Introduction: This hike will take you through the hills near Beitou to visit some the areas well-known and lesser known attractions including Battleship Rock and Lover’s Temple.
Access: take the MRT to Shipai station
Length: 9.5km, 3 hours
Difficulty Level: 1/5
Trail Conditions: mostly wide dirt trails, some paved trails, and stairs to Battleship Rock
From Shipai station walk north under the tracks towards Qilian station. Turn right then quickly left at the entrance of Yang Ming University. Follow the main road as it climbs up through the university. The start of the trail is well marked, signposted for Mt. Junjianyan.
From the start of the trail stairs climb steeply up to Battleship Rock, reaching the rock in about 10 minutes.
Battleship Rock is a sandstone outcropping on the top of the hill. The rock is a popular spot and there are often people sitting on the top admiring the views.
Just before the rock is a dirt trail that branches off on the left and follows the top of the ridge, signposted for Zhaoming Temple.
Follow this trail going along the top of the ridge. Stick with the wide, main trail and ignore any trails branching off.
Turn left at a trail junction signposted for Chaoming Temple.
Again, keep following the wide, main trail and ignore any trails branching off. The trail leads down to the temple, making a sharp hairpin turn to the right at one point (ignore the trail branching off on the left here).
The trail ends at the end of a road at the back of Zhaoming (Lovers) Temple. The main attraction of the temple is its unusual architecture for Taiwan, looking more like a temple from South-East Asia.
At the back of the temple is the start of another wide dirt trail which is actually a very rough road which leads to a radio tower on the top of the hill, signposted for Mt. Danfeng.
Follow this trail to the end and the junction with another trail, turn left here to see some sights further down the hill, then return afterwards to the junction and keep going straight.
From the junction a paved trail leads downwards. On the way down look for some markings painted on the trail. These point to way to an unusual old Japanese rock shrine. Turn right here. The shrine is only a few minutes along the narrow trail.
After you’ve seen the shrine go back to the trail and continue to follow it on the way down. The trees on the hillside here are all dead and the hill is mostly grass. It can be very hot walking through here on a summer’s day. Before reaching the bottom the trail will change back to a dirt trail supported by green mesh.
At the bottom of the trail you’ll find the crumbling and forgotten tomb of some KMT general.
There is also another large temple nearby that is worth a quick look.
After looking around here head back up to the last trail junction from Zhaoming Temple and keep going straight, following the dirt track to the radio tower at the top. Take the unmarked trail forking off from the end of the track on the right below the tower.
The trail goes away from the tower along the top of the ridge through some thick tree cover.
After descending some steps you’ll come the unmarked turn off for Beitou, turn left here.
From the junction the trail descends steeply on steps supported by red bricks until it reaches a small stream at the bottom. Then the trail follows the stream downwards and ends at a road.
From the end of the trail follow the road down to Beitou. The road will lead past Puji Temple, an old Japanese-era temple.
Further down the road is Thermal or Hell Valley, a pool of boiling hot water.
Further down the stream leads down through Beitou Park passing many sights on the way down towards Xinbeitou MRT Station.
Map of the Hike