time.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
I made a new friend at Taoshan: Vinaceous Rosefinch 酒紅朱雀.
However, the wind was too harsh to withstand, and not bringing my down jacket was a mistake. Cris had already returned to our camp.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
More clouds in the sunset.
16:48 Back to Taoshan Cabin. Cris was lying on his back to rest. The sunset near the cabin was awesome, especially on the Mt. Dabajian side.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
Clouds over Mt. Dabajian in the sunset
We went to the toilets and were astonished by the more spectacular shades of vibrant colors from the sunset, plus the smell.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
We saw the vibrant sunset colors by the toilet at Taoshan Cabin.
The weather turned sour later that evening. I heard the rain falling on our tent, which meant I didn't have to get up in the middle of the night to take photos.
We'd had 3 days of the best weather we could've asked for. We were going back tomorrow, not complaining.

Day 4: Visited Taoshan One More Time and Home

07:08 We left Taoshan Cabin, and it was gloomy and rainy, a big contrast to what we had. Cris said he was planning to take his girlfriend to Taoshan. I made a mental note that I needed to ask him again after we finished.
07:22 We were back to Taoshan for the third time because the trail to Wuling Farm was next to the peak.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail Day 4
Most sections here are exposed, and we hiked on the rocky footpath. It would be scorching hot if the weather were sunny. Lucky for us, it lightly drizzled, and we felt ok.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail Day 4
Different terrain on Taoshan Trail
08:02 We passed the millage post, 3.6 km. Not long after we passed this post, the vegetation changed, and we entered a forest mixed with grass.
According to our map, there was a helipad at 2.7 km. I guess I was too tired to pay attention to that.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail Day 4
I missed the helipad spot. I was too tired.
08:50 We reached the junction with sign number A37 pointing to Taoshan trailhead and water source (Black Water Pond, 5.6 meters away from here.)
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail Day 4
You can find the black water pond for water near this junction.
We went to check this area. This place will be ideal for camping.
The trail here was zigzag. The fatigue had long taken over us, and I had to summon our last strength to finish this hike.
09:58 We reached a forest, and what surprised me was no tall grass beneath those tall, beautiful trees. Instead, we could see the steep hill awaiting. If you start this hike from Taoshan trailhead, this will be the slope you are going to climb.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail Day 4
I could see through the forest how steep the slope was.
10:18 Passed the 0.5 km post. But to be honest, it was more than 0.5 km from there.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail Day 4
It is more than 0.5 km to Wuling Villa.
10:31 We crossed a small wooden bridge and stopped here to explore for a while. There are two rivers merged here: Taoshan Creek and Shilun Creek. If you need to fetch extra water to Taoshan, here is the place. Enjoy the excess weight up.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail Day 4
We crossed this bridge over the rivers.
10:40 We saw an old, abandoned house with many tourists taking photos. Here's the starting point of Taoshan Trail, 0 km.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail Day 4
Seeing this house means you are close to Taoshan trailhead.
Cris became a celebrity when those tourists saw him. They showered him with many questions that I let Cris deal with them by himself because I was busy texting our emergency contact to let him know we were safe back at the trailhead.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail Day 4
Taoshan. I could barely smiled.
Although the sign said this was 0 km of Taoshan Trail, it was still around 1 km to Wuling Villa.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail Day 4
Back to Wuling Suspension Bridge
Soon, we returned to the junction to Taoshan Waterfall, where we had lunch on Day 1.
10:59 We crossed Wuling Suspension Bridge.
11:09 We were back at Wuling Villa. We finished the hike!
Then, I popped the question: Cris, are you still planning to bring your girlfriend to Taoshan? “NO!” Cris replied without hesitation.
Perhaps I'll ask him another day.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains - Day 3
Who can resist this fantastic view over Wuling Farm from Taoshan?

About Wuling Quadruple Mountains, Wuling Farm, and Formosan Landlocked Salmon

Wuling Quadruple Mountains

Mt. Pintian 品田山, 3,524 meters (11,561.6 feet). The views are incredible from the top. One of the headwaters of the Tamsui River is from Mt. Pintian. When the weather is clear, hikers can see Yilan Plain, Turtle Island, and even as south as Jade Mountain (Yushan).
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
We saw Yushan or Jade Mountain from Mt. Pintian. Do you see a cabin in this photo? That's Sanliujiu Cabin.
The trail to Mt. Pintian involves scary climbing. Please cancel your hike to this mountain if the weather is rainy, snowy, or wet. Many deadly accidents have occurred there, and it's easy to see why. This section is called Pintian V Cliff, and you get an idea of where this name came from.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
The almost vertical climbing to Mt. Pintian
There is another cliff named after Pintian called Pintian Cliff. This cliff is worse than V cliff and is on the way to Mt. Buxiulan 布秀蘭山 (3,452 meters/11,325.4 feet) from Mt. Pintian.
Mt. Chiyou 池有山, 3,303 meters (10,836.6 feet). There is a Class 3 Triangulation Stone on the top. The views are amazing, too. The indigenous Atayal people call this mountain. Tamarappu.
I can't find what Tamarappu means. Chi means “ponds,” and You means “have” in Chinese. Putting those two characters together means there are ponds in this mountain. The ponds are near Xinda Cabin.
Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail - Day 2
View of Mt. Dabajian and Mt. Xiaobajian from Mt. Chiyou
Mt. Tao, aka Tao Mountain/Taoshan/Peach Mountain, 桃山, 3,325 meters (10,908.8 feet). The contour of this mountain looks like a peach, and that's how Tao Mountain got its name. Tao means peaches in Chinese. The views are spectacular.
wuling-quad-otherside-1
Taoshan looks like a peach from the other side of the ridge.
Taoshan is also the most popular among Wuling Quadruple Mountains. Many hikers do this mountain in one day. The round trip is around 10 km (6.2 miles), which looks like nothing, but the elevation gain and loss of 2,800+ meters in one day had kicked many hikers' butts.
Mt. Kalahei 喀拉業山, 3,133 meters (10,278.8 feet), is located between Hsinchu County and Yilan County. Unfortunately, the trees and grass are tall at the peak now - nothing much to see. But the views are great before reaching Mt. Kalahei.
The north tip of the Xueshan Range starts from Bitoujiao/Bitou Cape, and Mt. Kalahei is the first peak over 3,000 meters, counting from the northernmost point, Bitoujiao.
Bitoujiao: breath-taking coast in northeastern Taiwan
Bitoujiao or Bitou Cape is the northermost point of Xueshan Mountain Range

Wuling Farm and Formosan Landlocked Salmon 台灣櫻花鉤吻鮭

Wuling Farm, 1,750 meters above sea level, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Taiwan. It is famous for the spring blossoms and the fantastic views. You can read Foreigners in Taiwan's post for the details of Wuling Farm.
Wuling Farm in Taiwan
For hikers like me, Wuling Farm is also the gate to many 100 Peaks, like Mt. Snow (Xueshan, 3,886 meters), Mt. Pintian 品田山 (3,524 meters), Mt. Chiyou 池有山 (3,303 meters), Mt. Tao or Taoshan 桃山 (3,325 meters), Mt. Kalahei 喀拉業山 (3,133 meters) and more. Those 4 are also called Wuling-Quadruple or Wuling Quadruple Mountains 武陵四秀.
Wuling Farm in Taiwan
Looking at Mt. Chiyou, Taoshan and Mt. Shilun (3,194 meters) from the left to right.
Tourists can also see other 100 peaks, like Mt. Shuan 閂山 (3,168 meters) and Mt. Lingming 鈴鳴山 (3,272 meters).
Wuling Farm in Taiwan
Mt. Shuan and Mt. Lingming are visible at Wuling Farm.
Even if you don't do 100 Peaks, Wuling Farm is a great place to explore and relax. We were supposed to do another hike, but our guide decided to change the plan because the weather wasn't good on that trail.
Wuling Farm in Taiwan
Cherry blossom at Wuling Farm
Cijiawan (or Qijiawan) Creek 七家灣溪 at Wuling Farm is also home and sanctuary for the critically endangered Formosan Lanklocked Salmon 櫻花鉤吻鮭.
Wuling Farm in Taiwan
Cijiawan Creek
I was lucky to see Formosan Landlocked Salmon when I did Hehuanshan hikes in April 2023.

Related Posts:

On Taiwan Hikes

100 Peaks: Mt. Dabajian and Mt. Xiaobajian
100 Peaks: Shuanshan and Mt. Lingming
A Comprehensive Guide to Applying for Hiking Permits to Hike the 5 Most Popular Mountains in Taiwan

English Posts

Wuling Sixiu Mountains
Taiwan Outdoors: Taiwan's Bai Yue (百岳)

Posts in Chinese Only

健行筆記: 武陵四秀登山步道 Hiking Biji: Wuling Wuling Quadruple Mountains Trail
Taiwan Hikes' Partner: HolaTaipei Travel
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