JiaLou Hu 加羅湖 is a mountain lake tucked high in one of Taiwan’s beautiful clouded forests. If you can get to the trail head, it’s a moderate three hour hike to the lake. On the way, you pass through some spectacular forests scattered with luscious green ferns, mossy vines, and a few 1,000 year old trees.
Three friends and I went there during the four day “Dragon Boat” holiday in late May. We did it in two days, but there is plenty more to explore in the area, and most of the people we met there were staying for the whole weekend.
I took this opportunity to give my first shot at a multi-media presentation. I would really, really like to get some critiques and feedback on what you think of it, so please feel free to comment below.
The multi-media presentation is above, but there are some still photographs and more information after the jump…
As usual, we drove motorcycles from Taipei to the trail head, this time behind a small village on the #7 highway called Siji 四季. (Here’s a link to a Google map so you can see the area.)
We almost stopped in the car parking area and started walking, but a nice local guy came by and told us that motorcycles were allowed to drive around the gate and up to the start of the trail head about 4 km up the hill. (Than you, local guy!!!)
Even before getting to the top, we saw what a beautiful place this was. Unspoiled forests and luscious ferns welcomed us and and constantly egged us on.
After about three hard hours up slippery root climbing, we made it to the top. Here we found an interesting grassland area, with hidden mountain lakes and head high grasses.
The main lake wasn’t really that big (in Philly we’d call it a pond) but it was beautiful. It was much more shallow than we thought it would be, probably only 3 feet deep at the deepest. It was also packed with huge tadpoles which was quite a surprise.
After setting up camp, we went for a bit of an explore to the tops of the ridges and found some nice spots to come back to for sunrise. Unfortunately, we wandered off the path and ended up a little lost… in six foot deep grass as the sun was about to set! No worries though, we were all in good “spirits” (pun intended) and just crashed our way towards where we thought the campsite was.
The night was cold, it actually went a few degrees below freezing and after a sleepless night we awoke to frozen frost on all our tents.
A nice sunrise and another explore found us lost again for an hour or so but everybody was still in good moods and breakfast beckoned us, warming our bellies for a nice hike down and back to Taipei.
Check out Stu’s blog over at Hiking Taiwan.
and Phil’s blog (in Chinese) at 老外的臺灣旅遊日記.
Thanks for reading!