The Beidawushan Series: Sleeping on the National Trail

Most people need at least three days and two nights to reach the summit of Beidawushan via the national trail (and if you’re not taking the national trail, you’re going to need even more time). So where can you sleep?

Most hikers spend two nights sleeping at ‘Juniper Valley Lodge’, which is about 2000 meters above sea level.

A tree next to Juniper Valley lodge.

A tree next to Juniper Valley lodge.

As I’ve mentioned before, it was once a Paiwan hunting ground, and then the Japanese built a shelter there. After the Japanese left, the Paiwan built a school there. Eventually, the Pingdong Forestry Bureau put their own shelter there, and rebuilt the shelter in 2001. That is the structure which sits there today.

The shelter, being next to a stream, has plenty of water, and even has flush toilets. There is a private room for forestry employees, and a large room which can accommodate 60 people. Visitors need to bring their own sleeping bags.

In addition to the shelter, there are ten wooden platforms for 4-person tents.

It's very atmospheric.

It’s very atmospheric.

One can reserve indoor spaces (but not tent spaces) at Juniper Valley Lodge at this website – if you have an ROC ID (an ARC number will not cut it). What if you do not have an ROC ID number? Here are your options:

– Get someone who has an ROC ID number to make the reservation for you (it’s okay if they do not join you on the hike)
– Call the phone number, and ask them to make the reservation for you (I’ve done this and it worked, but I don’t know whether or not they speak English)
– Don’t make a reservation, and hope for the best. Chances are, if it’s not a weekend or holiday, and there are no large school groups, you can just show up and get a space

If you don’t have a tent, Juniper Valley Lodge is your only option. But if you do have a tent…

– Old Trailhead. There is plenty of space for tents at the old trailhead, and there’s even a ‘bathroom’ nearby (it’s a low-tech composting toilet). Alas, there is no water source.
– Last Water Source. The stream which passes by Cedar Valley Lodge of course originates from the ridge, and at about 6.3 km from the old trailhead you pass through the stream source. This is known as ‘last water source’ because it is the last place you can get water before reaching the summit. If you look carefully, you can find an excellent spot to pitch a small tent (3 people maximum). It’s well-protected by Yushan cane, and it’s right next to a water source!

'Last Water Source' is actually a bit dangerous to cross since it's quite slippery

‘Last Water Source’ is actually a bit dangerous to cross since it’s quite slippery

-Dawu Shrine. I met a Pingdong Forestry Bureau employee who was planning to pitch a tent at the Dawu shrine because he wanted to see both sunset and sunrise from the ridge. The shrine is the closest spot to the summit where sleeping is possible (the employee said that the weather is too dangerous at the summit itself for sleeping). Alas, there is no water source.

There are a couple other places where camping is possible, but I think these are the most useful spots.

Continue to the next part: “Clouds and Sunset”


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One thought on “The Beidawushan Series: Sleeping on the National Trail

  1. Pingback: The Beidawushan Series: Paperwork and Navigation | The Notes Which Do Not Fit

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