Yushan National Park was named after the highest peak in North East Asia, Yushan or literally Jade Mountain. More than one third of Taiwan’s tallest mountains are within the park. From Xiuguluan Mountain of the Central Mountain range to the Yushan East Peak; from the highest mountain of the south, Mt. Guan, to eastern Taiwan’s Xinkang Mountain, these mountains of various heights and forms are unique in their own ways and thus cherished by hikers and trekkers.
Yushan’s massif was raised to today’s height due to the Eurasian Plate and the Philippine Sea Plate pressing against each other. Shaped roughly like a cross, the north-south crest is longer than the east-west crest of the Yushan Mountain Range. The center of the cross is the main peak of Yushan, with an elevation of 3,952 meters. During Japanese rule, Yushan was famed for being taller than Fuji Mountain of Japan. Yushan has been a favorite for hikers and climbers ever since.
South of Mabolasi Mountain is Mt. Xiuguluan, the highest peak of the Central Mountain Range at 3,825 meters. Xiuguping, the flat and wide mountain saddle that lies between Mt. Xiuguluan and Mt. Dashuiku, is plentiful with Junipers, Rhododendrons, Yushan Bamboo, and herbaceous flowers. Coupled with fallen trees and dead woods, the scenery is beautifully dramatic, especially during flower season.
Xinkang Mountain rises dramatically at the eastern end of the Sancha Mountain crest line. Looking at Mt. Xinkang from the northeast, it is shaped like a bell. However, if one has the perspective from Maxi Mountain, then Mt. Xinkang looks rather pointy and steep.
Mt. Guan is the highest mountain in southern Taiwan at 3,668 meters. Much like a pyramid, Mt. Guan rises into the clouds, making its beauty visible from as far as the Luling Mountain summit. The western slope is rather steep with no vegetation cover, while the eastern slope is relatively gentle with short mountain bamboo. The southern crest is steep with a 700-meter drop, which makes ascending climbs difficult. The northern crest is cliffy and precipiced. An old Chinese saying goes “Guan Mountain is dangerous and stands in the way,” which is used to describe a great obstacle that is difficult to conquer. Mt. Guan’s magnificence is appropriately described by these words.