Wuling Pass West Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

17.4 mi
7,763 ft
8.4 %


Page Contributor(s): Mark Blackburn, Taipei, Taiwan; Jan-Hendrik Meidinger, Manager, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Taipei City, Taiwan


Wuling Pass West is without a doubt one of the hardest bike climbs in the world. Ride through tea fields in the lower but steeper section of this remote climb in Central Mountain Range of Taiwan.  The final 13 kilometers of the climb overlap with Wuling Pass South and finish just after entering popular Taroko National Park.
Average grade is 9.8% (11.1% climb only). 25% of the climb is at 10-15%, 15% at 15-20% and an unimaginable 6% at ≥ 20%. The steepest 500 meters is 27% and steepest kilometer 21%.

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via the “Profile Tool” button.
Roadway:  We did not climb the first 6 kilometers of this ride (see excuse in climb summary).  However, the 4 1/2 kilometers at 15% average grade we did climb was along a rough, broken and very narrow road - quite the epic ride though. 

Traffic:  Just motor scooters and small agricultural vehicles for the first 10 km (for sure the last 4 1/2 and probably all of the first 10k).  The last 14 kilometers are on moderately busy Renhe Road that is the main western route to Wuling Pass.  While the road is narrow with minimal to no shoulder, we felt this was a safe climb, but you may choose to bring rear lights for added safety.

Parking:  There are many locations to park, but we had a SAG vehicle.
We finish at high elevation so consult the PJAMM "Full Forecast" feature in the margin to your for the time you expect to arrive at the finish to assess what clothing to bring on your ride.   Be prepared to bring warm clothing and rain gear. 
Before heading out on any cycling adventure check out our Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip and use our interactive check list to ensure you don't forget anything.
Lodging:  We flew into and stayed in Taipei our first and last nights of the trip at the Grand Hyatt which is an amazing place.  We traveled one day to Xincheng and stayed there for the night, rode Wuling East and then stayed in Puli Township southwest of our Wuling Pass West start. 

SAG:  Our support was Simon who drove us to and from the airport, as well as three days on Wuling Pass -- he was AWESOME. Simon can be reached through the Grand Hyatt Taipei at 886-2-2720-1234.



Difficulty: Extreme



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Aug 10, 2022
difficulty: Extreme
scenery: 5
traffic: 5
road: 2
Aug 10, 2022
scenery: 5
traffic: 5
road: 2
I took a route starting at Masitoban up to Wuling (23.7km, 2315m elevation gain). It's a beautiful route starting from a tiny hamlet, rising up through tea fields and orchards, passing through a deep forest, and then opening up on the alpine road up to Wuling. The whole route is paved but rough - 35mm tires with file tread worked well for me. How was the ride: HARD. The first section up to Lixing Industry Road has an okay average gradient but several extremely steep and rough sections. The next section, through the tea farms, has a high average gradient and lots of rough sections. I had to push much more power than I would have liked this early in a hard ride. The road up to Highway 14甲 was the easiest part, with cool temps and a low-ish gradient. Highway 14甲 up to Wuling got progressively harder with the high altitude but the low gradient meant I could moderate my pace. Overall this ride is the perfect combination of technical difficulty, varied environments, and beautiful views.
Apr 4, 2021
The really steep section around km 5.7 is a mapping error - it's cutting across a farmer's field. It's hard to tell which of the roads in this area are public roads and which are farm tracks, but there's likely a public route that would work as an alternative, albeit not quite as steep.
Jan 16, 2022
Thanks for pointing this out. The route has been corrected

Climb Profile Not Found

Cycling Wuling Pass North - tea fields 

Wuling West is a World Top 15 bike climb.  At 16.5 miles cycling to an altitude over 10,000’ (3,275m), with grades at times slightly exceeding 20%, this climb is one of the world’s greatest. Wuling West has a full 10 km above 10% average grade.

That is a BRUTAL elevation profile.

Bicycle ride up Wuling Pass - cyclists posing at sign

Ride it and weep!  Some of the steepest stuff in the world.

This climb dwarfs the other approaches to Wuling in average gradient: 8.6% West, 6.5% South, 3.4% East (4.5% climb only) and is logically much shorter: 26.5 km West, 40 km South, 87.3 km East.  


The first 9.5 kilometers (before merging onto Highway 14B (and sharing the final 13 kilometers/8 miles with the Wuling Pass South climb) average 10.2%.

Cycling Wuling Pass North - hairpin turn

Road is not for normal vehicles.

Climbing Wuling Pass North by bike - little truck on steep road

These narrow low geared mini-vehicles and scooters are all that travel the first segment of Wuling West.

Bicycle climb Wuling Pass North - scooter on road

Bike climb Wuling Pass North - ladies in the back of truck on road

Bicycle climb Wuling Pass North - scooter on road

Just about ready to descend the final seven kilometers..

Only made it down two . . .


The final 13 kilometers (eight miles) overlap with Wuling Pass West and are a manageable 7.4% up to the summit at 3,275 meters (10,750’).


As explained below, PJAMM has personally ridden only the final 17.6 kilometers/10.6 miles.  Thus, we would appreciate anyone with knowledge or experience with the first four miles of this route to email us at johnson@perrylaw.net.  


First Problem: We got a late start on Wuling Pass South, having ridden Wuling Pass South first on our May 2019 Sunday on the west side of the mountain.

Second Problem: Our support van simply could not make it down the treacherously steep sections between kilometers 1 to 8 of the climb.  This resulted in no support and only 2 ½  hours of light to try and get down and back up 10 kilometers of narrow and very rough road averaging 13.4% -- wishful (stupid?) thinking.  Well, I did have the foresight to stuff a headlight in my jersey pocket.

Third Problem:  Took a wrong turn and went downhill (very steep downhill) about a kilometer to a dead end.

Fourth Problem:  Had to ride up 1 kilometer of very steep ascent to get back to the correct route. 👎

Fifth (and final) Problem:  A road bike cannot maintain its traction on a 20% wet and mossy grade (at least I can’t keep it up) -- BOOM!  End of story.  No going down to the bottom to document the full climb.  

“Good” fortune of Problem Five:  I would never have made it back to Highway 14 where the support vehicle was waiting if I had gone another four miles to the bottom and start of Wuling West.  

Cycling Wuling Pass North - bike down on wet road


No sterile pads at the market so we had to improvise . . .

Yes -- that is a feminine napkin protecting my wound . . .



Biking up Wuling Pass East - monkey in tree

Taiwan in relation to China.

Taiwanese Culture:

The cultures of Taiwan tend to be a hybrid, incorporating traditional elements of Chinese culture, as well as Japanese culture, traditional Confucianist beliefs, and Western values (Taiwan's Culture).  Though a small country in size, Taiwan nonethless has so much rich culture within itself.  Examples of Taiwan’s rich culture include.  Visitors to this country will find no shortage of sites to see and activities to experience.  The National Palace Museum is home to over 650,000 pieces of Chinese bronze, jade, calligraphy, painting, and porcelain. Taiwan also is home to nine national parks, each full of unique and wonderful beauty of it’s own.  Taipei’s 30+ famous night markets are one of Taiwan’s most popular attractions -- here you can find local favorites like bubble tea and Taiwanese fried chicken, in stalls alongside gourmet cuisine.  No matter what your travel agenda includes, you are bound to enjoy your time in this wonderful country.  There is so much to do and see in Taiwan -- these lists may help you narrow it down, here and here.



A big thank you to our cycling friend living in Taiwan, Mark Blackburn, who invited us to join his cycling club for this climb.  Without that invitation, we may never have experienced one of the greatest cycling climbs in the world.

And a huge portion of gratitude to Jan-Hendrik Meidinge, a Sapien Cycling Club member and manager of the Grand Hyatt Taipei.  JH arranged for our lodging (the best we have ever had -- and we don’t get paid to say that, by the way), our driver (Simon), access to the Hyatt’s Grand Club Lounge (WOW!) and the exceptional buffet breakfast available each morning.  We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Taipei upon arrival to Taiwan and the evening before leaving -- a perfect start and finish to our Asian Cycling Trip (Mt. Fuji, Japan; Doi Inthanon, Thailand; Wuling Pass, Taiwan).

Grand Hyatt Taipei -- middle of photo.

Bicycling climb of Wuling Pass North -  PJAMM Cycling and our driver Simon

Left to right:  John, Mitch, Simon, Javier.

Simon drove us to and from the airport as well as three days on Wuling Pass -- he was AWESOME.  Simon can be reached through the Grand Hyatt Taipei at  886-2-2720-1234.

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