20130611-0835-南湖大山-圈谷-LR by HYLA 2009 , CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

At a glance

One of the classic intermediate high mountain treks, the Nanhu 4 day route takes hikers along old forest roads, over dramatic ridge lines, through idyllic alpine meadows, culminating in the ascent of Taiwan's 8th highest peak at 3740m. With cabin access every night, easy water accessibility, and good public transportation options, this 50km hike is a great first foray into multi-day trekking in Taiwan.

  • Difficulty


  • Total distance

    40 km

  • Days required


  • Top 100 peaks


  • Locations

    Taroko NP

  • Public transport


  • Permits

    National Park and Police

  • Cabins

    All cabins




40 KM





Recommended Itinerary


6.0 hrs / 9.0 km
Yunleng cabin
Available from faucets at the Yunleng cabin, very reliable

Shengguang trailhead to Yunleng cabin

  Shengguang   6.8k trailhead Mt. Duojiatun   Yunleng cabin

The trail begins on a bend in the number 7甲 highway near Shengguang (勝光). Ascend the farm road until you see ribbons marking a trail entering the forest near a concrete reservoir. After a steep ascent through forest the trail meets an abandoned road with Taroko National Park kilometer markers. Follow the road until the 6.8k marker where you'll find a large ancient cypress tree and basic toilets. From here the trail ascends steeply to the left up switchbacks until reaching a ridge line and making a right turn. Continuing you'll cross over Mt. Duojiatun (多加屯) before a brief descent to the Yunleng Cabin (雲稜山莊).


5.0 hrs / 9.0 km
Nanhu cabin
Creek near Nanhu cabin, very reliable

Yunleng cabin to Nanhu cabin

  Yunleng cabin   Mt. Shenmazhen   Nanhu North Mt.   Nanhu cabin

Departing the Yunleng Cabin the trail descends into a ravine before beginning a steady 1000m ascent through forest and alpine meadows. After about 2 hours you'll reach the intersection to Mt. Shenmazhen (審馬陣山), the first top 100 peak of the trail. The peak marker is about a 5 minute detour from the main trail with less-than-impressive views. After another 90 minutes you'll reach the top of the ridge line and intersection to the Nanhu North Mountain (南湖北山), another 5 minute detour. From here the next kilometer of trail crosses a dramatic ridge with fixed ropes and sheer drops before reaching the Mt. Nanhu North Peak (南湖北峰), the second top 100 peak of the hike. Carefully descend the scree slope into the valley and you'll arrive at the Nanhu Cabin (南湖山莊).


7.5 hrs / 13.0 km
Yunleng cabin
Available from faucets at the Yunleng cabin, very reliable

Summit and return to Yunleng cabin

  Nanhu cabin   Mt. Nanhu   Nanhu E. peak   Nanhu cabin   Nanhu North Mt.   Mt. Shenmazhen   Yunleng cabin

An early start is required if you'd like to see sunrise from the summit. From the cabin follow valley along the left side of Mt. Nanhu. After a steady climb the you'll reach a saddle where the trail splits between the main and south peaks. Follow the signs to the main peak. After a short scramble you'll reach the Mt. Nanhu main peak summit at 3742m (南湖主峰). If you're not summiting the east peak you can return to the Nanhu Cabin following the same route, otherwise return to the saddle and follow the signs toward Nanhu East Peak (南湖東峰). The east peak climb is a scramble up a steep scree slope and it may be difficult locate a trail. Eventually you'll reach the east peak at 3632m. Return to the saddle and follow signs back to the Nanhu Cabin. From here it's a steep, slow climb over scree back to the north peak. Return along your original route to the Yunleng Cabin.


5.0 hrs / 9.0 km

Yunleng cabbin to Shengguang

  Yunleng cabin Mt. Duojiatun   6.8k trailhead   Shengguang

From the Yunleng Cabin return along the original route over Mt. Duojiatun, descending to the forest road 6.8k trailhead. If returning to Shengguang be careful not to miss the junction into the forest around the 4.8k marker.

Top 100 Peaks

Covered by this route



North Nanhu

North Nanhu

Nanhu East Peak

Nanhu East Peak

Nanhu Main Peak

Nanhu Main Peak


Cabins and Campgrounds

Yunleng Cabin


Modern cabin with solar power, running water, and toilets. Reservations are made via the national park permit system when you apply for park entry permits. Bookings are first come, first serve.

55 beds 3502 m 24.37790°N

Nanhu Cabin


Modern A-frame with solar power and basic toilets located in the Nanhu lower cirque. Water is readily available from a nearby stream. Reservations are made via the national park permit system when you apply for park entry permits. Bookings are first come, first serve.

40 beds 3380 m 24.36968°N

Permits and Transportation


Both a Taroko National Park Entry Permit and Police Mountain Entry Permit are required for this route.

Park permits may be applied for online between 5 and 30 days ahead of your date of first entry.

Upon approval you will have the option to submit an application for a police permit via the national park entry permit sytem, or you may separately apply for one here at least 3 days before your entry date.


The nearest bus stop to the trailhead is Shengguag (勝光), served by the Kuokuang (國光客運) 1751 and 1764 routes. Roadside parking near the trailhead is limited.