Applying for a Permit to Yushan
Please note that the application process for high mountain permits in Taiwan changes frequently. If you find that our information below is inaccurate, or you have advice to make it easier, please let us know so we can update this page. Email: https://www.taiwan-adventures.com/contact-us-2/
Applying for permits to any of Taiwan’s high mountain hikes can be confusing. While we would love to take you on a customized, private hike to Yushan, we understand that not everyone can afford to do that, or just might want to do it on their own.
Yushan is by far the most popular high mountain hike in Taiwan and demand for permits is very high, making it very difficult to get one. Your best bet is to have a range of dates for when you might like to go. You should also have a back up mountain like Snow Mountain, Qilai, or any of the dozens of other fantastic high mountain hikes.
Below is a detailed explanation about how to apply for your own self guided hike to Yushan.
When and How to Apply
Technically, you can apply in as little as 7 days before you want to hike, but in reality, you’re not going to get a permit if you wait this long.
For the usual 2 day hike, the best time to apply and get in the lottery draw for a permit is 30-60 days before the start of your hike. They draw the accepted applications about 30 days before the date of the hike. If you’re applying for a weekend hike, you’ll have about a 1 in 30 chance of getting in… You’ll have a better chance if you apply for a weekday permit.
Go here, and get busy:
But wait… There’s some good news:
There are 24 special spaces allotted for non-Taiwanese passport holders. If you apply 4 months to ~30 days in advance and most of your group has non-Taiwanese passports, you can be guaranteed a permit. These permits are only available for weekday hikes (staying at Paiyun Cabin Sunday to Thursday nights). These permits can also go fast, so you’ll have to apply as early as possible. You’ll need to have photos/scans of everyone’s passports ready when you apply.
Apply for special advanced permits for foreigners here:
If your permit gets approved, Yushan National Park will send you an email explaining how to pay for it about 30 days before the start of the hike, and you’ll have 7 days to comply. You’ll also have to apply for a police permit (Mountain Permit) at the trailhead, and don’t forget to have everyone in your group bring their IDs… They will check them. Update: The application website will now automatically send your permit info to the police. After your permit is approved and paid for, click on: “Check Status/Print Permit/Apply for Mountain Permit”, and click the button at the bottom.
You can pre-order food and a sleeping bag for Paiyun Cabin here:
(The English order form is about half way down the page, written in blue)
It’s tough to go to Yushan in the winter. When snow season is announced after the first snowfall (usually mid-December to late March), the leader of your group must have a special Taiwanese issued Snow Training Certificate, and every member of your group will have to submit photographic proof that they’ve hiked mountains over 3,000m in snowy conditions. If you really want to go in the winter, it’s probably best to contact us and let us take you. Yushan is also usually closed for the entire month of February.
Single Day Hikes:
It’s possible to hike Yushan in a single day. These permits are sometimes easier to get if all the 2 day permits are gone, as they are not as popular and not many people apply for them. You can apply for them between 7-60 days before the start of your hike. You will have to submit photographic proof that you’ve already climbed at least one peak over 3,000m when you apply.
You also have to pass Paiyun Cabin before 10am or the ranger there will not let you continue to the peak.
While the single day permit might be attractive to you because it’s easier to get at the last minute, don’t underestimate the difficulty of this hike. You’ll be hiking for 10-12 continuous hours. Weather conditions can and do change quickly, be prepared for anything, even if the forecast is good.
Police Permits (AKA Mountain Permits):
You’ll also need to apply for police permits for the hike. The easiest way is apply at the police station next to the ranger station at the trailhead. If you can handle the Mandarin, you can do it online here: https://nv2.npa.gov.tw/NM103-604Client/ Update: The application website will now automatically send your permit info to the police. After your permit is approved and paid for, click on: “Check Status/Print Permit/Apply for Mountain Permit”, and click the button at the bottom.
Day of the Hike:
You need to check in at the ranger station at the trailhead in the morning. Bring two copies of the permit and your passports (they will check them). The ranger station and police stations are located about 100m up the road from the parking lot (Tatajia) and Dongpu Hostel. There’s usually a van that will drive you the 2.5km to the proper trailhead for $100NTD per person (it’s worth it). If you’re doing it as a single day hike, get there super early (~4am), put one copy of your permit in the mailbox and you’ll need to have your police permit already sorted out (do it the day before at the police station or online).
While it’s much easier to visit the area with your own transportation, there are public buses.
From the Chiayi High Speed Railway Station to Alishan Recreation Area (not all the way to Tatajia (the trailhead)) at 09:30, 10:10, and 13:10 that go to the Alishan Recreation Area. – Bus# 7329 – Schedule
From Chiayi City to Alishan Recreation Area (not all the way to Tatajia (the trailhead)) at 05:55, 07:55, 09:55, 13:55 (Return from Alishan at 09:10, 11:40, 14:40, 16:10, 17:10) – Bus# 3722 – Schedule
Where to Stay:
Dongpu Hostel – This is a cheap hostel with barrack-style bunk beds at the trailhead at Tatajia. You’ll definitely want to stay here if you’re doing the single day hike. The Mandarin only website for booking is here: http://dongpu.mmweb.tw/?ptype=info
Alishan Recreation Area – When people talk about Alishan, this is usually what they’re talking about. It’s a concentrated tourist and hotel area about 30 minutes from the trailhead to Yushan. There are loads of budget hotels here, a 7-11, some restaurants, and a ton of tourists. You’ll have to pay a fairly steep entrance fee to get in. There are some short hikes, the famous Alishan Train, and the Alishan House… a big, nice, (expensive) 4 star hotel. It’s probably easiest to use Agoda or booking.com to book rooms here. You’ll have to ask at your hotel how to get to Tatajia in the morning.