Yesterday a fellow work for stayer and I went set out to hike Huang Di Dian. The trail was stunning and an amazing escape from the city. The hour and a half trip out proved very much worth it as we had the entire mountain to ourselves. (Directions at the end of the blog)
Because Taiwan is the most convenient country in the world, once we got off the bus we were in front of two convince store. So we went in, grabbed some snacks and water and were ready to head out.
Fifteen minutes of road walking from the bus stop we came to the trail head marked by two lions on each side. We passed the lions and were confronted with what would be the first of many sets of stairs.
A quarter of the way up the stair climb we came to a gazebo and some uninterested wild dogs.
Half an hour later we were sweating like crazy and still climbing stairs.
After a 40 minute stair climb (felt longer) and 10 minutes on the trail, we arrived at our first viewpoint rewarding us for our climb.
From there on out, the rest of the trail was a beautiful and exciting mostly ridge walk with plenty of gorgeous views and photo ops (as you can see).
Along with a steady ridge walk the trail also includes some ladders and ropes that need to be climbed. They do pose a bit of a challenge but any reasonable fit person won’t have much difficulty.
Over two hours after we started the trail we reached the gorgeous second peak of Huang Di Dian. Because the trail descends into overgrow grass after this point we decided to take a break at the incredible view point and turn around.
It was a beautiful day trip and by the end the many many stairs were well worth it. We started the trail a bit later than we should have (4pm) so the last hour we had to use our flashlight. But we couldn’t have felt luckier to have such a beautiful mountain all to ourselves.
My tough as nails German hiking partner managed to complete the journey in a combination of flip flops and bare feet. Although she recommends bringing shoes or hiking boots if you have them 😉
From Mono’tel (or anywhere else in Taipei) take the MRT to Muzha station (one before the Taipei zoo). From the station walk to the convenience store across the street and on that side of the road take the 666 bus. The bus comes every 40 minutes so ask staff at Mono’tel to tell you when it will be coming and plan accordingly.
Stay on the bus for just over half an hour and get off at Shinding Elementary School (good idea to favorite in Google Maps). From the stop you will see a Hilife, get some snacks and water and continue on the road left of the shop. (Where the red car in the picture is going)
Follow the road for a few minutes and take another left up Nanku Road where you will be quickly greeted by a large red gate.
Continue on the road, it will turn sharply twice. About ten minutes up you will come to two concrete lions on either side of the stairs and start the trail!
As mentioned before, there’s a lot of stairs to climb so don’t be surprised if this takes you over an hour. But because the elevation gain is so great try and appreciate how much you have accomplished every time you are able too see through the trees and look down. Once you come to the end of the stairs you will come to you first intersection where you will turn right.
From there you will be able to see the last few stairs you will need to walk until you head back down.
Within less than a minute you will come to your first fork in the road. At this spot and all others you encounter on the hike go the way of the green sign.
From here on out the trail to the second peak is very straightforward. There are a few side trails, but just remember to follow the green signs, stay on the ridge and when in doubt take the trail that has clearly been walked the most.
Enjoy the hike and take lots of pictures!