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.
About Shimenshan (石門山)
Shimenshan (石門山) is listed at #024 of the Xiao Bai Yue (小百岳). Located in Longtan District (龍潭區) in Taoyuan (桃園市), Shimenshan is a short and relatively easy hike up one of the few mountain overlooking Taiwan’s Shimen Reservoir.
Hiking Shimenshan (石門山)
Starting from the parking lot of the Shimenshan Labor Recreation Center (石門山勞工育樂中心), head up the paved trail found in the back corner of the parking lot. Continue for a few dozen meters before you reach a public restroom on your right. Did you see the Golden T-Rex?
The trail here is paved and unshaded for the first few hundred meters as it meanders through a park-like setting. At the second fork in the trail, turn right and begin climbing. Ten meters along the trail you will see a stair case on your left. Keep going until you reach the second staircase on your left and go up.
After a short stone step climb, the trail turns to a single track, compact soil surface and a more natural trail. The route ascends along the north side of the mountain offering occasional views off to your right. The trail is very well maintained, switching between steps and flat sections for a while. The area is nicely forested and quite relaxing, even if it is a bit manicured in places.
After about 20-30 minutes from the parking lot, you’ll reach a cleaning with interlocking bricks and statues of Guanyin. There are some nice views north and some places for shade and to rest if you needed.
Walk up the cement stair case towards the 10m statue of Guanyin and continue up the stairs found around the right side of the statue. The trail quickly covers again and the surface returns to compact soil. The ascent along this section is really easy going and you’ll get views looking west over Taoyuan City. A small clearing opens up and on a clear day you can see the northern end of Shimen Reservoir.
After a short distance hiking up, you reach a final trail junction, which present trails to the left and right. Go right up to the peak. Going left will take you back down the mountain and will be a route we would suggest. The peak of Shimenshan has a nice clearing suitable for larger groups, but offers nice views off to the northwest. A short distance further provides another clearing with different views. Rest up, enjoy the views and head back down. The trail terrain is mostly the same on the way back down.
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 – Not really needed
- Water – About 1L of fresh drinking water should be ok
- Food – There are no services along this trail. Bring lunch or snacks to keep energy levels up.
- Washrooms – Available near parking lot
- Sunscreen – Almost the entire trail shaded, with about 10% unshaded
- Camera/Phone – Reception is available along the entire trail
How to Get to Shimenshan (石門山)
Driving to Shimenshan (石門山): If you are driving, you can set this as your location – HERE. There is free parking for plenty of vehicles.
Taking public transportation to Shimenshan (石門山): There is nearly direct public transportation from Taipei Main Station to Xizhoushan (溪洲山), however it will likely take about 2 hours to commute. This gets you within a 20 minute walk to trailhead. Take the 1820 Bus from Kuo-kuang Taipei Bus Station for 7 stops to Longtan Zhongzheng Rd. Walk to Zhongzheng Beilong Rd. Intersection and catch the 5055 bus (headed for Xizhou Park) for 24 stops until you get to Minzhi 7th St. It is a 20 minute walk from there. Here is the Google Route.