Yangmingshan National Park: The Complete Guide

Yanmingshan National Park

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Yangmingshan National Park

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Considered one of the best hiking spots in Taiwan as well as one of the first urban quiet parks in the world, Yangminshan National Park is one of the country's busiest national parks for a reason. Visitors can enjoy the mountainous terrain with multiple hiking trails, hot springs, and cherry blossom viewing spots. IN addition to all that, the park has 1,400 unique plant species and is home to Mount Qixing, Taiwan’s tallest dormant volcano.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know to visit Yangmingshan National Park.

Best Hikes and Trails

With a wide network of well-marked short and long trails, Yangminshan offers something for everyone. Here are some of the most popular trails but picking up a map at the tourist information services office and finding the best route for you is highly recommended.

  • Qixing Main Peak: Also known as Seven Star Mountain, Qixing is the highest peak in the national park. As such, this is one of the most popular trails due to the magnificent view of the park from the top. Taking around four hours and suitable for those of average fitness, this is a great choice if you have a day in the park and want to make the most of it.
  • Mount Zhugao Trail: This is a short hike that branches off the Qingtiangang circular trail. It passes through meadow and flowers with a stone path to the peak that offers 360-degree views of the park. This novice-friendly walk should take around an hour
  • Erzihping Trail: 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.
  • Mount Datun Three Peaks: Mount Datun, a volcanic basin, known as Datun Nature Park, provides a worthy challenge for people with average fitness levels on a dry day. Hiking the three peaks (West, South, and Main) will take around six hours and you will be treated to the sight of. Qing Tian Temple at the end. This trail becomes slippery when wet and should only be attempted by confident hikers in this case.

Where to Camp

Wild camping isn’t permitted in Taiwan so you'll need to book a space at a designated campsite. The most convenient site for camping in Yamingshan National Park is the Jingshan Recreation Area which has cabins as well as spots to pitch a tent and facilities. With easy access to trails and the Jinshan hot springs, this is a convenient location to access the park and enjoy the surrounding nature.

Silver grass blossoms at sunset with Mount Datun in background at Yangmingshan, Taiwan.
Joyoyo Chen / Getty Images

Things to Do Nearby

The main activity in Yangmingshan National Park is hiking along its many trails. However, there are plenty of attractions nearby that are worth a visit before or after your time inside Yangmingshan.

  • Visit Bamboo Lake: Also known as Zuzihu Hu, this lake is easily accessed by taking the circular 108 bus and getting off at Hutian Bridge before following the signs for the lake. Found in the basin of three mountains (Datun, Qixing, and Xianguanyin), the lake was formed by a volcanic eruption. The walk is scenic with lush vegetation and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes to unwind at on the way.
  • Tour the National Palace Museum: Containing the world's largest collection of Chinese art treasures housed in a sprawling complex, The National Palace Museum is between Taipei and Yangminshan National Park and a must-visit.
  • Relax in the Hot Spring of Beitou Thermal Valley: Beitou is a great home base for visiting the park and a must-visit wellness area. Also known as Hell Valley, this geothermal area features a gated off sulfur spring lake which billows steam into the sky as well as public and private baths in the hotels and inns in the area for you to relax and recharge in.

How to Get There

Yangminshan is easily accessible via public transport from Taipei. There are a number of buses that will take you there or you could take the metro train to Jiantan Station. At the exit, you can take shuttle buses S15 or S17 to Yangmingshang National Park. It will take around 15 minutes to walk from the bus terminal to the visitors center.

There is also the circular Shuttle Bus 108 which drives around the main attractions of the park making it easy to see the highlights without walking to each one.

Where to Stay Nearby

  • Grand View Resort Beitou: Enjoy the hot springs and restaurants of Beitou on your doorstep with easy access by bus to the mountains. Designed by renowned architect Li Zuyuan (designer of Taipei 101), this hotel blends modern design with traditional timber-framed interiors to make for a relaxing setting. Spa facilities are available on-site as well as a bar and lounge area.
  • Silk Valley SPA Resort: This is a rustic hideaway just over 3 miles from Yangminshan National Park, meaning you can easily access the trails by taking a taxi or bus. All rooms have a private balcony and access to the sauna and spa. Guests can also enjoy other nature-based activities such as fishing and enjoy the homecooked meals served onsite.
  • Finders Hotel: Just a ten-minute walk from the bus and train station, this is ideal if you would like to be based in Taipei and have easy access to trips out of the city such as Yangminshan National Park. With a 24-hour front desk, it’s convenient for coming back late from hiking and is in the heart of the late-night shopping and popular restaurants of Taipei.

Tips for Your Visit

  • Pick up an Easy Card from any metro or train station. You will be able to top this up and use it on the buses, metro, and trains around Taiwan and even pay for items from stores.
  • It is important to keep to the marked paths to avoid any encounters with venomous snakes found in the region.
  • Admission to the park is free and the shop takes debit and credit cards but it’s worth carrying some cash with you just in case.
  • Bring plenty of sunscreen, fluids, and snacks with you as there aren’t facilities after the main museum and shop. You should also pack a windbreaker for the breeze on the mountains and mosquito repellent.
  • To avoid crowds, try to visit during the week when the park is much quieter.
  • If you’re lost or need help then call 1-1-9 on your cell phone for the emergency services
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Yangmingshan National Park: The Complete Guide