Words by Hsu Wan-ching and Fan Yen-ping Photography provided by Yeh Lin-chiao Translated by Anna Yang
Taichung’s Dasyueshan (Big Snow Mt.) offers a wide variety of natural
spectacles and experiences. One of central Taiwan’s best spots for escaping
the summer heat, it allows visitors to enjoy hikes and leisurely forest walks.
With the arrival of summer, many people head for the mountains or the coast to enjoy seaside breezes. When it comes to the former, Taichung’s options include the scenic landscapes and challenge of climbing Yuanzui Mountain.
Minor topic: Challenging the heights without restrictions
Taichung’s Yuanzui Mountain, a famous climbing venue located in Dasyueshan, provides a rocky elevation of 500 meters where it almost reaches to its gray and white peak standing out among surrounding mountains.
Most visitors would access Yuanzui Mountain at the 27-km marker on Dasyueshan Forest Road. Walking about one kilometer brings you to the start of the rocky trail. At this point, if you’re not committed to this challenge, it’s best not to continue down the path.
This trail is categorized as having a medium level of difficulty for hikers and visitors should stay focused and have a decent level of fitness to make it to the top and enjoy the panoramic views, which can include a sea of clouds, sunrises and sunsets, that give one an the feeling of an inseparable bond with nature.
Compared to Yuanzui Mountain’s trail, an easier, more relaxing way to enjoy nature with a peaceful walk is at Shao Lai Shan Trail, whose switchbacks up a slope resemble the Chinese character ‘之’ (zhi).
Minor topic: Encountering surprises along a leisurely forest walk
The Dasyueshan National Forest Recreation Area near the trailhead to Shao Lai Shan Trail offers a varied display of natural sights. If you look closely, you can enjoy amazing glimpses of the local ecology, such as the protected Swinhoe’s pheasant, often seen in early mornings, or the Taiwan red maples, which are best enjoyed here in the fall.
If you spend a night here, you can also gaze upwards to take in star-filled night skies. Evening visitors some also sometimes encounter Formosan white-faced squirrels enjoying late-night snacks as well as the shy Taiwan serow or Formosan Reeve’s muntjac.
Dasyueshan is also home to two types of moths–the Emperor Moth and Saturnia jonasii fukudai, both living relics of the Ice Age. The latter is also known as the “moon goddess moth’ in a reflection of its dreamy greenish lake colors.
If you prefer to take it easy, photographers’ favorite Rollin Farm is found at the 15-km marker on Dasyueshan Forest Road. Here, a single-lane pathway before you enter the farm will lead you to an amazing natural sight that you’ve probably never seen. Rollin Farm’s “Daze Pavilon” is actually an observation point for appreciating the famous sea of clouds here, which many visitors consider their biggest reward during trips here. If you want to create extraordinary summer memories, don’t miss Dasyueshan’s amazing mountain views!
Dasyueshan National Forest Recreation Area
開放時間/Time: 6:30 am-5 pm
The recreation area is open for reservations to spend
the night a month prior to visits. Please bring your own