Mt. Shimen Trail Open
- Mt. Hehuan Service Station
- Trail Level
- Mountaineering Trail
- 3237 m
- The length of the trail
- 784 m
- Needed Time
- 30-60 minutes (out-and-back)
- 1. During the winter, snow accumulates on the trail and can make the path difficult to see. Do not enter the trail at this time of year.
2. If symptoms of acute mountain sickness arise, descend the mountain as soon as possible.
- QR Code
- Geographic Code
Mt. Shimen is the easiest hike out of the high altitude Hehuan mountain range. Though it rises 3,237 m above sea level, Mt. Shimen Trail is constructed out of planks and stone steps, and ascending mostly parallel to the highway. From the trail entrance it takes only about half an hour to reach the peak. Doubleback, the same path is taken to descend.
Mt. Shimen’s east side is steep, overlooking the Liwu river basin. Its west side, with more gentle slopes, features the Hehuan River, one of the sources of Dajia River, making Mt. Shimen the watershed for both rivers.
Although Yushan cane borders the trail, Yushan rhododendron (Rhododendron pseudochrysanthum Hayata), Yushan Juniper (Juniperus squamata Lamb. var. morrisonicola), Fomosana juniper, Kawakami firs (Abies kawakamii (Hayata) Ito) and many more plant species can also be observed. Among the Yushan cane, or on the gravel slopes and bare rocks, a plethora of small plants and flowers grow as well. Yushan cane forests most commonly seen plants include bigseed swertia(Swertia macrosperma), Japanese false hellebore (Veratrum formosanum Loesen. f.), goldenrod, [(Solidago virgaurea L. var. leiocarpa (Benth.) A. Gray )] etc. On the gravel and rock, Gentiana scabrida (Gentiana scabrida Hayata), Alishan Gentiana (Gentiana arisanensis), Taiwan ladybells (Adenophora morrisonensis Hayata ssp. morrisonensis), Morrisona Sedum (Sedum morrisonense Hayata), Borneo Winter Green (Gaultheria itoana Hayata), Nepalese Anaphalis [(Anaphalis nepalensis Spreng.) Hand.- Mazz.], Pearly everlasting (Anaphalis morrisonicola Hayata), Taiwan Ediv (Leontopodium microphyllum Hayata) Single Flower Cranesbill (Geranium hayatanum Ohwi), Taiwan Eyebright (Euphrasia transmorrisonensis Hayata), etc., are found. During summer these vivid flowers blossom, creating a beautiful and educational experience of high elevation flora.
First Stop: Yushan (High Mountain) Juniper
Yushan juniper, one of the world's longest living tree species, grow prodigiously along ridge lines, forest boundaries and even peaks higher than 3900 m. It is one of the dominant plant species that grow above the tree line. Growing incredibly slowly, they increase in diameter an average of 0.0438 cm annually until reaching 300 years old. Thereafter, growth slows down even more. But don't underestimate any of them; some are hundreds of years old on average, and others even thousands of years old! The majesty of these humble-looking trees is something to be appreciated.
Second Stop: the Golden Weasel (Mustela sibirica taivana) and Taiwan least weasel (Mustela formosanus)
One of Hehuan area's more common mammals, Golden Weasels inhabit forests and grasslands at elevations of 1500-3500 m. From head to torso they are about 25-33 cm long. Small, quick, clever and bold: they often forage for food in mountain lodges at night.
Third Stop: Kenanguan
At Kenanguan, one can barely stand properly against the strong gusts of wind blowing over the rugged terrain. Located on the saddle of a watershed separating two rivers, the dramatic erosion from these rivers formed the narrow ridge that the highway is built on.
Bus:From Hualien (Westbound): There is no public transportation to the trailhead of Mt. Shimen Mountain. The closest bus stop is at Dayuling (Bus #1141, (arriving 11:45 towards Lishan; arriving 15:54 towards Hualien Train Station). Dayuling is ~9.7 km (2.5 - 3 hours walk) from Songxue Lodge. Hitchhiking is not uncommon in the region.
From Taichung (Eastbound): A series of 3 buses connects Taichung to the trailhead of Mt. Shimen mountain. Leg 1: Taichung – Puli (Buses #6670 via Taichung HSR Train Station, #6268 via Taichung HSR and TRA Train Stations, #6899 via Taichung TRA Train Station); Leg 2: Puli – Qingjing Farm (Bus #6664; 70 mins); Leg 3: Qingjing Farm – Songxue Lodge (Bus #6658A; 50 mins). Nantou Bus Company recommends visitors to take Bus #6670 leaving Taichung Railway Station at 08:23 and 11:18 (Taichung HSR Station at 08:45 and 11:35 respectively) to be able to reach Songxue Lodge at 11:15 and 15:10 respectively. Sample itineraries are available from Nantou Bus Company. Please confirm the above schedules directly with Nantou Bus Company in case of any recent changes.
Driving:Mt. Shimen Trailhead is located on Provincial Highway 14A at 33.4 k
From East Taiwan:
To get to Mt. Shimen, drive westbound on Provincial Highway 8 from Hualien to Taroko, Dayuling and transfer to Provincial Highway 14A(14Jia) for Xiaofengkou (Mt. Hehuan Service Station, 3002 m), and Songxue Lodge. It takes about 3 - 3.5 hours driving. Trailhead of Mt. Shimen is located 400 m east of Songxue Lodge.
From West Taiwan:
From Natou Puli, take Provincial Highway 14 towards to Mt. Hehuan. After passing Wushe, take Provincial Highway 14A or 14Jia via Qingjing, Cueifong, Kunyang and Wuling. After reaching the Mt. Hehuan Visitor Center (or Songxue Lodge), continue for 400 m Mt. Shimen to arrive at trailhead.