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.
Wufen Mountain (or Wufenshan) (五分山) is listed at #010 of the Xiao Bai Yue (小百岳). Located in Pingxi District (平溪區) in New Taipei City (新北市), Wufenshan is located about 45 minutes by car from Taipei Main Station.
About Wufenshan (五分山)
Wufen Mountain is located between Pingxi, Ruifang and Keelung in Pingxi District in New Taipei City. The Wufenshan trail runs along a mountain ridge edges and some say it looks like the Great Wall from a distance.
There are many trail access points and entrances that can be taken to climb Wufenshan, however, this post describes hiking this Xiao Bai Yue from the trailhead that starts from behind the “Xinpingxi Coal Mine Museum Park”. This is not the most direct nor the easiest routing up Wufenshan. If you’re looking for the simplest way to hike Wufenshan park at the trailhead near the Wufenshan Weather Radar Station and reach the top in 15 minutes. Where’s the fun in that though?
Hiking Wufenshan Trail
Starting the trail from behind the Coal Mine Museum, hikers almost immediately encounter stairs. This continues for a good kilometer or so. Not uncommon when hiking in Taiwan.
About 30 minutes into the hike (or about 1.4km from the coal mine), hikers will reach Palace of Fortune (福德宮) and will see signage for the Wufenshan Meterological Radar Observatory. Here the views start to get nice and even have some lookouts with views across northern Taiwan and Keelung Harbour.
Keep climbing steadily along stone steps until you arrive at the lookout point and gazebo. The views here on a clear are spectacular and make this trip well worth the 7km hike. From here continue walking forward about 2 minutes from the lookout pavilion and you will see a fork in the trail. To the left, the stone path continues. To the right, a compact soil trail veers right. Go right and head up this trail to find the official peak and up to the triangulation point.
Reaching the Peak of Wufenshan
After reaching the peak, you can continue on to the end of the trail, which is actually the Wufenshan Weather Radar Station. This facility is not open to the public, it is directly connected by the winding Wufen Mountain Road. The views of the surrounding mountains and Ruifang and even Keelung Port are unobstructed on clear days.
In conclusion, the trail is a little challenging because of all those stone steps but hiking Wufenshan is well worth it. Moreover, this area is also popular with cyclists, who often ride up to the Wufenshan Weather Radar Station when looking for a challenging road route. Moreover, this area is also said to be a great spot for stargazing on clear nights.
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 is no need to bring gloves.
- Water – About 1.5L to 2L of fresh drinking water
- Food/Lunch – There are no services along this trail, so get supplies before
- Sunscreen – The first half of the trail is covered and shaded, but it does open up later. You may wish to bring/wear sunscreen.
- Camera/Phone – Reception is pretty great on this trail. The scenery is too!
How to Get to Wufenshan
Drive a Car to Wufenshan: If you are driving, you can set this as your location – HERE. Parking is available at the Taiwan Coal Mine Museum. Wufenshan is approximately a 45 minute drive from Taipei Main Station.
Public transport: Public transportation gets visitors within a 35 minute walk from the Wufenshan Trailhead. From Taipei Main Station, take a train to Ruifang Train Station (瑞芳車站) in New Taipei City. Take the 4824 Bus to Shifen Train Station (十分車站). From the station, walk along this route to the Taiwan Coal Mine Museum. Note that you will have to walk about 500m on a pretty busy roadway. Use caution.