10 Best Hikes in Yangmingshan National Park

10 Best Hikes in Yangmingshan National Park

Yangmingshan National Park

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Hiking in Yangminagshan National Park, one of the most popular hiking areas conveniently near Taipei, should be on anyone's bucket list when visiting Taiwan. Visitors can enjoy the mountainous terrain with multiple hiking trails, including Taiwan's tallest dormant volcano Mount Qixing. Forest trails treat you to the abundant flora and fauna of the park, which has over 1,400 species of plants. A popular cherry blossom viewing spot and hot spring zone, the park has many opportunities to sit back and enjoy nature after a busy day of hiking. Here are some of the best hiking trails you shouldn't miss while visiting Yangmingshan.

01 of 10

Jinbaoli Trail (Yulu Historical Trail)

Yangmingshan Ancient Trail

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A moderately challenging hike for history lovers. Jinbaoli Trail is an ancient path through Yangmingshan Park that connects Jinshan in New Taipei City with Shilin in Taipei City, which takes around two to three hours. Once a historic trade route, hikers will follow an uneven stone step path through forest and streams, making it a dynamic trail that keeps you on your toes. Signs of the trail’s history can be seen across the route ranging from shrines, including the notable Tudigong shrine, ruins, and stone houses and bridges.

02 of 10

Mount Datun Three Peaks

Mount Datun

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Yangminshan’s famous volcanic basin Mount Datun is an exciting hike and one of the most popular in the park. It’s suitable for anyone with moderate fitness levels, as long as you wear good walking shoes and bring poles for the steeper, roped sections. However, if it has been raining, then the hike becomes slippery and significantly more challenging, so it should only be attempted by confident hikers in this case. The hike is through the forest for a vast majority, following a stone path, opening out into tall grass and dirt paths with signs guiding you across the three peaks. Hiking the three peaks will take around five to six hours and treat to sweeping views of the park and Taipei city.

03 of 10

Tianmu Trail

Old Tianmu Hiking Trail

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A two-hour trail, popular with anyone looking to spot monkeys on their hike. After the initial stone stairs part of the climb, you will come to a picnic area where you can refill your water, and from that point, you may be lucky enough to see the native Formosan rock macaques as you follow the flat path through the forest area. You will have more chance of seeing monkeys closer to dusk, but make sure not to interact with or feed them. There are many signs reminding people of this. Follow signs to the Chinese Cultural University, where you can end the trail and catch buses heading back towards Taipei. You can also tackle this trail in the reverse order, ending back at Yanmingshan Bus Station if it’s more suitable for getting back.

04 of 10

Shamaoshan

Yangmingshan National Parl Trail

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A challenging yet short hike up to the volcanic peak of Shamoshan is a rewarding option if you are short on time. The challenge comes from the steep hike to the top, but it can be completed in just an hour and is conveniently lined with well-trodden stone steps to the top. Accessible immediately from the parking lot at Yangmingshan bus station, this hike takes you through lush forest and rewards you at the top with a viewing platform that looks over both Prince’s Pavillion and Datunshan. There are two ways to descend, back the way you came or via Prince’s Pavillion, which ends on Shamao Road between two bus stops with buses heading towards Xinbeitou Station & Beitou Station.

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05 of 10

Mount Qixing

Mount Qixing trail

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Also known as Seven Star Mountain, the dormant volcano Mount Qixing is the highest peak in Yanmingshan National Park and is a favorite trail amongst hikers and photographers due to the magnificent view of the entire park from the top. Due to the steaming fumaroles surrounding the mountain, it is often shrouded in a mist that can lessen visibility, so be prepared to wait for it to clear if you want to take pictures. The moderate hike takes around four hours and is suitable for those of average fitness;  a great choice if you have a day in the park and want to make the most of it. There are several trail start points, including one that conveniently starts at Yangminshan bus station.

06 of 10

Lengshuikeng to Qingtiangang Trail

Qingtiangang Grassland at Yangmingshan national park

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Lengshuikeng is a popular rest spot for visitors hiking in Yangmingshan National Park due to the visitor center, which includes a small café with Wi-Fi and a free formal hot spring building and foot spa. It’s also the beginning of the gentle Lengshuikeng to Qingtiangang trail, which takes you past the mountain Lengshuikeng Ecological Pond, creeks, and through a forest of cypress and cryptomeria trees before ending at the rural grasslands of Qingtiangang. You can extend your hike by enjoying the 50-minute Qingtiangang Circular Trail and hopefully seeing the local water buffalo before catching a bus from Qingtiangang Visitor Center. It’s a perfect route for nature lovers and bird watchers.

07 of 10

Juansi Waterfall Trail

Juansi Waterfall Yangmingshan National Park

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This gentle one-hour hike near Beitou, following an artificial watercourse, provides a relaxing walk with plenty to see for nature lovers and bird watchers as you traverse forest and stream. You will see Juansi Waterfall on the trail, cross over the Jingshan suspension bridge, and finish at Lengshuikeng Visitor Centre, where you can get a drink and visit the hot spring. The stone path on this hike can get slippery, so make sure you have shoes with a good grip.

08 of 10

Xiaoyukeng

umaroles mountain at Xiaoyoukeng in Yangmingshan, Taiwan

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Located on Mount Qixing’s northwestern corner, this geological area is known for its steaming furamoles, hot springs, and sulfur crystals. It also provides excellent views over Mount Shamao, Taipei, and the northeast coastline. If you want to carry on up to Mount Qixing, you can follow the one-hour Arrow Bamboo Trail to the peak. You can take the bus to Xiaoyukeng or hike from Yangminshan bus station in around two hours.

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09 of 10

Erzihping Trail

Erzihping Trail Yangmingshan

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For anyone looking for a gentle walk to enjoy the beauty and nature of the park, this recreation area has a wooden plank path taking you around the area around the pond with picnic areas and facilities, making it a perfect option for families. Also known as the butterfly trail, you will see many butterflies and insects as you walk. The start of the trail can be found at Erzihping Visitor Center, which can be reached by bus from Yangminshan bus station.

10 of 10

Mount Huangzui

Mt. Huangzui Ecological Protected Area /Yangmingshan National Park

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The Mount Huangzui Ecological Protected Area is a relatively untouched area covering 640 hectares of land and includes Mount Huangzui, Mount Dajianhou, and Mount Huangzui's crater lake. Located on the east side of Yangmingshan, there's a lot to explore here, and trails are quieter as a permit is required for this area of the park. Due to being a protected area, you can find numerous species of rare birds, plant life, and occasionally water buffalo, making every moment of the hike up Mount Huangzui dynamic. A good level of fitness and experience in hiking is ideal for this hike which takes around eight hours total, more if you would like to relax in the wild hot springs. Most tour groups in Taiwan will be able to obtain a permit for you but be sure to do this at least two weeks to a month in advance.

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