Hiking Snow Mountain in Taiwan for CHEAP! Update Nov 2019
How to Save your money? Read carefully all the instructions below!
This website is born from an avid Singapore girl hiker.
Here is the regularly updated DIY guide for Xueshan Hike in Taiwan:
DISCLAIMER: Information in that website are for EXPERIENCED HIKERS. Rescue Officer told us that too many people go to the High Mountains with poor equipment, with poor physical fitness, with poor sense of direction etc.
Many hikers brag on their blog that they did it solo and easily.
Reality is: “it is not easy for 92% of the population to climb High Mountains in Taiwan!”
IF you are NOT an experienced hiker then our best advice for your own sake is to join a group tour with a company!
GO SOLO at YOUR OWN RISK!
CHECK our HIKING TOUR PACKAGE on the RIGHT of your screen or DOWN BELOW at the ⇓ FOOT PAGE ⇓↓⇓
ITINERARY of Xue shan hike:
- The Hike starts at Wuling Farm Xueshan Trailhead (2140 m altitude) – Metres above sea level
- with 2 km to Qika cabin (2500 m altitude)
- followed by 4 km to Xueshan East Peak (3150 m altitude) via “Crying slope”
- then 1 km to 369 cabin (3100 m altitude),
- finally 4 km to the summit of Snow Mountain = Xue Shan (3886 m)
- It’s a total of 11 km going up and down to reach the Summit of Snow Mountain aka Xueshan aka Mount Sylvia.
It’s not very difficult to go Hiking Snow Mountain but you have to wake up very early to grab a parking space at the trailhead!
How to go to Xueshan from Taipei?
First of all, from Taipei, it takes more than 3 and a half hours by car to join Wuling Farm then 20 min to arrive at the trailhead.
It takes ONE DAY by public transportation from Taoyuan to Taipei to Yilan to Wuling Farm to Xueshan trailhead!
Do you want to hire a driver to save time?
TL;DR click Snow Mountain Guided Tour
Then One of the Best private cab drivers in Taiwan is Paul! Look for him in Google with keywords Paul driver Taiwan. We recommend him because he has been very loyal and reliable compared to some other tricky drivers…
Transportation from Taipei to Xueshan trailhead
Most of you will come from Taoyuan International Airport.
Taoyuan Airport WARNING: DO NOT bring any FOOD, meat, fruits, sandwich…
to Taiwan. Huge fines from 200 000 NT to 1 million NT at Taoyuan airport. Police installed X-ray machines for arriving passengers since last January 2019.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A Chinese and a Taiwanese citizen were the latest to be fined NT$200,000 (US$6,489) each for trying to smuggle meat products into the country at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Wednesday.
It’s mainly “meat targeted” but DO NOT even think to “smuggle” a sandwich that you forgot to finish to eat! True story, it happened to one of our friends!
Taoyuan Airport to Taipei Main Station:
- by Kuoguang bus 【1819】 150 NT about 40 min
- or by EVA AIR bus to Xingtian Temple, MRT Orange line
- also by PURPLE MRT 160 NT 35 min by MRT Express or 50 min by MRT all stops (There are 2 kinds of Metro on the same line)
Taipei to Yilan bus:
- by Kamalan bus 【1915】 140 NT about 90 min, departure every 15-20 min
Yilan to Wuling Farm bus:
- by Kuoguang bus 【1751】 300 NT about 3 hours at 07h30
- or at 12h40 by Kuoguang bus 【1751】 300 NT about 3 hours
Wuling Farm to Xueshan Trailhead
- On foot costs Zero NT during about 2 hours for 7.5 km = 3.5 km on flat road + 4 km on a steep road
- Notice that you carry your backpack, this part is already tiring
- There is no shuttle bus!
Tip: Private Cab Driver to go hiking Xueshan:
Hire a driver (book one month in advance!) from Taoyuan Aiport, he will drive you to Yilan, Wuling farm and to the Snow Mountain Trailhead. The van costs 7000-12000 NT according to the size, the date (High season/ Low season), the driver… but it will save you time! Time is money…
We see many hikers who want to save money but they miss the bus and they got stuck for many hours, then, when they arrive at the Trailhead Permit Station, it’s too late and the permit is no more valid!!! They are forbidden to enter the trail…
We recommend Paul, you can find him on Google with keywords Paul driver Taiwan. We’ll write a page with many driver’s contacts [in progress]
Once reached Wuling Farm, the entrance fees are 160 NT/ person + 50 NT / car. We heard that some people avoided the fees during the night but at midnight or at 6 am there was still a clerk to check-in…
You can stop at the NEWLY renovated in 2017 Visitor Center to get very nice information. It’s worth a visit!
The Wuling Farm Visitor Center is closed on Mondays and opens from 9 am to 5 pm.
Next to it, you can find food and drinks, it’s a kind of a traditional convenient store (not 7-11). There is NO gas can there! (We checked this in Nov 2019).
Permits for Snow Mountain in Taiwan
Then you go to the Police Station 1 km away to process your Mountain Entry Permits, you show the policeman your ID or Passport + your Sheipa National Park Entry Permit (that you must have applied online up to one month before) then he will print permits for you. Finally, he will also stamp them.
If you applied for the Police permit online and printed it twice (more than 5 days before) then you can save time and skip the Police station! Yeah !!!
About How to DIY apply Hiking permits for Snow Mountain Taiwan click here (Open link in a new tab).
Then you go to the Trailhead of Snow Mountain Xueshan 雪山登山口: it takes 7.6 km from Wuling Farm Visitor Center to the Trailhead: 3.5 km on flat road + 4.1 km on a steep road.
If you took the bus to come to Wuling Farm then there is no official shuttle bus 🙁 so you have to walk the 7.6 km with your backpack in about 2 hours. You can think of hitchhiking, but we wish you good luck because there are very few cars going to the trailhead, moreover they do not stop when they see your big backpack…
Also, Beware of aggressive Monkeys too! They want your food, absolutely do not give them! Take a stick to chase them!
You get BLACKLISTED from Xueshan National Park Permit if you are caught feeding wild animals!
Trailhead of Snow Mountain Xueshan:
At the trailhead Control Station, you show the 2 permits printed 2 times each to the cabin’s volunteer staff. (For the reason that they are doing their military service, they don’t know about the condition of the trail, water level…) but since Nov 2017 there is a panel outside with WATER INFORMATION in English!
They will stamp your 2 permits and record your info on their computer.
1 set of permits is for them.
1 set of permits is for you to always keep on you to show in any control in the mountains. Beware! Jade Mountain, Snow Mountain, and Qilai Mountain are the most controlled mountains in Taiwan.
High risk to be caught at the trailhead, at the mountain cabins and even at the exit! Trust us, we tried to exit without checking-out to save time but 4 times out of 5, one clerk is going out to catch us…
This 2nd set of permits is to give them when you leave the mountains area (Rare situation: you leave it in the mailbox at the exit of the trail if nobody is inside) just to let the National Park know that you are safely out.
In case you did not see the WARNING, they are repeatedly posted …
Therefore, you are Ready to go Hiking Snow Mountain!
Your Big Trip is starting!
Now Let’s go hiking Snow Mountain (Xueshan 雪山) in Taiwan!
Control Permit station at Trailhead of Snow Mountain Taiwan Xueshan
LINKS to PREPARE Your Xueshan Hike:
Hiking guide for Snow Mountain? C
IF you have experience hiking high mountain then you do not need a guide.
But last year, due to too many accidents happened, therefore, we can NOT recommend it anymore to do it SOLO. The trail is easy for us but there are still people who get lost, who hurt themselves, who do not respect the rules of the high mountains.
BEST TIME to climb Snow Mountain?
October, November, December is during the “Dry season” but you can still have typhoons until mid-November!
January, February, March is usually the “snow season”. Rules are different, equipment is different. Snakes are sleeping during this season!
April is good.
May, June is the “Plum Rains season”.
July, August, September is the “Hot season” with Typhoons!
When does it snow in Taiwan?
The climate is changing as you know, but roughly we see snow between December and April
For more details, check our article about snow in Snow Mountain.
This website was made thanks to a SINGAPORE GIRL HIKER at Qilai Nanhua,
Do you have other questions? Contact us freely on WhatsApp, we have nothing to sell, we need your FEEDBACK to make this website BETTER:
Do you know the Baiyue 百岳?
Yushan is the EASIEST mountain in Taiwan, it’s the highest but the trailhead is also the highest!
Xueshan is the Second EASIEST mountain, the trailhead is already at high altitude.
Nanhu Dashan is the Third EASIEST mountain but it takes one more day, there are long parts on flat land.
For STRONG hikers, are you looking for something challenging? Have a look at Hiking Qilai mountain in Taiwan
Besides, for the VERY STRONG hikers, you can do SECTIONS, it takes 6-10 days to hike a section but you collect ma