Qixing

Yangmingshan National Park

Qixing (7 Star Mountain)

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Qixing, as seen from Datun

Highlights: the highest peak in Yangmingshan

At 1120m, this hike takes you over the highest peak in the Taipei area and to several different sites on the slopes. The views are excellent from the trails and the peaks.

There is absolutely no shade for much of this hike as most of the mountain is covered by grasses. Be prepared and have plenty of fluids. The best time to do this hike is in late spring after the plum rains when the trail is covered with flowers and butterflies.

Access: take bus Red 5 from Jiantan MRT station to the last stop, the Yangmingshan bus terminal. From the bus terminal, take the Yangmingshan shuttle (number 108) and get off at the Xiaoyoukeng stop and car park. Some buses only go to the Erziping stop and then return to the bus terminal, if the bus has 二子坪 for its destination do not board it.

Length: 8.5km, 4.5 – 5 hours

Difficulty Level: 1/5

Trail Conditions: stone trails, lots of steep steps

The Hike

The hike starts at the hydrothermal vents which can be seen in picture above. There is also a visitor centre and a store at the car park.

visitor center and hydrothermal vents

visitor center and hydrothermal vents

The trail starts near the bus stop. It is a steep, sweaty, shadeless climb to the top. This side of the mountain is covered only by grass.

climbing up from the visitor center

climbing up from the visitor center

climbing up

climbing up

The trail also passes by several smaller hydrothermal vents on the way to the top.

passing some hydrothermal vents

passing some hydrothermal vents

As it is a very steep climb, there are also a couple of viewing platforms along the way where you can take a rest.

viewing platform

viewing platform

more hydrothermal vents

more hydrothermal vents

Take care to avoid stepping on the small lizards which may be on the stone steps. You’ll likely see lots of butterflies on the trail as well if you do the hike early in the summer.

watch out for the lizards!

watch out for the lizards!

butterflies on the trail

butterflies on the trail

On a clear day there are sweeping views from the peak of Taipei, Yangmingshan, and the north coast.

final climb to the peak

final climb to the peak

Qixing main peak

Qixing main peak

view from the peak

view from the peak

After you’ve enjoyed the peak, start heading down the other side.

trail going down from the main peak and up the east peak

trail going down from the main peak and up the east peak

You will soon come a trail junction. Turning left at the trail junction leads you over the east peak.

trail junction, turn left here

trail junction, turn left here

east peak

east peak

view from the east peak

view from the east peak

From the east peak the trail goes down the other side descending gradually at first. The trail then comes to the steeper side of the mountain providing one of the best views in Yangmingshan of Menghuan Pond down below and the grasslands of the cow meadow further on.

trail descending from the east peak

trail descending from the east peak

admiring the views

admiring the views

From here the trail descends by a long series of short, steep switchbacks. Part way down the trail passes through a small grove of trees in a depression in the mountain then emerges into the grasses again.

descending through a grove of trees

descending through a grove of trees

After descending from the east peak the trail comes to a trail junction at a radio tower and service road.

trail junction, keep going straight here then return after seeing the pond

trail junction, keep going straight here then return after seeing the pond

Continue straight past the tower walking on the road and you’ll come to a viewpoint at a covered pavilion. (Down below from the pavilion is the Lengshuikeng car park and the cow meadow at Qiantangang car park further on. Bus Small 15 from Jiantan MRT Station stops in the Lengshuikeng car park. Some buses terminate here and others continue on to the Qiantangang car park. Bus 108 stops on the road. Don’t bother looking at the times listed on the bus stops as these are completely meaningless. Note that getting on a bus here on the weekends is very difficult, I’ve waited as long as 90 minutes here. As it is better to start hikes from these places than finish please see my east Yangmingshan and Mt. Shiti guides on hikes through this area of the park.)

From the viewpoint keep walking along the road which leads to Menghuan Pond. The signs here say that this pond has an indigenous species of grass, though it looks like any other grass to me. Nonetheless, the pond is worth the short side trip to visit.

Menghuan Pond

Menghuan Pond

From the pond return back to the radio tower and follow the path down to Qixing Park. The park has a large clearing of grass and more good views.

Qixing Park

Qixing Park

Continue through the park and out the other side following the trail going down. This trail will soon connect with the trail that came down from between the peaks, turn left at the trail junction signposted for Miaopu Trail Entrance. There is also a covered rest area at the trail junction.

trail leaving Qixing Park

trail leaving Qixing Park

trail junction, turn left here

trail junction, turn left here

From the junction the trail continues downward and soon comes to another junction, keep going straight here signposted again for Miaopu Trail Entrance.

keep going straight here

keep going straight here

The trail continues to descend and reaches the Yangmingshan National Park Visitor Center at the bottom which has some displays about the park.

going down the visitor center

going down the visitor center

going down to the visitor center

going down to the visitor center

Mt Qixing Miaopu Trail Entracne

Mt Qixing Miaopu Trail Entracne

visitor center

visitor center

The trail from the centre to keep heading down starts from behind the washrooms, signposted for Yangmingshan Bus Station.

trail to the bus station from the visitor center

trail to the bus station from the visitor center

trail to the bus station

trail to the bus station

At the end of the trail stairs lead down to an underpass under the road. Turn left after the underpass and walk through another underpass to return to the bus terminal.

underpass at the end of the trail

underpass at the end of the trail

Map of the Hike

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