Yushan Hiking Permit DIY Application Guide
That’s it, you’ve finally decided to climb Jade Mountain (玉山 yù shān), Taiwan’s tallest peak. You’ve got your days off, you have the gear, and you might even have started to train for the 2-3 day hike. But oh wait… you realize you’re missing something very important: the Yushan permit!
Fear not, getting your Yushan permit is not as difficult as everyone (and all the guidebooks) make it sound. For sure it used to be a huge pain in the neck to DIY apply for a permit for Jade Mountain, but as of 2021, the process has been greatly simplified and you can do it online within 45 minutes. (30 minutes is actually spent reading and understanding the regulations.)
Mountain Entry Permit No Longer Needed for Jade Mountain
In the past you needed two permits to climb Jade Mountain: a Mountain Entry Permit and a National Park Permit (入園證 rù yuán zhèng). Luckily, the mountain entry permit is no longer needed, and now you only have to get the National Park Permit, which is entirely done online, yeah!
Apply online for ANY National Park permit in Taiwan
Since 2019, mountain permits for Taroko, Yushan, and Shei-Pa national parks, can be obtained from one single website. The Online Application for Taiwan National Park Permits page now makes it a breeze to apply for any of the big hikes on the island.
NOTE: I will walk you through each step of the process, so you might want to open a new window and have this one next to the Yushan permit application form.
Read the Regulations Carefully
First, you’ll be taken to a page where there’s a list of regulations about your climb. Do read those very carefully, as some sections contain important information, such as:
- Application deadline for permit
- Application deadline for campgrounds and cabins
- Introduction on how to apply for Paiyun Lodge
- Equipment required during snow season
- Rules for the Paiyun Lodge Advanced Application Reserved for Foreign Visitors
Once you’ve agreed to the regulations, you’ll be presented with two options:
1. Advanced Application:
- Exclusive for foreigners (resident or not) who apply 35 days to 4 months before entry date
- Eligible Route: Yushan Main Peak 2-day Route only
- Amount for the Foreign Advanced Application: 24 permits per day from Sunday to Thursday
- Main advantage: you’re kind of guaranteed to get your permit and a spot at Paiyun Lodge
2. Standard Application
- Apply 7 to 60 days before required date
- Eligible Route: Any route, multi-day treks
- Main advantage: You can apply one week earlier, you don’t need to plan 1-month ahead like with the Advanced Application.
One Application – Five Sections
On the main application form page, you will see 5 blue tabs at the top of the page. Make sure to fill all of them. May I suggest that you click SAVE DRAFT at the bottom of the page after filling each section, in case you click a link which takes you to a new page, and you might lose all the info you’ve written.
1. Route Plan
Pay special attention to the SCHEDULE part, where you have to pick points from a drop-down menu to create your itinerary. In this case, my itinerary is:
DAY 1: Paiyun Mountaineering Center – Tataka Trail Head – Paiyun Lodge
Day 2: Paiyun Lodge – Mt. Jade Main Peak – Tataka Trail head
This itinerary is very standard and is followed by 90% of climbers on Yushan. Of course, if you choose to stay on the mountain longer, you can create your own itinerary and add more points. You should know that each day must finish at a lodge or campground. You can see the available points on this Map.
Cabin and Campground Availability will show you the amount of beds or campsites available on a calendar. My advice is to pick a date that isn’t too full. This way, you’ll have more chance to be accepted, and it’s just more enjoyable when the lodge is not fully packed.
General Knowledge about Hiking: I’ve always selected “Group self-management of lecture” and never had any issue getting my permit. I do not know what “Group self-management of lecture” means by the way.
2. Applicant / Agent
The person who applies for this Yushan Permit (most likely you) must fill this section.
The most experienced person in your team should be the leader. If there is no real leader and everyone is at about the same level of climbing experience, then it doesn’t really matter. You can just check the “Same as Applicant“.
The last line at the bottom cannot be omitted, you have to leave an emergency contact. Ideally, that person is in Taiwan and can speak Chinese fluently, should any problem arise during your expedition.
If you are climbing Jade Mountain solo, you can skip this section. If you’ll have climbing partners, you need to include them in this section. Each of them must provide personal information, ID number, as well as an Emergency Contact.
5. Emergency Coordinator
As is stated on the form: The Emergency Coordinator needs to contact the team leader every day and knows the progress of the hiking in case of emergency. Whenever accident happens, the Emergency Coordinator has the responsibility to contact the authorities concerned for rescue or assistance.
Again, I would highly suggest that you get a coordinator who is 100% fluent in Chinese. Accidents do happen in the mountains, and it’s essential to have someone who can speak the language to help you should a bad luck occur. Make sure that this person has your itinerary in hand as you are doing your Yushan climb.
Submit Your Yushan Permit Application
Once you have filled every field, double-check everything, save it one more time, then click Submit Application, at the bottom of the page. Within minutes, you will receive a notification email from YSNP Yushan National Park confirming that they have received your application for Jade Mountain permit.
How long does it take to get your Mt. Jade permit approved?
I don’t know if I’m just really lucky, but last time I applied, it took only 2 hours to receive the acceptance email. Once you receive this email, you will be prompted to make a payment of 480NT$ per night for your stay at Paiyun Lodge.
Payment for Paiyun Lodge
There will be a bank info in the email and you can wire money directly to it, but unfortunately, only from a Taiwanese bank. International bank transfers are not accepted.
If you wish to pay in person, you’ll need to send an email to the email address provided. You will then need to pay at the Paiyun Mountaineering Center in Tataka, at the trailhead for Jade Mountain.
Pre-Order Meals at Paiyun Lodge
That’s right, you can pre-order meals at Paiyun Lodge. Few people know that, and that’s a shame. Imagine carrying all your food, camping stove, gas, utensils, to then realize that you could actually have bought hot meals up there.
There are 4 meals prepared every day: breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. Each meal is between 150 and 300NT$. You can see the list and schedule here on the Paiyun Lodge Meal Order page.
Just like your Yushan permit and Paiyun Lodge fee, you can pay in advance through bank money transfer, or you can send them an email with your order, and then pay at the lodge when you get there.
Further questions about Jade Mountain permit…
Should you have more questions about your Jade Mountain permit, you could call the Yushan National Park office directly at this phone number +886-49-2348209.
Another option is to call the Tataka Visitor Center, where there’s also people who work for Yushan National Park available every day to answer questions about pretty much everything related to the park, trails, and permits. They are very knowledgeable and will be happy to help you. You can reach them at +886-49-2702200
Make sure to check out my complete Yushan Hiking Guide here!