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Hehuanshan National Recreation Area is located in central Taiwan at the edge of Hualien and Nantou county situated on the Western boundary of Taroko National Park.

The best months for a sunrise tour to the top of Mount Hehuanshan or Hehuan are during the driest time of the year from December until March. The sunlight has a little variation from summer to winter rising in June shortly after 5 and in January around 6.40.

Consider Three Things If You Like to Watch a Sunrise Above the Clouds

1. Go weekdays
2. Don’t book your room far in advance. 
3. Travel to Taiwan during the driest months to increase the chance.

Sunrise on Mount Hehuanshan in Taiwan

Do you like to know more? Read the following tips to be successful in watching the sunrise for a jaw-dropping moment in your life.

Watching the sunrise on Mount Hehuanshan is very popular in Taiwan. If possible go on weekdays, weekends are super busy and fully booked. Don’t book the room far in advance. Check the weather forecast when traveling through Taiwan  Taiwan Weather

Pick a date when the forecast for the mountain range is good or even excellent. The receptionist told me often people are disappointed due to the bad weather. The whole week before our stay in November it was always foggy and rainy. 

Weather

Taiwan's climate is subtropical with wet and humid summers. Snow is common during winter mostly in January and February, and it gets very busy here. Most precipitation from April to July. There is less rain from August to November and the driest months are December until March, but pretty cold. Anyhow, even in the driest season, you can expect rain. During summer it's refreshing cool on 3000 m elevation. 

Highlights/Information

  • Visitor center opening hours: 8.30 until 4.30 pm but closed each month on the first and third Monday.
  • The whole area is famous for its beautiful Rhododendrons in April and May.
     

Check out complete Taiwan Guide from 2019 – Must know destinations and tips

Hiking
TW Taiwan
5

Beinn Alligin means a Mountain of Beauty in Gaelic language and I must agree with that. It consists of two tops - Munros (the mountains of more than 3000 feet in height).

Usually the best time to visit Scotland is from mid April till the end of May but you can be lucky and experience good weather all year round. April is great with the patches of snow, brown grass and blue sky contrast whereas in August you can experience nice green/pink colors. Can be crowded during weekends with good weather but it is still memorable experience.

Hiking
GB United Kingdom
4.5

I've backpacked in the Kings Canyon area twice, in May and September, which are what I would consider the bookends of the season. Any colder, and this would be for serious Winter lovers only.

May through October

Hiking
US United States
5

The river Elbe gave the Elbe Sandstone Mountains their shape; carved the rocky landscape, deep valleys, and gorges millions of years ago.

Located in Saxon Switzerland National Park are the famous Elbe Sandstone Mountains. Here you visit breathtaking sights like the Bastei Bridge, hike stunning trails and even climb gorgeous rock formations.  The region got already developed for tourism at the end of the 18th century. Many visitors come here simply to visit the main attraction the Bastei Bridge, and the remained ruins of the Neurathen Castle. We spent more than a week here, because there is so much more to explore.

We wrote this guide for everyone: Sightseeing only visitors, as well as hikers and climbers. We even provide the best accommodation tips as well as personal tips for cruise tours from Dresden. Read our complete guide below, including weather details and tips for the Bastei Bridge or jump directly to 9 Must-Do Sights and Hikes in Saxon Switzerland National Park with many insider tips!
 

Avoiding the Crowds in Saxon Switzerland

Crowds at the Bastei at midday

It is the most popular place in Saxon Switzerland, with around 1.5 million visitors each year. To enjoy this beautiful place; the Bastei without crowds, you should visit this fascinating sight in spring, autumn or winter either very early in the morning or late evening. We visited this magic sandstone bridge several times in May. We enjoyed most our visit at 6.30 on a Sunday morning. We shared this incredible impressive Bastei Bridge and the surroundings with very few people. Avoid midday when the bridge and the castle ruin are overrun.

Opening Hours Bastei and Fortress Königstein
  • The reproduction of the Neurathen Castle is accessible 24/7. From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. the entrance fee of 2 € has to be paid at a cash desk and afterwards, you are asked to put the payment into a metal box. This is a fabulous opportunity to enjoy this magical place at sunrise or sunset with a few people and photographers only. If you like to watch the sunset or sunrise in the summertime, it is best to stay next to the Bastei in the Berghotel Bastei.

    View to Bastei from Neurathen castle ruins
     
  • The Fortress Königstein is utterly overrun nearly the entire day because of the many tour buses. The crowds start to thin out after 3 pm and the last hour is the quietest of the day. Open from 9 am – closes at 6 pm from April to October and 5 pm from November to March. Last admission one hour before closure. The Historical Christmas Market, every weekend in the Advent, is a highlight not to be missed in December. These weekends are pretty popular. Book your hotel in advance.

    Castle Koenigstein - view to river Elbe and Friedrichsburg
     
Tips for Photographers

To get the perfect shot of the Bastei Bridge come here early morning. To experience the sunrise at the Bastei is a must but pretty early during summer. We had chosen the Berghotel Bastei next to the bridge and enjoyed our breakfast afterwards. 

Weather and Hiking Conditions

Heilige Stiege down to Schmilka

Usually, best-hiking conditions for Saxon Switzerland and the Bohemian Swiss are from April to October. Trails are slippery when wet, especially the iron stairs and stone steps. Leave the mountains during thunderstorms, don't walk on the iron stairs. Winter is awesome as well when the hills are covered in snow, but the weather is more unpredictable. During summer it's pleasant warm around 20°C at daytime, but it can get hot while hiking without any shadow in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. Expect minus degrees at day and night on top of the mountains during winter. It is several degrees warmer at the foot of the mountains. Rain (snow in winter) occurs throughout the year, occasionally heavy thunderstorms during summer. We experienced a thunderstorm and hail at the end of May. 

Best Accommodations Nearby
  • The Berghotel Bastei in the heart of the National Park and next to the famous Bastei Bridge is the best choice if you are limited in time. You couldn't wish for a better location. The balconies have spectacular views. The breakfast buffet offers a huge variety, and the panorama restaurant is perfect for bringing the day to a close with an excellent dinner. Lots of hikes can be done from here as well.

    Bastei Berghotel next to the famous Bastei Bridge
     
  • Bad Schandau is small town ideally located in the middle of the National Park close to all attractions and hiking trails the Saxonian Switzerland has to offer. Bookmark the link, check out the many hotels and get the best prices for Bad Schandau.
  • We like the little village Schmilka with an exceptional organic bakery the "Schmicksche Mühle" and the organic boutique brewery most. They also offer delicious food which you can enjoy in the beer garden of the old school "Zur alten Schule". Moreover belongs the Hotel Zur Mühle Boutique & Spa to the bakery and brewery.

    Hotel zur Muehle in Schmilka

    Directly behind the hotel starts the "Painters Way" a gorgeous hike up to the most famous rocks. The bus for hikers departs 200 meters away. Schmilka is located next to the German-Czech border and one of our favourite hikes to the "Prebischtor". More about the different hiking trails in the description.
     
Getting to the Bastei from Dresden (Tips & Tours)

Cruise on River Elbe with amazing views to the Elbe Sandstone Mountains
Click the image to see our favorite tours in Saxon Switzerland (not only from Dresden)

For those who are limited in time, you can either take a train from Dresden to Rathen or book a guided tour. The train (S-Bahn) from Dresden Central Station to Rathen operates at least twice each hour. From here you can take a ferry boat to cross the river Elbe. You can't miss the ferry; signs are leading to the jetty. After the short ferry ride, it’s a steep trail up along many steps through the forest to the Bastei Bridge. However, consider that there is much more to explore than this picturesque and famous bridge. To discover this excellent hiking region, you can book a guided trip from Dresden to the Elbe Sandstone Mountains as well:  From Dresden: Hike Through Saxon Switzerland incl. Transfers. This is a wonderful hiking tour with extremely friendly and very knowledgeable guides.
 

Historic Site
DE Germany
4.8

Where to begin...Zion is a one of a kind national park. This awe inspiring place has some of the most vivid naturally colored landscapes and mountains i've ever seen.

To escape the heat, spring and fall are the best times for hiking. In summer, it is oven-like and can get well above 100°F (38°C) and on the other side thunderstorms occur. If you go in midsummer avoid long hikes. Snow and ice can be an issue in winter unless that's what you’re looking for but bear in mind, half of the annual rainfall comes during the winter.

Avoiding Tourist Crowds:
Peak months are June to August. A little less crowded in spring and fall. Very quiet in December, January, February but bear in mind road or trails can be closed. However, you can avoid crowds year-round by starting your hike or exploration right after sunrise. At that time you’ll have the park almost for yourself. Most visitors don’t start before 10 a.m.

In the morning there is also a better chance of spotting wildlife and the best light for photos.

From March to October you have to take the shuttle bus, cars are not permitted. Usually, from November to February you can park your car at the available parking lots. The scenic drive in Zion can be closed at weekends in February and shuttle bus transportation has to be taken. Check shuttle bus schedule for each season first, includes maps and hiking trail information.

Sweet Spot Months:
The best months with usually good weather and less crowds than during peak months are: March/April and October/November.

Hiking
US United States