Unlike the North and Main Peaks of Qilai, which have a reputation as being considerably harder and more dangerous, the South Peak of Mt. Qilai (奇萊南峰) is widely regarded as one of the easiest Bai Yue in Taiwan, and is suitable for all ages of hikers with a reasonable level of fitness and experience.
Located on the Nenggao Ancient Trail (能高越嶺古道), hikers need only to hike about 12km across a mostly flat forest road before arriving at Tianchi Cabin (天池山屋) on their first day, which is one of the most developed and luxurious cabins in Taiwan.
Here, hikers will spend a crowded first-night mingling with the locals and sampling local Taiwanese mountain food (likely prepared by aboriginals), before going to sleep in their tent or bunk space (depending on their permit).
The next day is a short hike up to the fork in the ridge, which forms a “Y” shape”.
Typically, hikers will go left first to get a glowing sunrise photo across the grasslands surrounding south peak, before going back to the fork and going up and down to Mt. Nanhua (南華山), and then either back to the cabin (3-day itinerary), or all the way out to the trailhead (2 day itinerary).
Because this route is not in a National Park, no National Park permits are required and combined with its low level of difficulty and danger and short time requirements, make it an extremely high value and attractive route.
Resources for hiking Mt. Qilai South Peak 奇萊南峰:
- Check the Qilai-Nanhua Route (奇萊南華), please click here. (Coming Soon)
Note: These two peaks also fall on the same trailhead as the famous (but longer) North Third Section (北三段)/Nenggao Andongjun Route (能高安東軍), and can be combined together. For more information on this high-mountain hiking route in Taiwan, please click here.