Located in northeast corner of Sheipa National Park (雪霸國家公園), the Mt. Dabajian Peaks Route (大霸群峰) is without question one of the most iconic, popular, and beautiful high mountain trekking routes in Taiwan.
Background Information of Mt. Dabajian Peaks Route:
Immortalized on Taiwan’s 500NT currency note, the unique shape of Mt. Dabajian (大霸尖山) makes it one of the most recognizable mountains in Taiwan, and along with Mt. Zhongyangjian (中央尖山) and Mt. Dafenjian (達芬尖山), makes it one of the “Three Pointy Mountains of Taiwan” (台灣三尖).
To further add to it’s legacy, the indigenous Atayal (泰雅族) Saixiasu (賽夏族) tribes firmly believe that Mt. Dabajian is the birthplace of their ancestors and continue to regard the mountain as a holy mountain, even to this day.
Up until 1991, it was possible for climbers to take a ladder to the top of this iconic mountain. The ladder was removed and formal climbing of the mountain was banned in 2010 due to a series of accidents, as well as to respect local aboriginal culture,
Graded as “A” and “B” level mountains (the two easiest grading levels), the four Bai Yue (百岳) on this route are accessible to most hikers with a moderate level of fitness and expertise, and are not terribly dangerous. For the more adventurous or experienced, hikers also have the option to continue along the famous “Holy Ridge” of Taiwan (聖稜線).
Map & GPX File
Top 100 Peaks (百岳) Information & Number of Peaks Included: Four (4)
- Mt. Jiali (加利山)
- Elevation: 3112m
- Bai Yue (百岳) Number: 87
- Difficulty Rating: 5/10
2. Mt. Yize (伊澤山)
- Elevation: 3297m
- Bai Yue (百岳) Number: 52
- Difficulty Rating: 5.2/10
3. Mt. Dabajian (大霸尖山)
- Elevation: 3492m
- Bai Yue (百岳) Number: 27
- Difficulty Rating: 6.2/10
4. Mt. Xiaobajian (小霸尖山)
- Elevation: 3418m
- Bai Yue (百岳) Number: 32
- Difficulty Rating: 5.2/10
How to Get to Mt. Dabajian Peaks Route:
Unfortunately, this hike is not accessible via public transportation, which means that hikers will need to have a car to drive themselves to the trailhead, or pay for a shuttle or commercial hiking team to take them.
The trailhead for this hike is located at Guanwu National Forest Recreation Area 觀霧國家森林遊樂園 inside the boundaries of Sheipa National Park (雪霸國家公園). Once here, hikers will need to show their permits at the Mt. Dabajian Trailhead Service Station (大霸尖山登山服務站) before being allowed to enter the National Park.
Route Details for Mt. Dabajiashan Peaks Route:
Typically, this route is done as a 3D/2N trip.
Originally, the hike began at the end of the Dalu Forest Road (大鹿林道). However, over the years the forest road has been damaged numerous times by rockfalls, landslides, earthquakes, and typhoons, making the “old” trailhead impossible to reach by car.
Instead what this means is that all hikers must endure 3-4 hours of mostly flat walking along this shady forest road before finally reaching the old trailhead, located at Madara Creek (馬達拉溪). The forest road walk is quite safe and easy, with lots of benches and places for hikers to stop and rest. There are trail distance markers along this forest road to let hikers know how far they’ve gone, and it would be very difficult for someone to get lost or take a wrong turn on the forest road.
Once at Madara Creek, hikers will notice a large, well built building that can be camped in or around (with a permit, of course). This is the former check-in office that was used by the National Park, which is no longer in service.
From the creek, hikers will leave the forest road, cross a bridge and begin a steep 4km uphill climb until they reach JiuJiu (Literally: “99”) Cabin (九九山莊), which is where most people will spend their first night.
Here at this cabin, hikers will be assigned a bunk space in either one of the main bunkhouses, or in one of the smaller surrounding “yurt” style cabins. For a small fee, hikers can pay for food and sleeping bag services, but it’s best to arrange this in advance.
The second day involves an out-and-back hike to the four Bai Yue on this route, which means hikers will normally leave their heavy bags at the cabin, and do their second day with lighter daypacks.
The hike itself is a simple out-and-back hike that involves passing Mt. Dabajian (大霸尖山) and ends at Mt. Xiaobajian (小霸尖山), which requires a bit of vertical boulder climbing, and is really the only dangerous part of the whole route. Along the way, hikers will pass two separate forks that lead to short side trips to Mt. Jiali (加利山) and Mt. Yize (伊澤山). These two side trips can be done at the beginning or end of the day, depending on preference. Hikers will also pass the much smaller Zhongba Cabin (中霸山屋), which can sometimes be used if the larger JiuJiu Cabin is full. Hikers usually spend a second night at JiuJiu Cabin and then spend their third day walking down and out along the Dalu Forest Road.
Alternative Route of Mt. Dabajianshan:
For the more adventurous type, this route can also be accessed via the Mt. Dabajian North Ridge (大霸北稜線). This ridgeline starts at the Zhengxibao Trailhead (鎮西堡登山口), which is a famous area for viewing some of the largest trees in Taiwan (and can be done before or after your hike).
From the trailhead, hikers will need to spend 2 days climbing up a much steeper and more rugged trail to reach the ridgeline from the northwest side. No additional Bai Yue are included on this route, but there are several 2,000m and 3,000m peaks to bag. It also allows hikers to avoid dealing with the long walk along the Dalu Forest Road.
This route has no cabins, which means hikers will need to bring all their own food and equipment.
The Holy Ridge:
For experienced, fit hikers, this route also connects to the main area of Sheipa National Park via the “Y” or “I” version of the famous “Holy Ridge” route. Hikers can choose to start or end their route via Dabajian based on preference, logistics, and permit availability. For more information, please see my section on “The Holy Ridge”
What to Bring When Hiking Mt. Dabajiashan
When hiking in Taiwan consider your capabilities before heading out. We hope this helps provide insight into the level of difficulty. When it comes to the kinds of equipment or resources one should bring when hiking this trail in Taiwan, we’ve put together a specific packing. Download PDF packing list.