Hiking in Taiwan is a remarkable experience and Taiwan’s Xiao Bai Yue (小百岳) is a great place to start. Taiwan’s Xiao Bai Yue is a perfect list of 100 suburban mountain peaks suitable for hikers of all skill levels. These are some of the best hiking trails in Taiwan.
Qixing Mountain (or Qixingshan) (七星山) is listed at #002 of the Xiao Bai Yue (小百岳). Located in Beitou District (北投區), Taipei (臺北市), Taiwan. Qixingshan (七星山) is located less than 1 hour north of downtown Taipei. This mountain peak is visible from most of Taipei.
The Xiao Bai Yue is 100 mountain climbs oriented towards sub-urban destinations and routes suitable for novice hikers. These include beginner routes like Dawulun Mountain, novice routes like Dongyanshan National Forest and some that are more challenging, like Jialishan.
The main peak of Qixing Mountain is 1120 m (3,675 ft) above sea level, which is the highest peak in Taipei. Looking north from downtown Taipei, you can often see the shadow of its independent stalwart, especially the seven smaller peaks of different sizes formed by erosion on the top of the mountain. This is also how it got its name (Qi = Seven and Xing = Star) “Seven Star Mountain”. For now, we’ll call it as locals and many foreigners do – Qixingshan.
Where to start a hike up Qixingshan
There are essentially three possible routes up to Taipei’s highest peak, Qixingshan. You can start from the Miaopu Trailhead (苗圃登山口), Xiaoyoukeng Recreation Area (小油坑遊憩區) or LengShuiKeng (陽明山冷水坑) parking area. Probably the most popular is starting from the south of Qixingshan peak at Miaopu Trailhead and climbing north and up towards the peak.
If you are driving and are looking to have a short hike and bag one of the Xiao Bai Yue, we’d recommend starting and finishing at Xiaoyoukeng Recreation Area (小油坑遊憩區). This is the most convenient, fastest and easiest if you bring your own vehicle. Therefore, if you come by public transportation, Following the route from Xiaoyoukeng Recreation Area (小油坑遊憩區) and finishing at Yangmingshan LengShuiKeng (陽明山冷水坑) is a great option if you are taking public transit.
The hike from Xiaoyoukeng parking lot takes about 1.5 hours if you stop for lunch or a break at the top or at one of the various looking areas. From a technical perspective, the trail itself isn’t too difficult, however there is some elevation and a lot of steps (which is not unusual when hiking in Taiwan). The trail is pretty straight forward with great signage. The trail surface is very well maintained and is a mix of compact soil, large stone walkway and wooden steps.
If you’ve only got a few days in Taiwan, or you are a long-term resident, hiking Qixingshan (七星山) trail is a fantastic and easy day out for anyone from beginners to experienced hikers. Bring your camera as this is one of the best hiking trails near downtown Taipei with spectacular views of the Yangmingshan National Park (陽明山國家公園) and the surrounding Datun Volcanic region.
This is a fun day out with lots to explore. For instance, this trail also has other loops and trail branches you can include to extend the hike further to suit your time and or experience level.
What to Bring
When hiking in Taiwan consider your capabilities before heading out. We hope this helps provide insight into the level of difficulty. When it comes to the kinds of equipment or resources one should bring when hiking this trail in Taiwan, we’ve provided a list below:
- Good Shoes/Boots – You won’t need your hiking, but sturdy shoes will suffice
- Water – About 1L of fresh drinking water but it depends on the day
- Food/Lunch – There are no services along this trail, so get supplies prior setting off
- Sunscreen – The trail is a mix of exposed and shaded trails. Always good to have sunscreen thought.
- Camera/Phone – Reception is good throughout the entire trail.
How to Get to Qixingshan
Driving a Car
If you are driving your own car to you can set this as your location HERE. Bring cash in coins or an Easy Card to pay for parking. The road up to Qixingshan is in great conditions, however it is a bit windy. Qixingshan is approximately 45 minutes from Taipei Main Station. Two notes: 1) Give yourself plenty of time to get up and down the mountain, as traffic coming off Yangmingshan National Park can be bad and backed up. 2) Don’t park on the side of any road in Yangmingshan National Park – it’s not allowed.
The bus network in Yangmingshan National Park is pretty great all things considered, but you have to be aware of the departure and return times, as well as the bus stop locations. From Shilin MRT Station you will board Bus 260 on the east side of Zhongshan North Road by Fulin Park 福林公園 to Yangmingshan Bus Terminal, where you will transfer to Bus #124 Flowering Season Charter Bus and on to either Xiaoyoukeng 小油坑, Lengshuikeng 冷水坑, Menghuan Pond 夢幻胡 or Miaopu 苗圃 parking lots. Here is the Google Maps description.
Map & GPX File
If you’re looking for other sources of information this trail, please visit these great websites