Hiking Taiwan: Mt. Qixing in Yangmingshan National Park

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Trails in Yangmingshan National Park

Located in the picturesque Yangmingshan National Park (陽明山國家公園), those who venture will be rewarded with sweeping views overlooking Taipei.

Mt. Qixing (七星山), literally “Seven Star Mountain,” is the highest point in Taipei, with its main peak standing at 1,120m above sea level. Getting there from the city is pretty straightforward… if you know what bus to take (scroll to the bottom of this page for more details on transportation). It takes about an hour from Taipei Railway Station, which really breezes by.

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Signs to point you in the right direction

When you arrive at the park, you’ll yourself at the Yangmingshan Bus Station. To make things easier, get off at the last stop, which is just after the Starbucks. There are a few signs around (that can be a little tricky to spot), but you’ll want to head over to the Yangmingshan National Park Headquarters Visitor Center, which is where the hike will officially begin.

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Following the signs to the Visitor Center will lead you here. Go inside and up a few (short) flights of stairs, bringing you back onto the path to the Visitor Center

The path to the Visitor Center is a little bit of a walk (about 10 minutes from the bus station), and can be quite confusing as you’ll find yourself walking up random stairs and down paths that run adjacent to the roads.

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Continue down the path when you emerge from the random building with stairs, reaching the Visitor Center after 0.7km

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Yangmingshan National Park Headquarters Visitor Center

The Visitor Center itself isn’t that special, but the red-roofed building is a nice place to recharge while you figure out your hiking route, as is the Science Shop and Cafe next door. Grab a map at the front desk for more information on the walking trails in the area. If you need to use the bathroom before you set off, this is the time to do it as there are no washroom facilities once you leave this area until you finish the hike and get back to the Yangmingshan Bus Station.

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Walk towards the small road to the left of the Visitor Center to begin your hike towards Mt. Qixing

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Mt. Qixing Hiking Trail (Miaopu Entrance)

The Mt. Qixing Hiking Trail (Miaopu Entrance) is where you begin — when you see stairs, it means that you’re on the right path. The trail to Mt. Qixing is about 80-90% stairs, but it’s completely shaded with tree cover and there are a few benches along the way where you can rest.

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Upwards to Mt. Qixing

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When you get closer to the top, there will be some clearings where you can look out over Taipei

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Most paths are surrounded by greenery

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Path to Mt. Qixing East Peak

At the top, you will be given two choices: go up to Mt. Qixing East Peak or Mt. Qixing Main Peak. If you have the energy, you can go explore Mt. Qixing East Peak, but we opted to go directly to the Main Peak as it was on the way to the exit—Xiaoyoukeng (小油坑).

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Stay left to go towards Mt. Qixing Main Peak

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Enjoying the views and the breeze at the top of Mt. Qixing Main Peak

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Beginning the descent to Xiaoyoukeng

From Mt. Qixing Main Peak, follow the path on the other side to go down towards Xiaoyoukeng.

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It’s a 1.6km walk from Mt. Qixing Main Peak to the Xiaoyoukeng Trail Entrance

The descent is pretty easy, but you’ll find that there is no tree cover. However, the sun is bearable later in the day.

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Unshaded trails on the way down from Mt. Qixing Main Peak

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There are some steep steps on the way down. Proceed with caution

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The terrain here was created through volcanic activity, which also means that you’ll smell sulfur in the air.

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Steam coming out from the rocks

As there are various gases coming out from the rocks, you won’t want to linger around the area for too long.

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Looking back up the path from the Xiaoyoukeng Trail Entrance

 

When you reach the road at the end, there is a bus stop for shuttle bus number 108 to Yangmingshan. Chances are that there will be some people waiting there already, so it’s hard to miss. There are seats on the shuttle, which takes about 20-30 minutes, but don’t be surprised if you have to stand.


Quick walking statistics (approximations):
From Yangmingshan Bus Station to Visitor Center: 10 minutes
From Visitor Center to Mt. Qixing Main Peak: 1.5-2 hours
From Mt. Qixing Main Peak to Xiaoyoukeng (exit): 30 minutes
From Xiaoyoukeng to Yangmingshan Bus Station (via shuttle bus): 20-30 minutes

How to get there (Yangmingshan Bus Station):
Bus #260 from Taipei Railway Station
The bus stop itself is right outside MRT Taipei Main Station, exit M2
• Runs from 6:ooam-10:30pm, with buses every 7-10 minutes during peak hours, and 10-15 mintues during off-peak hours
• Takes about one hour from start to finish

Bus #230 from MRT Beitou Station
• Runs from 5:30am-10:45pm, with buses every 30-45 minutes

How to get back:
At the end of the trail, catch the shuttle bus #108 from Xiaoyoukeng to Yangmingshan Bus Station (20-30 minutes), where you can then get a bus back into the city.

Useful links:
Yangmingshan National Park website

4 thoughts on “Hiking Taiwan: Mt. Qixing in Yangmingshan National Park

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