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Shimen Mountain: Summiting one of Taiwan’s ‘100 Peaks’ in only 30 minutes

Perhaps you’ve dreamt of standing on high mountain peak, but worried that your physical condition wouldn’t allow such an achievement. Fear not, for the summit of 3,237-meter Shimen Mountain–one of Taiwan’s so-called “100 Peaks”–near the more famous Hehuan Mountain (Hehuanshan) can be climbed in as little as half an hour.
Driving along Taiwan’s highest roadway, Highway 14 (and 14a), from Wushe to Hehuanshan via Qingjing Farm brings you to a parking lot around the 33.5-km marker where the trailhead to the Shimen Mountain path is. Its total length of 784 meters takes most visitors about 30 minutes to hike, thanks to an accessible, smooth pebble surface that makes it easy going for everyone all the way to the top. During May and June, an abundance azalea flowers along the route adds to the beauty here.
Not far way, another path to Hehuanshan’s main peak (elevation 3,417 meters) is about 1.8 kilometers long and takes about an hour to hike one-way. You can park your vehicle at the 30.8-km highway marker in either the Wuling Parking Lot or Qunyang Parking Lot.
Both of these trails are not only relatively easy but also don’t require any special gear, although you should remain aware of conditions when hiking anywhere around a 3,000-meter elevation and be prepared to protect yourself against winds and strong sunlight. If you do begin to experience altitude sickness, slow down and, if necessary, descend to a lower elevation. –by Niang Chen, translated by Anna Yang

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