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.
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.
Dadong Mountain (or Dadongshan) (大棟山) is listed at #015 of the Xiao Bai Yue (小百岳). Located in Guishan District (龜山區) in Taoyuan City (桃園市), Dadongshan is located about 45 minutes from Taipei Main Station in the eastern portion of Taoyuan City.
About Dadongshan (大棟山)
Listed as one of the top 100 minor peaks of Taiwan, Dadongshan rises 405m above sea level is located at the highest point of Guilun Ridge in Guishan. In addition to having, fantastic views of Taoyuan City, Datongshan and Yingge, it also provides beautiful views of New Taipei City and even Taipei 101 on a clear day. This obviously attracts lots of hikers and photographers in either daytime or nighttime.
Located at the junction of Shulin District, New Taipei City and Guishan District, Taoyuan City, there are many different climbing routes that can get you to the top of Dadongshan. While trail access points are located in close proximity to Shulin, Shanjia and Yingge Railway Stations, we present the climb from Shulin Train Station. This route brings you up to Datongshan (don’t get these two confused) and other peaks and starts from Shulin Train Station (see below for how to get to the trailhead).
Hiking Dadongshan (大棟山)
Starting from the Datongshan Trailhead on Da’an Road, this trail weaves along a quiet and paved single lane road up to the Shulin Nanliao Temple (樹林南寮福德宮-福德正神). Follow the trail as it begins around the back of the temple. Stone stairs rise above the temple and as you approach a road way, look across the street to where the stone stairs continue up.
Stay on this trail for an additional 1km. The stairs keep coming but there is also a nice section of wooden boardwalks for a few hundred meters before you arrive at a clearing behind a green building. Walk out to the street and turn left. Follow this single lane road (careful of cars and traffic) for 100 meters then turn right onto the Dadongshan Trail. You’ll see a trail map kiosk at the trailhead.
Follow this trail as it ascends up to Dadongshan peak for another 2.25km. Along this section of the trail you will experience some sections of compact soil as well as tire, stone and wooden steps. All in all the trail is well-kept and a moderate hike for those with decent levels of fitness. It’s the stairs that keep grinding away at you. On this section of the trail, you will reach the peak of Datongshan before continuing onwards.
The forest provides a fair bit of shade and moderates the hot weather. The forest itself featuers some Myrtle, Camphor trees and Red Cedar Trees, some well over 100 years old. Dadongshan also features unique species of butterflies in between spring and summer.
Arriving at the peak, known locally “Highland 405”, the forest opens up to hilltop with a rolling topography. This Xiao Bai Yue is known for its silver grass in the winter and spring. From the peak take in the beautiful views over the Xue Mountain Range and Dahan River to the east, Guanyinshan and Linkou to west, Zhongli and the mountainous region of Fuxing on its south side. On clear days its been said you can see the Grand Hotel in Taipei.
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:
- Gloves – There are some roads and rails on the first half of this climb. You may want to bring gloves, but not completely necessary.
- Water – About 2-2.5L of fresh drinking water if you’re hiking in the summer
- Food/Lunch – There are no services along this trail, but some spots close at either end. Get supplies for everything you need before.
- Sunscreen – The trail is a mix of shaded and unshaded. You may want to bring a hat / sunscreen if you need it.
- Camera/Phone – Reception is good on this trail.
How to Get to Dadongshan (大棟山)
Driving a car to Dadongshan (大棟山): If you are driving, you can set this as your location – HERE. If you want to drive directly to the top (kinda cheating) you can set this as your location – HERE. Dadongshan is approximately 40 minutes from Taipei.
Taking Public Transportation to Dadongshan (大棟山): Accessing the trailhead from Shulin Train station is convenient from Taiepi. Take the train from Taipei Main Station to Shulin Train Station (about 20 minutes) and then walk to the trailhead found here.