Situated at a high altitude, Guanyuan is above the cloud forest belt, where you can overlook the famous view Hehuan Cloud Watching”. Guanyuan lies close to Taci Jili River (midstream of Liwu River.), so when the airstream rises along the valley, the water vapor gathers here. Therefore, occasional fog obscures the mountains or creates a tumultuous sea of clouds. This scenery has long won Guanyuan a reputation for cloud watching.
The best hours for cloud-watching are in the morning and afternoon. When the sun rises, the sea of clouds will often disappear. In the afternoon, with weakened sunlight, the sea of clouds will slowly reappear. If you are lucky, when the clouds are higher, you can see the clouds cascading over Dayuling. Depending on conditions, Mt. Qilai North Peak also provides a magnificent sea of cloud scenery particularly with the breathtaking red sky that is commonly present at sunset.
The vegetation is comprised mainly of conifers such as Taiwan spruce, Taiwan hemlock, and Taiwan red pine. There are also hardwood species such as Alpine oak and Taiwan red maple. In the autumn, the deciduous trees change colors from green to different shades of red and yellow. The beautiful red maple leaves make Guanyuan a colorful world. From Guanyuan to Dayuling, it’s a habitat shared by mid- and high-altitude birds. Guanyuan is a bird paradise.
Brief Introduction to History
The original site of Guanyuan was located at a lower elevation than current Guanyuan with an altitude of approximately 2,000m. Historically, the Tuoboge tribe (from the west of Central Mountain Range) and Truku tribe (from the east of Central Mountain Range) used to fight each other here for control of hunting ground.
During the Truku War in 1914, Guanyuan was the Japanese troops first stop upon their march eastward from the Hehuan Mountains to attack the Taroko area. The leading Governor-General Sakuma Samata once stopped here to command a battle. Further naming Guanyuan after the strategically important “Sekigahara” in Gifu Prefecture, Japan.
Police Station、Public Restroom、Phone、Gas station、Parking Lot、Accommodation
Bus:From East Taiwan: From Hualien Train Station or Taroko National Park Headquarters take Hualien Bus #1141(only serviced once daily) to Lishan alight at Guanyuan station. Please confirm the bus timetable ahead in case of any changes. Hualien Bus Phone Number: 03-8323485. http://www.hualienbus.com.tw/bus/userfiles/files/149999051787548.pdf
Driving:From East Taiwan: To get to Guanyuan (2374 m), drive westbound on Provincial Highway 8 from Hualien to Taroko, Tianxiang, Ci'en for Guanyuan. It takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes - 2 hours driving.
Guanyuan: choose to stay at 300 m westward at Guanyun Youth Hostel for a night if the road condition is no good. Or stay for a night for the altitude adaptation at Guanyuan then the second morning setting out for Mt. Hehuan areas, for example for hiking Mt. Shimen, Mt. Hehuan Main Peak, or Mt. Hehuan East Peak, etc.