It may come as a bit of a surprise to you that it actually does snow in Taiwan. Yes, that’s right: Taiwan. Subtropical, humid, still-sweaty-even-though-it’s-December Taiwan. However, don’t expect to be building snowmen while sipping hot bubble tea in Taichung or having snowball fights in Da’an Park. It only snows around Taiwan’s highest peaks and even then it’s only if the temperature is low enough. So, if you wanna get your fix of the white stuff on the island, you’re going to have to lace-up your hiking boots. Here are the five best mountains in the country to find snow for hikers and mountaineers of all abilities. (Read also: The best hiking trails in Taiwan)
For Novice Hikers
Seven Star Mountain (Qīxīngshān 七星山)
Located in Taipei’s Beitou district in Yangmingshan National Park, Seven Star Mountain is Taipei’s highest peak, reaching 1,120m at its highest point. A dormant volcano – no need to worry about it being too hot for snow – the hiking trails are almost all stepped, which means you need to watch your footing if it is snowing as things could get slippery! (Read also: Seven Star Mountain, a hike you cannot miss while in Taipei)
Mount Datun (大屯山)
Also found in Yangmingshan National Park is Mount Datun, a peak standing at 1,092m tall on the park’s western border. Like Seven Star, it requires conditions to be just right for any snowfall, so don’t be too surprised at the lack of snow if you turn up on a warm and/or humid day.
For More Experienced Hikers
Standing on Taroko National Park’s western edge, Hehuanshan, also known by some as Joy Mountain, is one of the most popular places to visit in Taiwan amongst people looking to catch a glimpse of some snow, so expect it to be busy during winter time. We recommend to only tackle this one if you’re in good shape, as its most difficult trail takes eight hours to complete. However, you can always tackle the very steep but less-than-an-hour round trip along the Hehuanjianshan trail if you’re only really there for the snow. (Read also: Sky High-Climbing Up to the Roof of Taiwan: A Wushe to Mt. Hehuan Excursion)
Not too far away is 3,275m high Wuling (武嶺) – the highest point of Taiwan’s highways. Please note, if driving to either Hehuanshan or Wuling to see the snow during winter, please remember to put snow chains on your car tires for safety.
For Hiking Pros
Snow Mountain (雪山)
Unsurprisingly, it snows on Snow Mountain. 3,386m high, Snow Mountain in the winter is one of Taiwan’s most beautiful places. Found in Shei-Pa National Park, it’s the country’s second tallest mountain, consisting of several peaks of different difficulties that require permits to climb. It’s also a multi-day excursion, so you’ll have to camp and/or stay in huts along your hike. (Read more: Snow Mountain – A Winter Hike on One of Taiwan’s Most Beautiful Mountains)
Jade Mountain (玉山)
The big one. Jade Mountain is Taiwan’s highest, standing at 3,952m. Despite its somewhat daunting altitude, it is by no means the most difficult hike on the island, but still requires a decent degree of physical fitness to conquer. The star attraction of Yushan National Park, you need a permit to climb and you’ll have to make sure to book it a fair few months in advance.
Want to see the snow in Taiwan for yourself? Customize your own hiking tour and get ready to make tracks in the Taiwanese snow.