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Yushan Front Peak: Steep Rock Climbing with Breathtaking Views

Posted by:  Anusha Lee
Published date: June 7, 2024
Yushan (Jade Mountain) is Taiwan's top choice for high-mountain hiking, but its popularity makes getting a permit harder than the hike itself. Yushan (Jade Mountain) Front Peak is a great alternative, offering splendid views and a steep rock scramble.
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View on the way to Yushan Front Peak
Although the distance from the junction to Yushan Front Peak is only 800 meters (0.49 miles), reaching the summit can take more than 1 hour. With its stunning views, Yushan Front Peak is a great stand-alone hike or an addition to your Yushan adventure in Taiwan.
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The rock scramble section is not for new hikers.
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Table of Contents:

Trail Information

Trail Name: Yushan/Mt. Jade Front Peak 玉山前峰
Distance: 7 km (4.3 miles)
Route type: Out and back
Days/Hours Needed: 4-6 hours
Total Ascent/Descent: 719 m/719 m
Best Time to Go: All seasons, but there will be special requirements during the snow season.
Permits: National Park Permit and Poice Mountain Entry Permit are required.
Difficulty Level: trail difficulty

Peaks or Places to Reach

  1. Yushan Front Peak or Jade Mountain Front Peak 玉山前峰, 3,239 meters (10,626 feet), listed as No. 71 on the 100 Peaks in Taiwan.

Other Ways to Do Yushan Front Peak:

  1. You can arrange a two-day hike and stay in the comfort of a hotel: on Day 1, hike Tataka Three Mountains (Mt. Lulin, Mt. Lulin Front Peak, and Mt. Linzhi), and on Day 2, hike Yushan Front Peak.
  2. Hike Yushan Front Peak and Tataka Three Mountains in a day. This itinerary will be a more challenging hike.
  3. If you plan to hike Yushan Main Peak, you can put Yushan Front Peak on Day 1 when you apply for the permits.

Additional Information:

  1. Phone receptions are mostly good on the trail.
  2. Wearing a helmet is advised.
tataka-3-mountains-06-yushan-main-front-north-peak-2
You can see Yushan Main Peak, Front Peak, and North Peak from Mt. Linzhi.

How to Apply for Permits to Hike Yushan Front Peak

When to Apply and How Many Spots Are Available Each Day?

When: 5 days to 2 months before the day you want to hike.
How many people can apply for the hike: 100 per day.
Click "Yushan 1 Day Route" to see the many hiking spots available.

Application Process

Go to Hike Smart Taiwan Service website, click "Online Application", and then "Apply for Park Permit."
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Click "Yushan National Park Headquarters" and then click "Search." You will see "Yushan Front Peak Day Hike (Tataka - Yushan Front Peak - Tataka)", and then click "entry application."
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Read the content and check all the boxes required. Then, click "I Agree."
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If you want to hike Yushan Front Peak, please check the box of Standard Application. Then, click "Next."
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Fill out the required information. The new website will display your Yushan Front Peak route and send the Police Permit (Police Department Mountain Pass Application shown on the website) for you. Click "Next."
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I use the Yushan hike as the example.
Fill out the required form, follow the instructions, and then send it out. You will receive your application number. You need this number to check your application progress and results and download the park permit five days before your hike.
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Again, I use the Yushan hike as the example.
When you are granted the permit, don't be shocked if you receive many emails from the national park that look like they are spamming you.
emails-from-national-park

Maps, Transportation, and Accommodations

GPX Track From

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.

From Your Location to Tataka Trailhead

Yushan-transport - update 20240530

Public Transport: from Chiayi to Alishan

No matter where you are in Taiwan, you go to Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) Chiayi Station to take Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Bus, Alishan Route.
Take Alishan Route 7329 From Taiwan High Speed Rail Chiayi Station to Alishan Transport Station 阿里山轉運站. The bus fare for one trip is NT$278.

Public Transport: from Alishan Transport Station to Upper Dongpu

Take Yuanlin Bus 6739 員林客運 6739 from Alishan Transport Station 阿里山轉運站 at 14:00. Get off at Shangdongpu Stop 上東埔站, and then walk to Dongpu Lodge. The bus fare for one trip is NT$68.
Because of Covid, Yuanlin Bus has reduced the bus schedules. For the latest schedule, please check Yuanlin Bus 員林客運 website for updates. According to their website, passengers must make a reservation 2 days in advance if they want to use EasyCard to pay the bus fare. 049-2770041.

From Paiyun Mountaineering Center to Tataka Trailhead

The shuttle bus is in front of Paiyun Mounteering Service Center. Each shuttle can be seated up to 7 hikers. The fare is NT$100 per person from 6:30 to 17:00. It's NT$150 between 17:00 and 19:00, and you need to make a call to arrange the pickup.
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The shuttle bus waiting sign at Paiyun Mounteering Service Center.
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The queueing point for the shuttle bus at Tataka Trailhead. You can use your backpack to queue.
If you need a pickup after 19:00, please call Dongpu Lodge in advance to see the fare and time.
If you don't mind, you can hike another 2.4 km to Paiyun Mountaineering Center from Tataka trailhead.

Driving to Shangdongpu Parking Lot

Click the map of Shangdongpu Parking Lot. If you drive from Shuili, Nantou, please check the traffic control before you go. The section between 110 and 145k of the Taiwan Provincial Highway 21 台21線 is closed from 17:30 pm to 7:00 the next day.

Accommodations

Dongpu Lodge is the only hostel near the Paiyun Mountaineering Service Center, and the altitude is high enough to acclimatize. Dongpu Lodge offers bunk beds for NT$400 per person per night. Dongpu Lodge is 2,580 meters above sea level.
Dongpu Lodge. Photo by Jin Jin
Dongpu Lodge
Another option is to stay at Wangxiang Village before the hike. The drive from Wangxiang Village to Shangdongpu Parking Lot takes around one hour. We often stay at Xiaosong Kalibuan Village, which also provides a porter and pickup service. Wangxiang Village is 850 meters above sea level.
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Food served at Xiaosong Kalibuan Village

Details of This Hike

Brief itinerary: Check in at Paiyun Mountaineering Service Center and take the shuttle bus ➔ Tataka Trailhead (0 km, 2,610 m) ➔ Menglu (Monroe) Pavilion (1.7 km, 2,838 m) ➔ Junction to Yushan Front Peak (2.7 km, 2,860 m) ➔ Yushan Front Peak (3.5 km, 3,233 m) ➔ Junction ➔ Menglu (Monroe) Pavilion ➔ Tataka Trailhead ➔ Paiyun Mountaineering Service Center
We stayed at Wangxiang Village the night before the hike. It took us around 1 hour to drive from our hotel to Shangdongpu Parking Lot.
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We saw Yushan Main Peak and North Peak from our hotel in Wangxiang Village.

07:58 From the Shangdongpu Parking Lot, we headed to the Paiyun Mountaineering Service Center. After checking in, we queued for the shuttle bus.
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The red arrow points to Tataka Police Squad and Paiyun Mountaineering Service Center.
08:16 We arrived at Tataka Trailhead. We spent some time taking photos here.
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The famous landmark: Tataka Trailhead
08:30 We started our hike.
Important: The first 500-meter section was prone to falling rocks long before the magnitude 6.2 earthquake hit Taiwan on April 3, 2024. One hiker was even struck to death when he hiked here, and several reported injuries. Therefore, wearing a helmet is a must.
While on the Yushan trail, we saw many metal bridges like this. If you take a closer look, each bridge is numbered. There are 82 bridges in total before reaching Paiyun Lodge.
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Bridge No. 1 with many falling rocks on it.
08:45 I reached the 0.5 km marker, which also says the distance from here to Paiyun Lodge is 8 km away.
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09:23 I reached Menglu (Monroe) Pavilion and took a short break.
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Menglu (Monroe) Pavilion
10:12 We reached the junction to Yushan Front Peak.
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Junction to Yushan Front Peak
The signage says the distance from this junction to Yushan Front Peak is 800 meters/0.49 miles, but this section took me 100 minutes to ascend and 72 minutes to return. In addition to the steep and strenuous terrain, my hiking mates, who made me take more photos than I liked, were another reason for my slowness.
Sunriver Company: map-Jade Mountain 來源: 上河文化
The profile of Yushan (Jade Mountain) front Peak. Image by Sun River Culture 上河文化
10:37 Our guide, Kevin, stopped here to show us the rock profile. It did look like a gorilla's profile. What do you think?
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Do you see a gorilla's silhouette?
10:45 We reached the badass hiking section to Yushan Front Peak, where the rock scrambles start.
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If you ask me, this rock scramble section is steeper and scarier than those to Mt. Baigu. I didn't wear a helmet for this hike, but I will if I do this hike again.
Climbing this rock scramble section is daunting. It felt like rock climbing, and some boulders became loose when I stepped on them.
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More climbing
Yet, the rewards were the stunning views when I looked back to catch my breath. The pyramid-shaped Guanshan or Mt. Guan (3,668 meters/12,034 feet), layers of mountain ridges, and the crispy blue sky.
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Guanshan
11:51 I finally reached Yushan Front Peak.
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There isn't an ample place at the summit, and the scorching sun made me hide in the bushes for a lunch break, but seeing the Yushan mountains from here still excited me.
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Yushan mountains
Since Yushan Front Peak is also listed in the 100 Peaks (100 Baiyue) in Taiwan, bagging this summit is popular among hikers. More and more hikers were coming, so we left right after the 30-minute lunch break.
Climbing up to the Yushan Front Peak summit is challenging, but descending isn’t easy, either. The gaps among those boulders were significant, and some boulders were wobbly. Again, please proceed with extra caution.
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Descending is still a daunting task.
13:34 We were back at the junction.
14:27 We were back at Menlu Pavilion.
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You will see several photo spots with great views.
15:05 I reached Tataka Trailhead and queued for the shuttle bus. If you do this hike or hike to other Yushan peaks, remember to check out online after you finish the hike.

About Yushan/Mt. Jade Front Peak and Trails Nearby

First Ascent Record of Yushan Front Peak

In April 1900, the first recorded ascent of Yushan Front Peak was made by Torii Ryūzō, Mori Ushinosuke, and others during an academic exploration via the Alishan route.
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One of our guides, Kevin, at Yushan Front Peak

Origin of Monroe (Menglu) Pavilion 孟祿亭

In June 1951, J.E. Monroe arrived in Taiwan to work as a tax consultant for the U.S. Mutual Security Agency's China Division. In October 1952, he tragically fell to his death while descending from Yushan, resulting in the area being named "Monroe (Menglu) Cliff 孟祿斷崖" — the first post-war foreign fatality on Yushan.
A memorial stone was erected at the site to commemorate his contributions to Taiwan's economy. Due to the cliff's inaccessibility, a new path was created, and Monroe Pavilion, or Menglu Pavilion, was built in his memory.
Jade Mountain hike
The pavilion at the boundary between temperate and frigid forests is the first landmark hikers encounter from the Tataka trailhead. It serves as a resting spot and has toilets nearby.
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Get Free Guides on Public Transport and Applying for Permits. Or Hire Me!

Free Bus Guides to Hike Popular Mountains in Taiwan

Taking buses to hike in Taiwan can be tricky if you don't read Chinese. Therefore, I've made several public transport guides to help you get to the trailheads. Or click the image below to see more details.

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Hiking Biji: Yushan Front Peak 玉山前峰登山山徑
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