Updated: Apr 20
Welcome to The Map Room's Learn to Hike in Taiwan series!
This is the fourth in a series of five articles designed to take inexperienced hikers from raw novice level to ready to try their first Baiyue (台灣百岳, the top 100 mountains in Taiwan, all 3000+ meters / 10,000+ feet), all while touring around northern Taiwan. Don't worry if you don't live in this part of the world, though - you can still enjoy the pictures and get an idea of the kind of hike you should look for to take the next step in learning to be a better hiker!
Hikes in this series:
Fire Mountain (火炎山) Novice
Five Finger Mountain (五指山) Beginner
Gaotai Mountain and the Three Daotian Peaks (高台山 - 小，中，大岛田山縱走) Low intermediate
Jiali Mountain Part I: There and Back Again (加里山) Intermediate
Jiali Mountain Part II, The Hakani Mountain Loop (加里山 - 哈堪尼山縱走) High intermediate
Or, see the whole series at this link!
Don't worry if you don't live in this part of the world, you can still enjoy the pictures and get an idea of the kind of hike you should look for to take the next step in learning to be a better hiker!
Introducing this week's mountain:
Jiali Mountain Part I: There and Back Again (加里山)
Skill level: Intermediate
Length of hike: 7 km
MY Time: 4:23 up and back. IMPORTANT: I am very fast, and I was moving fast. I advise leaving early in the morning, dedicating the day for it, coming back in the evening, and having a head lamp just in case. You may possibly end up with extra time on the end, but that's a good thing.
Water sources: You can get water from the creek on the way in, but it should be filtered and boiled or treated due to the high volume of hiking traffic in the area. Honestly, you're much better off just bringing your own water on this hike.
Gear and provisions: Good hiking shoes, hiking-appropriate clothes (see remarks), enough water (see remarks), a lighter (always!), a headlamp or flashlight, lunch and snacks. Hiking poles recommended.
Sun protection: Not generally necessary on this well-shaded, forested hike, but useful at points - particularly on and near the peak.
Family friendly: Yes for children 12 or older (this will likely be strenuous for them). Adults in less than good physical condition will find this hike strenuous as well.
Dog friendly: No
Camping /overnighting options: There are several overnight options for Jiali Mountain. The most useful are:
Several pay campsites, including one right at the trailhead
One small, but free, unfurnished cabin just before the major uphill of the hike
QR code for the route:
Located in Miaoli's Nanzhuang County, Jiali Mountain (2220 meters / 7283 feet) is arguably one of the best hikes in northeastern Taiwan that does not require a permit. Relatively easy access by car or scooter, beautiful pine forests, giant, mossy boulders, abandoned Japanese era small gauge rail lines, views of the Taiwan Strait to the west and the Central Mountain Range to the east, and a significantly more demanding uphill section than Gaotai Mountain and the three Daotian Peaks mean this trail is both well suited for intermediate level hikers and a worthwhile day hike for the more experienced.