Mount Hehuanshan - Sunrise | Weather | Winter Visit and Snow
Mount Hehuanshan - Sunrise | Weather | Winter Visit and Snow

Mount Hehuanshan - Sunrise | Weather | Winter Visit and Snow


When Is the Best Time

Watching the sunrise above the clouds was what I wanted to experience. Our entire trip on the island was focused on the weather forecast for Hehuan Mountain. In the end, we were successful watching a breathtaking sunrise.

A woman on the staircase path to the summit of Hehuanshan
I enjoyed this breathtaking view at sunrise.

The best months for a sunrise tour to the top of Mount Hehuan or Hehuanshan are during the driest time of the year, from October until March. The sunlight has a little variation from summer to winter, rising in June shortly after 5 and in January at around 6.40. Read my must-know tips below. 

Weather and Temperatures for Hehuanshan

A hiker above the clouds on Hehuanshan Mountain
Mount Hehuan view around 10 a.m. with pleasant weather

How is the weather at Mt. Hehuan during a certain month? How cold is it up there in the winter? How often does it rain in the summer? There is no weather station at Mount Hehuanshan. Most of the statistics on the internet are from another station somewhere at a lower elevation. The temperatures for Mount Hehuan at 3400 meters are lower. That’s why I put official data plus information from the locals together for you. 

  • Colder Up There: It’s 8-10 degrees Celsius colder at 3400 m at Hehuanshan compared to lower elevations in areas nearby. Example: When you check weather forecasts at the nearby Cingjing Farm (where you might stay), and it shows 16°C, it will be around 6°C at the top of Mount Hehuanshan. The difference is even higher from other towns/areas in deeper elevation.
  • Colder at Night: It’s even colder during the night and in the mornings of. The night temperature roughly decreases by another 6 degrees. Keep that in mind if you are out there very early in the morning when watching jaw-dropping sunrise.

Sony Syue Lodge displays the temperature. This was after we returned between 6 and 7 am

  • General Taiwan Climate 
    Subtropical with wet and humid summers. Snow is common during winter, mostly in January and February, and it gets very busy here. 
  • Rainy Season – Summer (April-September)
    In the summer months, you should definitely be prepared for rain at Mount Hehuanshan. It’s possible to experience rainfall for 24 hours without a break during the wet season. Rain occurs between 15-19 days. The average day temperature ranges from 10-16°C in the shade, which means pleasant during sunshine while it is hot in lower elevations. It is chilly at the night on average, around 5°C.
  • Drier Season – Winter (October-March)
    In the winter months, rain is a lot less likely. Snow is possible, especially between December and February. However, heavy snowfall is rare. In the winter of 2018, the heaviest snowfall was in early February and caused a 10 cm blanket of snow. The Taiwanese love snow, as everybody does, and it gets busy during this time of the year. Day temperatures are below 10°C nonetheless, we felt comfortable during the day with sunshine. Even in the winter, sunscreen is essential because of the high elevation. Temps drop to freezing at night.
  • Forecast
    It’s highly recommended to check the weather forecast a few days in advance (up to 3-4 days) before you book your room at Syue Lodge up there. The problem: It’s hard to find a reliable forecast for Mount Hehuanshan. Most cover only the counties and towns around it. Bookmark the following link as it’s the only official and reliable forecast I know: Taiwan Central Weather Bureau - Hehuan Mountain East Peak (Click to the map to get weather information for the Hehuanshan area)
  • What to Wear 
    For your Mt Hehuanshan winter visit, you must bring warm clothes as it’s one of the highest places you’ll visit in Taiwan. A thick jacket, warm trousers, gloves as well as a hat and a scarf are highly recommended. From spring until fall, you should bring sunscreen, but I also took it in the wintertime. The great thing about a summer visit is the refreshing coolness at an elevation of 3000-3400 meters in comparison to the hot city temperatures. 

Consider Three Things If You Like to Watch a Sunrise Above the Clouds

The black shimmerning mountains and the sunrise shimmering through and above the clouds
Watching the sunrise above the sea of clouds is jaw-dropping.

1. Go on weekdays
2. Don’t book your room far in advance. 
3. Travel to Taiwan during the driest months to increase the chance.

Do you like to know more? Read the following tips to be successful in watching the sunrise for a jaw-dropping moment in your life.

A híker walking the path down after watching the sunrise
On the way back to the hotel for breakfast.

Watching the sunrise on Mount Hehuanshan is very popular in Taiwan. If possible, go on weekdays, weekends are super busy and fully booked. Don’t book the room far in advance. Check the weather forecast when travelling through Taiwan  Taiwan Weather (for entire Taiwan)

The hotel and one of three peaks of Hehuan Mountain
The excellently located hotel opposite our hostel.

Pick a date when the forecast for the mountain range is good or even excellent. The receptionist told me often people are disappointed due to the poor weather. The whole week before our stay in November, it was always foggy and rainy on Hehuanshan. 

  • Visitor centre opening hours: 8.30 until 4.30 pm but closed each month on the first and third Monday.
  • The whole area is famous for its beautiful Rhododendrons in April and May. That is an awesome season up there.

5 Must-Know Tips | Including Sunrise and Weather Forecast

Sunrise view in November

  1. Best Hotels in Cingjing Farm - Renai: Via with a low price guarantee. Cingjing Farm (Google Maps Link) is the closest place. From there, you drive 40 minutes to Mt. Hehuanshan. Some visitors arrange a tour of Mt Hehuanshan from their hotel there! You can also drive on your own.
  2. Basic Info Song Syue Lodge: The highest hotel in Taiwan. Located at an elevation of 3150 meters on Mt Hehuanshan. It’s hard to book a room there since it's difficult in English. However, you should only book there if you’re sure about the weather (read below). Most visitors ask their hotel where they stay the night before to make the booking. That's the most successful way.
  3. Sunrise vs Other Times: Experience the sunrise up there at Mt Hehuanshan is an outstanding experience. Like one visitor said after he returned: ‘Now, my life is complete!’ But still, any other time on the mountain besides sunrise is also amazing if the clouds are not rolling in. 
  4. Watching the Sunrise: Most visitors watch the sunrise from the lodge only. I highly recommend walking for at least 15 minutes on the trail for a much better experience (read more below about the trails). You don’t have to walk the whole east trail to the peak, as it is challenging due to the high altitude. 
  5. Weather Forecast Mt Hehuan: Check the weather forecast via this link. While visiting the peak in good weather is stunning, it’s definitely a disappointment during bad weather. That’s why I recommend booking the lodge (or hostel) just a couple of days before. 

Check out my complete Taiwan Guide - Taroko Gorgen and Alishan, Must-Know destinations, sunrises, hikes, and tips

Packing Checklist Mount Hehuan

A hiker with a headlamp ascending Hehuan before sunrise
Bring a headlamp for your hike - there isn't any light provided.
  • If you wish to watch the sunrise, bring a headlamp for the hike in pitch darkness.
  • The driest time is winter, the coldest season. I recommend a down jacket and a beanie. 
  • Due to the high elevation, drink plenty of water.
  • Don't underestimate the high elevation of more than 3000 m. It is strenuous if you are not used to such a high altitude. Walk slowly and give yourself an energy kick with electrolytes.

Best Months to Visit


Location and Tips

Taroko, Wuling

Hehuanshan National Recreation Area is located in central Taiwan at the edge of Hualien and Nantou counties situated on the Western boundary of Taroko National Park. Depending on the traffic and the road work constructions in Taroko, it takes 2 ½ to 3 hours to get there. It’s a scenic drive, always up to 3150 m elevation.

Where to Stay and How to Make a Reservation Without Chinese Language Skills

Room for four in the hostel on Hehuanshan Mountain

There is only one lodge, Songxue or Song Syue Lodge, which offers luxury accommodations and is the highest hotel in Taiwan. The owner of the hotel also runs the hostel, Huaxue Lodge, which is just below the hotel, five minutes walk away. If you stay in the hotel or hostel, dinner and breakfast are included. The hotel is comfier, the reason that most people like to stay there.  Some people experience altitude sickness. The lodge provides oxygen in this case. The hostel is without heating and has wooden door rooms four and more Japanese futons in one room. Anyhow, each bed has a heating blanket which is quite sufficient for the night. The facilities are clean and hot showers are available. When we came here in November, we were the only guests in the whole hostel. One night in the hostel, including dinner and breakfast buffet, cost around 1.200 TWD (36€ p.p).

Decide if you like to book a room in the hotel or hostel. You can either give them a call, but not all of the employees speak English or book it online. The hotel website is in Chinese only.  Ask at your accommodation before or go to a visitor centre in one of the many National Parks or Recreational Areas and ask if they can assist you with the booking. First, they need to create an account for you before they can make the reservation. The passport number is requested, but you don't need to pay a deposit, just the whole amount when you arrive, preferred in cash. Some people mention that you could camp at the visitor centre on their website, but this is not permitted and could be quite cold and wet.

5 Hiking Trails Around Hehuan

One of the three Hehuan peaks in daylight with plenty of steps
One of the peaks during the day.
  1. Hehuanshan East Peak for the sunrise 3.421 m
    The famous path is just 1.3 km long to the top, but due to the high elevation, it takes more than an hour, much longer than expected to climb up the steep trail. The height difference is roughly 270 meters. The trailhead is located behind the Song Syue Lodge, but you can park your car at the lodge only if you stay there. Sunrise is around 6 am depending on the time of the year. The most spectacular time is before sunrise. If you like to watch the sunrise from the top of the east peak, start 1 ½ hour before dawn. Anyhow, if you can’t get up so early, walk just half of it for this incredible experience. Most visitors watch the sunrise just from their room or balcony. 
  2. Hehuanshan main peak 3.417 m
    It’s a maximum of 2 hours walk in total on concrete. The advantage is that you can walk along the trail even in dense fog.
  3. Mount Shihmen Peak 3.237 m The peak is easily accessible, and the trail is 750 m long, roughly ½ an hour, always climbing up. It is also famous for the sunrise, and it takes less effort to get to the top than it is for Hehuanshan East Peak.
  4. Cilai Mountain north peak 3.607, Cilai Mountain 3.560 to Kaluolou 3.413 m
    A permit is necessary; otherwise, it can be fined up to TWD 30.000. There are cabins for overnight stays on the long and strenuous trail. The trailhead is at the hostel and looks very exciting. Some local hikers had a closer look, and so did we, just for an hour. Especially this trail is rich in vegetation with trees and bushes growing in high altitudes, such as different Rhododendron, Bamboo, Taiwan Fir and Coniferous like the widespread Chinese Hemlock.
  5. Hehuanshan's north peak is 3.422 m, and the west peak is 3.145 m high.
    The trails start at the visitor centre and Taroko National Park headquarters.

Free entrance to the park.

Do you want to obtain the usage right for my images? Contact me, but I will take action against picture theft.



It's a tremendous biological diversity and ideal for endemic bird watching with 35 different species. We spotted many birds around the hostel early morning and even at midday.

Nearby Places
Guanwu - National Forest Recreation Area - Highlights and Trails
44 km
Guanwu - National Forest Recreation Area - Highlights and Trails
Guanwu National Forest Recreational Area is located at 2000 to 2.500 meters…
Places to Visit in Taiwan - Every Question Answered
59 km
Places to Visit in Taiwan - Every Question Answered
The mountainous island of Taiwan is a great destination to meet some of the…
Xitou Nature Education Area - Bamboo Forest Loop Trail
71 km
Xitou Nature Education Area - Bamboo Forest Loop Trail
The Xitou Nature Education Area is definitely a highlight and a Must-Visit park…
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and the Changing of the Guard in Taipei - Tips and 9 Facts
103 km
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and the Changing of the Guard in Taipei - Tips and 9 Facts
The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall was opened to the public in 1980. It was…
Elephant Mountain Trail and Taipei World Trade Centre
103 km
Elephant Mountain Trail and Taipei World Trade Centre
It took several years to build 101, and the building got finished in 2004. The…
Plenty of Green Sea Turtles at Xiao Liuqiu Island in Taiwan
220 km
Plenty of Green Sea Turtles at Xiao Liuqiu Island in Taiwan
Liuqiu Island is just 4 km long and 2 km wide best explored with a rental…
Dragon's Back Hiking Trail in Hong Kong -Details, Location and Tips
750 km
Dragon's Back Hiking Trail in Hong Kong -Details, Location and Tips
The Dragon's Back is part of the Hong Kong trail section 8. The Hong Kong Trail…
Tianmen Mountain - Zhangjiajie
1,204 km
Tianmen Mountain - Zhangjiajie
Visiting the Holy Mountain - Tianmen Shan you will need a full day. Your first…
Created by
Micha Herber-Bleich
Micha Herber-Bleich
I am always open, curious about new…