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 climbing routes 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.
About Jinmianshan (金面山)
Jinmianshan (金面山) is listed at #021 of the Xiao Bai Yue (小百岳) and is located in Daxi District (大溪區) in Taoyuan (桃園市). The trail head is difficult to get to by public transit. It is said that Jinmianshan has a sharp structural shape that resembles a bird’s beak and the mountain is also known by locals as “Niaozui Mountain” or “Bird’s Mouth Tip”.
Hiking Jinmianshan (金面山)
There are four routes up Jinmianshan in Taoyuan City (not to be mistaken with another Jinmianshan in Neihu). The trailhead starts on the far side of the chick restaurant indicated on the “How to Get there” section below. It begins as a double track trail, but transitions into something more rugged and natural shortly.
Note that there are no distance markers and very few signs along this trail. The signs that are there are typically placed on trees adjacent to the trail. There are sections with red and yellow fabric attached to trees to indicate the trail. Be careful as there are several trail junctions along this route.
This hike is features a nice bamboo forest along a scenic single track to start things off. Hike for about 15 minutes before you arrive at a small brick maintenance shed and the first trail junction. Go right to continue to ascend Jinmianshan (left takes you out to Jinshan Mianshan (金山面山). You will walk a pretty primitive trail here with several steep and rugged climbs.
It’s a moderate climb, as there are ropes and plenty of roots and rocks for foot and hand holds. One such section presents a nearly 90-degree rope-climbing rock wall that measures about 15 meters.
Jinmianshan Trail is also an ancient road, also known as Jinshan Mianzai Ancient Road (金山面仔古道). As you approach the top, the trail flattens out a little bit and there are a few cleanings that offer nice views across the countryside and the famous town of Daxi. Enjoy these views, as they are more picturesque than the peak itself.
Hiking in Taiwan during the tung flower season (April & May) is pretty popular in northern Taiwan and this trail is no different. White flowers can be seen in bloom during this time and make the rolling hills fill with contrast.
The peak is surrounded by a dense and close forest, leaving the views from the peak of this mountain with much to be desired. All in all, this hike is challenging and natural hiking experience in Taoyuan and is much different than some of the other Xiao Bai Yue in northern Taiwan.
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 lots of steep and roped sections. We recommended gloves.
- Water – About 2.5L of fresh drinking water
- Food – There are some services along this trail and limited to restaurant at suggested parking. Bring lunch or snacks to keep energy levels up.
- Washrooms – Available at 阮家莊土雞城-老大店.
- Sunscreen – This trail is shaded.
- Clothing / Shoes – Bring long pants and/or boots (maybe rubber boots). The leeches here are plentiful.
- Camera/Phone – Reception is not available along portions of this trail.
How to Get to Jinmianshan (金面山)
Driving to Jinmianshan (金面山): If you are driving, you can set this as your location – HERE. Note that there the road down to the trailhead is very narrow and passing cars is difficult. Very few options for parking on the side on the road. This restaurant offers free parking and washrooms for visitors. Come early if you wish to beat the crowds.
Taking public transportation to Jinmianshan (金面山): There is no convenient public transportation that gets you within a 20 minute walk to Jinmianshan (金面山). One possibility is to take the High Speed Train from Taipei to Taoyuan. From there take the 501 Bus (Taiwan Tourist Shuttle) Daxi Express to Daxi Station (5 stops). Then walk 5 minutes to Sancengqi Jiao to catch L712 Bus (Hedong Line Holiday). Take this for 2 stops to Meihua Elementary School. It is a 15 minute walk from there. Here is the Google Route.