Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan’s premier hiking spot
Yangmingshan is widely considered one of the best hiking hotspots in Taiwan. The vast interconnected network of trails is easily accessible and complimented with amazing peaks, waterfalls, hot springs flower gardens and unique volcanic landscapes.
If you’re looking for a casual stroll to compliment your weekend or a seasoned hiking enthusiast looking for some hardcore trails, Yangmingshan has something for you. Here is a detailed list of available trails and information needed to plan your next hiking adventure.
To see an interactive map of available hiking trails at Yangmingshan, click here.
Tianmu Trail is a pathway up the side of Yangmingshan from Tianmu (天母), to the end of the Zhongshan North Road Sec. 7. The entrance to Tianmu Trail is marked with a large signboard that includes an English map.
Further up the trail, about a 1000 step stairway, is a historic water pipe line that was built in 1940s. Towards the end of the stairway the trail becomes flat and comfortable, walk along in the forest and enjoy the clear air. Great! This trail is today one of Taipei’s most popular day hiking destinations.
You can take the MRT (Danshui line) to Zhishan Station and take the 220 bus from the intersection of Zhongshan North Rd and Zhongcheng Rd to the terminal station, then walk north up Zhongshan North Road past the circle about to the end of the road (about 5 minutes), and you can see the entrance with a large signboard.
Lengshuikeng contains Taiwan’s sole bed of precipitated sulfur. Sulfurous fumes vented in the bed of this marshy lake turn the water murky. After gradually precipitating, the sulfur forms whitish-yellow or pale grey layers in the lake bed. Popularly known as Milk Lake, the lake is only approximately 40°C (104°F) in temperature, and not the 90°C (194°F) or more found in some hot springs. For the convenience of visitors who wish to wash and relax, there are two hot springs pools and one foot-soaking pool. When you are in Lengshuikeng, be sure to go to the observation platform on the northeast side to enjoy the beautiful scenery surrounding you. A milky white lake is below. This is the location of the explosion vent of Lengshuikeng.
You will have a better view of it while walking down the trail from the Seven-Star Park to Lengshuikeng. The arrival of early spring in northern Taiwan is marked by the presence of migratory swallows. These can be seen behind the Lengshuikeng Visitor Center. Note that these birds eat on the wing. While on the ground they do not eat, but are busy gathering mud for nest building. There are two kinds of swallows in the Lengshuikeng area. The one with a snow-white belly is the summer migratory Barn Swallow, the other one with a brownish-gray belly is the resident Pacific Swallow. Due to the severe winter, they only appear in Lengshuikeng in the summer season to build their nests and breed. They are transit visitors.
is a terrace formed by lava flowing to the north from Mt.Zhugao. This flat area is today an undulating grassland several kilometers across surrounded on all sides by mountain peaks higher than 800 meters (2,624 ft) in elevation. The area was once used for grazing cattle under the administration of the Taipei City Agricultural Association, and private individuals could send their cattle to graze here, and popular with picnicking students and families.
was built long ago as a shortcut over the mountains of Yangmingshan, enabling deliveries of fish from the sea. Starting at Jinshan, the route passes Payen, Qingtienkang, and Zhishanyen before eventually reaching Shilin, Dalongdong, and Dadaocheng, where the fish were sold in local markets. It is also known as the “Old Fish Trail.” Still in good condition, the trail is surrounded by old cultural sites and splendid natural scenery. Walking the trail allows one to really appreciate the spirit of the long-ago Chinese settlers who opened up Taiwan.
View this post on Instagram
facilities in the recreation area include a 1,700 m-long (5,577 ft) obstacle-free trail, trail explanations, a wooden plank path, an ecological pond, explanation boards, gazebos, picnic benches and chairs, public toilets, and free wheelchair and baby trolley borrowing service. Opening hours of the obstacle-free trail: 8:00AM to 6:00PM. Unauthorized vehicles are not allowed to enter the Erzihping area. No bicycles or motorcycles are allowed in the area.
Xiaoyukeng is the best-known recreation area in Yangmingshan National Park. The area offers some of Yangmingshan’s most beautiful scenery. Located above the Datong Bridge along the Yangmingshan-Jinshan Highway, Xiaoyukeng is at an elevation of 800 meters (2,624 ft) and contains a host of volcanically-created fumaroles, sulfur crystals, hot springs, and landslides.
Sulfur vents noisily spew forth gases, and hot springs discharge endless streams of boiling water. The bright yellow sulfur crystals that can be seen here are exceptionally lovely. Mt. Cising provides breathtaking views in all directions.
is the highest peak in the Datun Volcano Group. Because Mt. Cising’s main and subordinate peaks are in the form of the Chinese character for “mountain,” it is especially majestic and easy to recognize. Located in the center of Yangmingshan National Park, Mt. Cising is the highest peak in the administrative area of Taipei City. Cising Park is to the south of the mountain’s eastern summit. This park contains four pavilions of different sizes, plus stone tables and chairs. It is a popular rest stop for people climbing Mt. Cising. Trails lead from Cising Park to Menghuan Lake, Lengshuikeng, and the eastern and main summits of Mt. Cising. The trail leaves from the Headquarters and takes about an hour to the top.
is a volcanic basin popularly known as Datun Nature Park. It is defined as an area in the western section of Yangmingshan National Park, extending from Mt. Datun northward to Mt. Tsaikungkang. Located on a broad saddle between two mountains, the area contains the marshy Datun Pond. Wooden boardwalks around the pond makes it convenient for visitors to see the scenery and lush aquatic vegetation. The area includes an azalea restoration area where the spectacular blossoms of various kinds of rhododendron and azaleas can be seen in the spring.
The best way to get to Yangmingshan is by public transport or the Yangmingshan Shuttle Bus from Ximen.
Take bus route 260 from Taipei Main Station (or along its route).
Take MRT to Jiantan Station. Leave through Exit 1 and take shuttle bus routes S15 or S17 to Yangmingshan Station.