The main river in the scenic area is the Dajia River, which is home to 377 species of fish. One of these, the Formosan land-locked salmon, is native to the Cijiawan River at Wuling Farm and is a protected species found nowhere else in the world. The upper and lower reaches of the Dajia River are rich in various types of wildlife such as the red-bellied tree squirrel, Formosan black bear, Formosan Macaque, and Formosan Reeve’s muntjac. The area is also extremely rich in bird species, among the most common are the Formosan Blue Magpie, white-eared sibia (swinhoe), Formosan Yuhina, and Vivid Niltava. Along the Central East-West Highway you will experience the beauty of butterflies in a variety of species dancing gracefully in the air. These include the Taiwan Batwing (Highland red-bellied swallowtail), Common Windmill (Byasa polyeuctes termessus), and Great Blackvein.
With an elevation ranging from 500 to 2,000 meters, the Lishan Scenic Area stretches from Guguan to Lishan. It contains splendid scenery including mid- and lower-elevation forests, rivers, canyons, and, above all, majestic mountains. This scenic area is rich in natural botanical resources. Distributed at elevations between 1,500 and 2,500 meters are temperate-zone conifer forests made up of Taiwan red cypress (Chamaecyparis formosensis), Taiwania (Taiwania cryptomerioides), Taiwan red pine (Pinus taiwanenesis), and other species; at elevations between 500 and 2,100 meters, the subtropical rain forest consists of a mixture of broadleaf trees and conifers. The main species here are evergreens like laurel and beech trees. Below 500 meters are broadleaf forests of India-charcoal Trema (Trema orientalis), Taiwan Zelkova (Zelkova Serrata), Red Fruit Fig-tree (Ficus superba) and Formosan Ash (Fraxinus Formosana). Depending on the differences in elevation, land quality, soil, and direction of sunlight, at the middle and lower elevations of the scenic area you can find plants like the China Elder (Sambucus Formosana), stinging nettle (Urtica thunbergiana), Ragwort Alpine (Senecio nemorensis), and impatiens uniflora. Here you can also find various types of azaleas indigenous to Taiwan, such as Mori’s Azalea (Rhodondendron morii), Small-leaf Rhododendron (Rhododendron sikayotaizanense) and Red-hairy Rhododendron (Rhododendron rubopilosum). This scenic area also has beautiful alpine plants such as the Taiwan Pieris (Pieris taiwanensis), Ito’s Wintergreen (Gaultheria itoana), Yushan Raspberry (Rubus rolfei), Formosan Gooseberry (Ribes formosanum), and Common Goldenrod Herb (Herba solidaginis).
This area located in the Dajia River Basin is known for its uncanny terrain and changing landscape along the banks of the rivers, including steep cliffs, jagged rocks and gravelly sand. There are a number of well-known mountains surrounding this area. Besides climbing or hiking along the popular trails, visitors can also gaze at the tall mountains and their unique features far off into the distance. For instance, from the Basianshan mountain area, one can view ascending peaks from the Yushan group of mountains and the Nengkao and Cilai mountain systems; from Lishan, one can view Jianshan, Jiayangshan, Dashuehshan and Taoshan; from Fushoushan, one can look at Jiayangshan, Dajienshan, Shuehshan and the Hehuanshan group of mountains; while finally the Hehuanshan land area gets its name from the circle of mountains between the Shuehshan and Nanhushan systems from which the mountain scenery can be viewed from alongside the road.
The beautiful sight of blooming flowers and an abundance of temperate-zone fruits (peaches, pears, and apples) at Lishan make this a perfect place for flower viewing and peach banquets. Here you can also experience for yourself the culture of the Atayal tribes and learn about the development of the Central East-West Highway. You can also delve into the mysteries of the heavens through star-viewing activities.
Lishan’s climate is mild with four distinct seasons; clouds and mist here are present throughout the year. The average annual temperature in this area is about 13℃ to 22℃ and it changes as the elevation increases. The hottest month is July and August with a temperature ranging from 17℃ to 28℃. January and February are the coolest months of the year, with a temperature range from 6℃ to 16℃. The intensity of the rainfall is very high during the period of March to September every year. The region is very dry in the winter months from October to February. The relative humidity is between 75 to 80 percent annually.