Hehuan Mountain (aka Hehuanshan or Mt. Hehuan) may be the most popular place to see snow in Taiwan, partly due to the fact that it has the highest public road in the country (located at Wuling (武嶺). Most people in Taiwan live at or near sea level in a tropical/subtropical environment that never has snow. However, it does snow in Taiwan at many places with higher elevations, such as Yangmingshan, Jade Mountain, Alishan, Snow Mountain, etc. If temperatures get low enough between December and February, snow is possible to fall wherever the elevation is high enough in Taiwan. However places like Hehuanshan are special because you can drive a vehicle right to the top.
Hehuanshan lies at the edge of Taroko National Park on the border of Nantou and Hualien Counties. The road from Nantou to Taroko Gorge passes through the saddle on Hehuanshan between the the East Peak and Main Peak, and is the highest accessible public road in Taiwan (also known as Wuling 武嶺).
Near this place, the Wushe incident and Taroko War took place (see below for more details).
During the Martial Law period in Taiwan, a ski lift ran on the mountain, but has since been abandoned due to lack of consistent snowfall.
The Taiwan military also has its winter training grounds near the mountain.
Recently Hehuanshan has been a popular place for hiking and taking photos, and has been an Instagram hot spot.
Hours: 24/7 unless otherwise closed by the department of transportation
When to Go:
It snows on Hehuanshan usually December to February.
You can check the current weather for Hehuanshan here and live video feed of the mountain and ground conditions here.
How to Get There: Take provincial highway 14 from Puli, and keep going after your reach Qingjing Farm.
Alos you can take Provincial Highway 8 from Taroko Gorge National Park.
Stop when you reach the very top of the road, the Wuling parking lot.
Traffic Control: Buses and large truck are not allowed. Sometimes chains are required (no one has chains in Taiwan).
Map: Please see below:
My only trip to Hehuanshan was in early February during Chinese New Year. The ride up to Hehuanshan from Nantou was long and windy, and only a few of us got car sick and vomited. Near the top we encountered thick fog, which made driving dangerous and meant that we couldn't see any of the surrounding scenery. The traffic can get pretty bad near the top, especially during major holidays in winter. It seems that many people made small snowmen on their cars in the parking lot.
The view from the ground at the parking lot, no visible snow. Probably taken by the many tourists to make their windshield snowmen.
The steps up to Wuling sign, there's some slush on the ground!
This ugly and dirty slush is something that probably most city-dwellers in Taiwan have never seen, and would make a journey thousands of miles just to touch.
The sign for Wuling, at 3,275 meters above sea level, and you can drive there!
Map of Hehuanshan.
"Since Japanese obtained sovereignty over Taiwan, they carried on a number of military campaigns against Taroko people over eighteen-year period from 188 through 1916. Of these campaigns the one begun in May 1914 was the longest, largest and most definitive in wiping out an entire culture.. The Japanese mobilized over 20,000 soldiers and police. Equipped with the latest artillery the forces came from both west and the east. Under the directives of the fifth governer-general, Sakuma Samata, the western flank set out from Puli, continued though Wushe and Jhuifeng (present day Cuifeng), and set up headquarters in the area around Hohuan Mountain (near to the present winter training center for the army). The Taroko had perhaps 2300 soldiers who were equipped with bows and arrows and antiquated hunting rifles, hardly a match for the Japanese. They kept the Japanese invaders at bay for sixty days before they were defeated in what was to be the biggest conflict in Taiwan during the 20th century. Losses on both sides were heavy."
Some children playing with snow and gathering it into a plastic bag. No wonder there's barely any snow up there!
The most snow and ice we saw was flowing off a cabin near the parking lot as seen above.
Of course, when in Rome, make a snowman on your windshield.
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We are US Expats that have extensive experience living and working in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.